Recirculating casing treatment is a feature frequently adopted in automotive turbocharger compressor design to extend its operating range. In the low flow region of the map, surge margin can be enhanced by bleeding a fraction of the main flow from the impeller casing back to the stage inlet. In the high flow region, choke margin can be improved by bleeding flow from the stage inlet to a location downstream of the impeller throat. The benefits of recirculating casing treatment are more prominent at higher rotational speeds and are usually accompanied by an associated penalty in efficiency, which may or may not be acceptable. The challenge posed to the designers is to create a recirculating casing cavity configuration which enlarges the map width, while minimizing its impact on efficiency.
In the lack of specialized meanline tools, early stages of recirculating casing cavity design are mostly reliant on results from expensive CFD runs or test data from existing designs, if available. This paper presents the development of a meanline model suitable for preliminary design. The model was compared with CFD results for an automotive turbocharger compressor. The authors believe the proposed model can be a valuable tool for reducing development costs in the preliminary design stages of recirculating casing treatment configurations.