Licentiate seminar

CFD of Duct Acoustics for Turbocharger Applications

Defendant Main Advisor Extra Advisor Date
Emma Alenius Mats Åbom Laszlo Fuchs 2010-12-13

Federico Piscaglia, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Evaluation committee


The search for quieter internal combustion engines drives the quest for a better understanding of the acoustic properties of engine duct components. In this work the main focus is the turbocharger compressor and a discussion of turbocharger acoustics and earlier work within the area is presented, giving an insight into its sound generating mechanisms and the damping effect it has on pressure pulses, i.e. incoming waves. However, despite the fact that turbo-charging was developed during the first part of the 20th century, there is not much research results available within the area of centrifugal compressor acoustics.
To improve the understanding of the acoustics of engine duct components, methods based on compressible Large Eddy Simulation (LES) are explored. With these methods it is possible to capture both the complex flow, with sound generating mechanisms, and acoustic - flow interactions. It is also possible to get a detailed insight into some phenomena by access to variables and/or areas where it is difficult to perform measurements. In order to develop these methods the linear scattering of low frequency waves by an orifice plate have been studied, using an acoustic two-port model. This simple geometry was chosen since the flow has several of the characteristics seen in a compressor, like unsteady separation, vortex generation and shock waves at high Mach numbers. Furthermore the orifice plate is in itself interesting in engine applications, where constrictions are present in the ducts. The results have been compared to measurements with good agreement and the sensitivity to different parameters has been studied, showing an expected dependence on inlet Mach number and difficulties to simultaneously keep the amplitude low enough for linearity and high enough to suppress flow noise with the short times series available in LES.
During the development of new engines the industry uses 1D engine CFD tools. These tools are developed to give performance data, but sometimes also the acoustic pulsations are studied. The duct components are modelled and the turbocharger is often modelled with a map, representing its fluid mechanical properties measured under steady state conditions. An aim in this work has been to study the limitations of the models available in the commercial software GT-Power. The scattering of incoming waves was simulated and the results were compared to measurements, showing a large discrepancy for the compressor and a significant discrepancy for the orifice plate.
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