The air handling system for large diesel/gas engines such as those used on locomotive, marine, and power generation applications require turbochargers with a high reliability and with turbomachinery capable to adjust to different operating conditions and transient requirements. The usage of variable geometry turbocharging (VGT) provides flexibility to the air handling system but adds complexity, cost and reduces the reliability of the turbocharger in exchange for improved engine performance and transient response. For this reason, it was desirable to explore designs that could provide the variability required by the air handling system, without the efficiency penalty of a conventional waste gate and with as little added complexity as possible.

The current work describes a new low-cost variable geometry turbine design to address these requirements. The new tandem nozzle concept proposed is applicable to both axial and radial turbines, and has been designed using conventional 1D models and 2D/3D CFD methods. The concept has furthermore been validated experimentally on two different test rigs. In order to avoid the long lead times of procuring castings, the nozzle for the axial turbine was manufactured using new additive manufacturing techniques. Both the axial turbine and the radial turbine designs showed that the concept is capable to achieve a mass flow variability of more than 15% and provide a robust and cost-effective alternative to conventional VGT designs by significantly reducing the number of moveable parts.

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