10th European Conference on Turbomachinery Fluid dynamics & Thermodynamics
This study focuses on numerical simulations of a small automotive turbocharger compressor stage. Two medium speed characteristics were reproduced from nominal operating points to surge and were compared with experimental measurements. The aim of this study is to analyze the flow unsteadiness occurring near the surge line. The complete geometry of the impeller is meshed; hence, no spatio-temporal hypothesis is done during simulations. The main flow patterns are investigated to identify structures that might be responsible of surge inception. Results show that both impeller and diffuser are affected by stall. Blade channels are affected by a complete shroud recirculation extending from upstream of the impeller inlet to the diffuser inlet. Three radial recirculation zones are detected on the vaneless diffuser walls, strongly influenced by the two-pike asymmetric pressure field induced by the volute tongue. Its influence is observed at the inlet of the compressor, increasing the inter-blade flow unsteadiness.