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Variable Turbine Geometry

A National Maritime Academy

 On a conventional turbocharger, the exhaust
flow drives a turbine that is connected to a
compressor on the intake side. By
compressing the incoming air, the amount of
oxygen in a given volume is increased.
Since compression also causes an increase
in temperature, the air must be cooled in a
device known as a “intercooler”. With more
oxygen present in each cylinder charge,
more fuel can be burnt yielding greater
Since higher exhaust pressures
generate greater loads on the
intake side, the intake pressure
must be carefully controlled in
order to protect the engine.

The ‘boost pressure’ is limited

using ‘waste gate’ valves that
bypass excess pressure around
the twin exhaust turbines.
Since a smaller turbine has a lower mass,
it responds more quickly to increasing
pressure, spinning up easily to its optimum
speed. The key disadvantage of using a
smaller turbo is that the back-pressure
generated at higher engine speeds
causes a significant reduction in
performance. Resistance is caused by the
smaller cross-sectional area through
which the exhaust is required to flow.
Larger turbo units, which create lower
back-pressure at higher rpm, take
considerably longer to spin up under
power due to the large cross-sectional
area and relative inertia of the heavier
turbine. Generally, this type of turbo will
only be effective in the medium rpm
range. This phenomenon, known as
‘turbo lag’, means there is virtually no
turbo charging effect at lower engine
Variable Turbine
technology is the next
generation in turbocharger
technology where the turbo
uses variable vanes to control
exhaust flow against the
turbine blades.
The problem with the
turbocharger that we’ve all come
to know and love is that big
turbos do not work well at slow
engine speeds, while small
turbos are fast to spool but run
out of steam pretty quick. So
how do VTG turbos solve this
A Variable Turbine Geometry
turbocharger is also known as a
variable geometry turbocharger

or a Variable Nozzle Turbine (VNT).

A turbocharger equipped with
Variable Turbine Geometry has
little movable vanes which can
direct exhaust flow onto the
turbine blades. The vane angles
are adjusted via an actuator. The
angle of the vanes vary
throughout the engine RPM range
to optimize turbine behaviour.
Below, you can see the vanes in a angle which is
almost closed. Variable vanes are highlighted.
The VGT vanes look like when they are open.
In this diagram, you can see the direction of exhaust
flow when the variable vanes are in an almost closed
angle. The narrow passage of which the exhaust gas
has to flow through accelerates
the exhaust gas towards
the turbine blades,
making them spin
faster. The angle of
the vanes also
directs the gas to
hit the blades at the
proper angle.
Diagram shows the exhaust gas flow when the variable
turbine vanes are fully open. The high exhaust flow at high
engine speeds are fully directed onto the turbine blades by
the variable vanes.
Thank You !