Turbocharged engines are setting themselves as the present standard in case of high-performance engines for sport applications. The coupling of a turbomachine with an internal combustion engine poses, however, some serious challenges, especially regarding the time lags and the transitory flow conditions. In particular, focus is presently being paid to the acceleration phase of these sport vehicles, where the mass flow is much lower than that attended at maximum efficiency condition and the transitory response of the turbocharger becomes pivotal to provide promptly high compression ratios to the engine. In this view, the global optimization process of new turbochargers must be oriented not only at maximizing the aerodynamic efficiency at the best design point but also at providing good efficiency at low mass flow rates, combined with a reduced inertia to enable fast acceleration.
In the study, a multi-objective methodological approach is presented aimed at designing the turbine of a high-performance turbocharged engine based on the following requirements: 1) high efficiency at the design point; 2) good efficiency at low mass flow rates, typical of the acceleration phase; 3) reduced inertia; 4) overall aerodynamic design adaptable with constructive constraints. In doing so, some design considerations are also provided, pointing out the different design choices that can be made in a design strategy focused either on maximum efficiency or on the minimization of the system inertia. The aerodynamic optimization has been carried out with an in-house CFD 3D code, while the turbine coupling with the engine has been obtained by embedding the aerodynamic maps into the 1D engine model.
The analysis showed that the new focus on the transitory response modified substantially the conventional design of the turbine, leading to new geometries able to improve notably the overall performance of the turbocharger.