Turbochargers make an essential contribution to the development of efficient combustion engines by increasing the boost pressure. In recent years, there has been a trend towards enhanced turbine inlet temperatures, which cause heat fluxes within the turbocharger. Due to the high rotational speed, the centrifugal force and thermal stress of the turbine components rise inevitably. In addition to the enhanced temperature level, due to the variation of the load and speed of the engine in cold start, acceleration and deceleration periods, the turbine inlet temperature is changing permanently, which leads to higher thermal loads. The flow state and thus the heat transfer in the turbocharger are constantly changing within a single cycle. This induces an unsteady temperature profile, which is essential for the thermal stress and thus the prediction of the component life cycle.
The present study reports about the results of the experimental steady state and transient heat transfer investigations of a turbocharger which are conducted at a hot gas test rig. The investigations are performed transiently between different steady state operating points. In order to simulate the real driving conditions, the turbine inlet temperature is changed between a high and low temperature level abruptly (thermal shock) or cyclically at an approximately constant mass flow. The flow parameters at the inlet and outlet of the turbine as well as material and surface temperatures of the turbine wheel and casing are recorded. Additionally the compressor as well as the bearing housing inlet and outlet conditions are measured. The heat flux between the components is analyzed by means of the measured data.