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Proceedings of the Gas Machinery Research Council Gas Machinery Conference 2007 October 1-3, 2007 - Dallas Texas


PART 1 OF 2 (Compressor Analysis) Damian Kuiper Globe Turbocharger Specialties Incorporated (GTSI) ABSTRACT Performance testing identifies many aspects of turbocharger performance. Although, when performance is less than satisfactory, test cell mapping only identifies secondary or tertiary troubles demonstrating inconsistencies with expected performance. Such tasks as seeking out and eliminating efficiency losses or increasing operational surge margin are unrealistic expectations when basing your conclusions solely on inlet and discharge operating conditions. Identifying the root cause such as a mismatched impeller / diffuser or a poorly matched rotor / stator requires a complete aerodynamic analysis employed through a systematic investigation. Turbomachinery design and analysis software predicts the interactions of a working fluid with its geometrical surroundings and operational environment. Accurately predicting these interactions is highly dependent on understanding the energy loss models embedded within the design code. These loss models dictate how severely performance diminishes due to inherent or sometimes improper geometrical and operational constraints. Such energy losses include skin friction, excessive pressure recovery, airfoil incidence, flow recirculation, and blade tip leakage to name a few. Working with aerodynamicists, Globe Turbocharger has fully integrated multiple centrifugal compressor and axial turbine performance codes into its design procedure. This procedure outlines a system of embedded relationships between component geometry, efficiency, and performance margin. Combining detailed aerodynamic analysis with a systematic design methodology provides the turbomachinery designer and turbocharger end user a system wide perspective of how and why the turbocharger will perform under all operating conditions. INTRODUCTION Within the last decade, it has become customary for emission reduction companies to reduce the level of pollutants such as NO, NO2, and CO primarily thru improving combustion efficiency and reducing power cylinder temperatures. These operational attributes are typically accomplished through custom designed medium to high pressure fuel injection systems complimented by a higher air/fuel ratio (leaner charge). For some situations, simply operating the engine at a greater air/fuel ratio attains the desired emissions level. The increased airflow rate and air density used to operate the engine at a greater air/fuel ratio is achieved by turbocharging the either naturally aspirated or pump scavenged reciprocating combustion engine. In some cases, as with a turbocharged engine, retrofitting the existing turbocharger with new aerodynamic components provides the desired air mass flow rate and air manifold pressure increase. Over the last few years, turbocharger testing prior to installation on an emissions reduction engine has become more frequent. For some pipeline companies pre-installation testing is standard practice. This testing does not typically include any instrumentation of the turbocharger itself other than to monitor stage inlet and discharge conditions. The primary driver for turbocharger performance testing is the sensitivity of the air specification provided to the turbomachinery designer combined with the high cost of installation, removal, and engine or project down time. This down time occurs when turbocharger performance, mechanical or aerodynamic, is not as expected. Unfortunately, performance testing a turbocharger in this manner only provides the interested party with flange conditions. This terminology implies that the test cell instrumentation is only collecting data at the compressor inlet, compressor discharge(s), turbine inlet(s), and the turbine discharge. It does not distinguish between the performance of each turbocharger component. The test cell data is global, assessing the overall compressor and the overall turbine as a whole. When turbocharger performance is not as expected, identifying a solution requires the ability to assess the individual performance of each component through a detailed aerodynamic analysis. A turbocharger design and performance analysis provides insight as to which individual component or set of components is causing the problem. NOMENCLATURE Process Diagram Symbol for Document Process Diagram Symbol for Process Process Diagram Symbol for Data

b C cf d e k L

Process Diagram Symbol for Decision Hub-to-Shroud Passage Width Absolute Velocity Skin Friction Coefficient Diameter Surface Roughness Ratio of Specific Heats Linear Distance

LB m ns P Q Re R r s tb T U W z

Length of Blade Mean Camberline Mass Flow Rate Specific Speed Static Pressure Volumetric Flow Rate Reynolds Number Universal Gas Constant Radius Clearance Gap Width Blade Thickness Static Temperature Linear Velocity Relative Velocity Effective Number of Blades Blade Angle With Respect to Tangent Density Flow Coefficient Head Coefficient Velocity Total Pressure Loss Coefficient

flow diagram within figure one represents the general method created and currently used by GTSI for compressor and turbine sizing. Part 1 of this document, from this point forward, will limit its discussion to the turbocharger compressor analysis. The turbine performance analysis will be outline within Part 2. The process described within figure 1 is first conducted for the turbocharger centrifugal compressor. When a True value is obtained for the three decision blocks presented in figure 1 the compressor design procedure is complete. The same process is then followed for the turbocharger axial or radial turbine. Likewise, when a True value is obtained for the three decision blocks, the turbine design procedure is complete. The following discussion will proceed along this same path describing the procedure as it pertains to the compressor design cycle. Part 2 of this document will describe the procedure as it pertains to the turbine design cycle.


B BL CL H inc l m o r s SF t U 1 2 3 4 5 6

Blade Blade Loading Clearance Hydraulic Incidence Laminar Meridional Component Stagnation or Total Condition Rough Wall Surface Smooth Wall Surface Skin Friction Turbulent Tangential Component Impeller Inlet Impeller Discharge Tip Diffuser Vane Inlet Diffuser Exit Volute / Scroll Inlet Volute / Scroll Exit

SYSTEMATIC DESIGN METHODOLOGY The term sizing generally implies the matching of existing components or the designing of new components to meet specific combustion engine air requirements. To ensure proper sizing a systematic design methodology is used when matching a turbocharger to a previously naturally aspirated combustion engine or trouble shooting an existing design. The

Figure 1: Turbocharger Compressor and Turbine Design

AIR SPECIFICATION The air specification dictates the combustion engines requirement for airflow rate as well as air and exhaust pressure. This specification will vary for different makes and models of combustion engines. Even for multiple, same model, natural gas combustion engines the air specification can vary depending on; 1) the local regulatory emission requirements, 2) style of aftermarket fuel injection and other associated equipment implemented, 3) ambient conditions the turbocharger will be operating within, and 4) the air specification authors method of calculating the required airflow rate and density needed to meet desired engine performance. This document typically includes, at a minimum, the following parameters for each design point the turbocharger is required to operate at: Barometric Pressure1 Ambient Temperature1 Intake Air Filtration Pressure Drop1 Compressor Discharge Pressure Turbine Inlet Pressure1 Turbine Inlet Temperature Turbine Discharge Pressure1 Air Mass Flow Rate Exhaust Mass Flow Rate

air specification in a manner, which reflects an extreme or impossible energy balance requiring the turbine to produce an unreasonable amount of energy. This of course, an incorrect practice, and typically a byproduct of the air specification writer attempting to use the turbocharger in a manner beyond which it was intended. Second, if the air specification does not closely approximate how the engine will react to being turbocharged, then expected on-engine performance will not be achieved and may require a few iterations at great time and financial expense to identify combustion air flow and density requirements. IDENTIFY APPROXIMATE PERFORMANCE MATCH Cursory review of the air specification leads to identifying the most suitable frame size or family of turbochargers, which will operate with reasonable efficiencies while meeting the specified airflow rate and air density requirement. Correcting existing compressor operating maps to ambient temperature and barometric pressure dictated by the air specification while overlaying the desired design points identifies the best-suited family of turbocharger compressor for the application. This comparison immediately identifies compressor surge margin, choke margin, basic operational stability, isentropic compressor efficiency, and overall capacity of the turbocharger compressor to achieve desired flow characteristics. EXTRACT EXISTING COMPONENT GEOMETRY Highly accurate geometry defining a flow path through each component of the centrifugal compressor is necessary to complete the aerodynamic analysis. This is achieved by parametrically modeling each component using a commercial software package. If two-dimensional drawings are not available to generate the parametric model, laser scanning of the actual part is an ideal source of accurate data. Dimensional data is required for the following components, typical of a centrifugal compressor stage: Inlet Guide Vane Inducer / Impeller Vaneless Diffuser Region Vaned or Vaneless Diffuser Vaneless Passage Scroll / Collector

It is worth noting that turbine inlet pressure is listed with a footnote identifying that its value within the air specification should appropriately represent the condition most difficult for the turbocharger to achieve. Elaborating on this, a pressure drop across the system from turbocharger compressor discharge to turbocharger turbine inlet exists. In essence, this pressure drop represents the systems (combustion engine, inter-cooler, associated manifold piping, and applicable after treatment) inability to conserve the turbocharger compressor discharge pressure. The turbine converts static pressure to dynamic head allowing it to extract kinetic energy from the exhaust gas. With mass flow being conserved the pressure drop across the previously described system represents, in a very general sense, the energy available to the turbine versus the energy required by the compressor. A greater system pressure drop provides less energy for turbocharger use and strongly influences the overall machine design requirements. Though not covered by the scope of this document, the system differential pressure does provide an intrinsic benefit to engine operation by generating a pressure gradient across the power cylinder volume. This pressure gradient enhances the displacement and/or entrainment of exhaust gasses. This action increases the mass of fresh air available for combustion during the following power stroke while also reducing cylinder operating temperatures. The accuracy of the air specification has significant importance for multiple reasons. First, it is possible to write the

The vaneless diffuser region resides as the volumetric space separating the discharge edge of the impeller and inlet edge of a vaned diffuser. A vaneless passage is often present between the diffuser discharge and the entrance to the scroll. There are over 73 dimensional values required for the entire centrifugal compressor analysis. Fifty-six of them define the impeller; the remainder defines the pressure recovery system of controlled and uncontrolled diffusion. These dimensions include all clearance values for loss mechanisms such as windage, disk friction and blade tip leakage for open impellers.

indicates the operating condition most difficult for the turbocharger to achieve is that which is appropriately supplied within the air specification

PROCESS OPERATING CONDITIONS This step includes calculation of total thermodynamic inlet and discharge conditions, unit conversion to a standard format, and ensuring the data provided follows a logical thermal energy balance. The air specification typically provides the compressor inlet and discharge conditions with respect to static pressure, static temperature and air mass flow rate. This data, combined with the compressor inlet geometry and rotational velocity, permit the calculation of total temperature and pressure conditions. Equations one and two [1] provide some insight as to the general relationship between static and total thermodynamic conditions for an ideal gas.

This method employs numerous empirical fluid dynamic and loss correlations to supply the information not obtainable through the basic theoretical methods. As described by Aungier [3] the mean stream surface is identified as having no fluid velocity component normal to it (Fig. 2). The quality of results obtained directly depends on the validity of the empirical models in use. It is possible to tune the various loss models when a high quantity of experimental data is available from testing various stage sizes and types. The particular mean line flow code implemented by GTSI is based on over one hundred different stages ranging from flow coefficients (eq. 12) of 0.0090 to 0.16 [3].

P0 T0 k 1 k 1 2 k 1 M = = 1 + P T 2



v kRT


COMPRESSOR PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS Centrifugal compressor flow analysis is mathematically intensive and iterative in nature. The calculations themselves are extremely taxing to conduct by hand. Therefore, in this era, most if not all methods of fluid dynamic analysis are performed computationally. Three-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), two-dimensional multiple stream line and one-dimensional mean line are the three primary, commercially available, methods of dynamic fluid analysis. These modes of studying compressible and incompressible fluid fields vary in capability, dedicated time to produce a trusted result, and financial cost each carrying its own tradeoff. Computational fluid dynamic software models the conservation of mass, momentum, energy and scalar transport in terms of velocity, pressure, enthalpy and velocity potential. CFD software packages integrate complex algorithms to approximate the Navier-Stokes equations with a discretized 3D volume grid occupying the domain of interest [2]. This approach provides a high level of detail taking into account all geometrical influence and does not rely on a premise of good design practice to provide accurate results. The downside to CFD packages are; a cost nearing or exceeding $100,000 (2007 purchase pricing), intense amount of time consuming preparation prior to analysis required, possible variation of result based on the descretization of volume grid and/or misinterpretation of boundary conditions [2], and very high computational requirements. The author typically uses a mean line flow analysis to make appropriate adjustments to existing and performance proven compressor stage designs. New designs and significant changes initially begin as a mean line analysis followed by an in-depth CFD study coupled with experimental testing and validation. A mean line flow study analyzes performance along a mean stream surface through the various stage components.

Figure 2 Illustration of Mean Stream Surface Within Flow Passage of a Centrifugal Impeller [3] Loss models calculate a loss coefficient used as a total pressure bias within performance calculations. The following loss coefficients are imposed when and if appropriate for a particular centrifugal compressor stage. The corresponding percentage values within the impeller section give a general perspective of each loss models contribution to the impeller total loss coefficient for a carefully considered impeller of 18.0 inch bore nearing a flow coefficient of 0.07 (eq 12).

Impeller Loss Coefficients (LC) o 3.0% Inlet LC o 14.6% Incidence LC o 0.0% Inducer Diffusion LC o 0.0% Choke LC o 45.4% Skin Friction LC o 10.4% Blade Loading LC o 5.1% Hub-Shroud Loading LC o 0.0% Critical Mach Number LC o 1.7% Wake Mixing LC o 0.6% Blockage LC o 19.1% Clearance LC Vaneless Diffuser Region Loss Coefficients o Friction LC o Curvature LC o Diffusion LC Vaned Diffuser Loss Coefficients o Incidence LC o Friction LC o Blockage LC o Wake Mixing LC o Choking LC Vaneless Passage Loss Coefficients o Friction LC o Curvature LC o Diffusion LC Discharge Loss Coefficients o Meridional Velocity Dump LC o Tangential Velocity Dump LC o Skin Friction LC o Exit Cone LC

For turbulent flow (Re > 2000) with smooth wall boundary [3,4]:

2.51 1 = 2 log10 4c fts Re 4c fts


For turbulent flow (Re > 2000) with rough wall boundary [3,4]:

1 e = 2 log10 4c ftr 3.71d


The skin friction loss coefficient ( SF ) is then calculated [3]:


W 2 +W 2 1 2 2 = 4 (c f ) W1

( LB / d H )


Clearance: Open impellers have stationary shrouds disconnected from the impeller itself. The necessary gap between the impeller vane and the shroud allows the impeller to rotate without physical interference though a necessary gap separating the two components is a source of energy loss. As a function of directional rotation the impeller vane has a pressure side which leads in the direction of rotation and a suction side trailing behind. This creates a pressure differential across the clearance gap described above [3]:

pCL =

The impeller is the only component within the compressor to impart energy into the working fluid. Not surprisingly, the impeller has the highest number of total pressure loss models required to calculate the amount energy consumed by the compression process. For brevity sake, the detailed inner workings of each loss model listed are not outlined, instead a brief characterization of the primary impeller losses will be provided. 89.5% of the impeller total pressure loss coefficient represents the summation of the skin friction, clearance, incidence, and blade loading loss coefficients. Skin friction: is an energy loss due to a viscous fluid interacting with a wall boundary having zero velocity relative to the fluid interacting with it. The skin friction coefficient ( c f ) is dependent on the Reynolds number and surface roughness. For laminar flow (Re < 2000) [3,4]:

( r2CU 2 r1CU 1 ) m zrbL


A corresponding mass flow rate through the clearance gap is then calculated [3]:

CL = ( 2 )( z )( s )( L )(U CL ) m


The clearance pressure differential and clearance mass flow rate are then applied to solve for a clearance loss coefficient [3]:

CL =

CL )( pCL ) 2(m )( 1 ) (W12 ) (m


c fl =

16 Re


Incidence: The flow path of air changes significantly as it enters the impeller. Designers match the leading edge of the impeller as optimally as possible with the expected velocity vector of the air entering. Though ideal, a perfect match is an unlikely occurrence across the entire leading edge from hub to 5

shroud. Thus, incidence between the flowing air and rotating impeller occurs. Equation 10 defines the incidence loss coefficient [3].

Charts comparing specific speed and flow coefficient to expected achievable stage efficiencies are provided within references [3], [5] and [6]. ESTABLISH SAFE & EFFICIENT OPERATING REGION With the initial performance analysis complete, the designer can relate the data provided by the air specification to the bounding limits of safe and efficient operation. The compressor operating region is bound by two particularly inefficient and/or unstable performance characteristics, choke and surge. Surge, by definition, is the capacity below which the compressor operation becomes unstable. This occurs when flow is reduced and the compressor backpressure exceeds the pressure developed by the compressor and a breakdown in flow results. This immediately causes a reversal in the flow direction and reduces the compressor backpressure. The moment this happens, regular compression is resumed and the cycle is repeated [7]. Choke is defined as the point where the machine is run at a given speed and the flow is increased until the maximum capacity is attained [7]. Between these two bounding limits, surge and choke, exist islands of compressor efficiency whereby the maximum efficiency island can be found near the surge boundary, as is typical with fully radial impellers, or it can be found in the middle of the compressor operating region, as is typical with highly backswept impellers. If any of the design points are uncomfortably close to a region of instability, various other aerodynamic components from the turbocharger family should be evaluated to distance normal operation from regions of instability and/or stage inefficiency. If standard aerodynamic components fail to provide a suitable operating region the designer must evaluate other existing turbocharger frame sizes or consider custom component design. MODEL VALIDATION When running an analysis on an existing stage design it is often the case where experimental data has already been collected. When possible, all calculated results should be verified through comparison of stage mass flow, discharge pressure, and isentropic efficiency at a minimum. It has been the authors experience that if the design and analysis procedure is implemented correctly, any mismatch between empirical and computational data is due to misinterpretation of component geometry or boundary conditions. As figure 1 indicates, if the model data cannot be verified by empirical testing then thorough review of the model geometry and boundary conditions is advised. VERIFY AIR SPECIFICATION IS MET With a validated performance model, the stage designer moves forward ensuring all requirements of the air specification are met. With respect to the turbocharger compressor, primary concerns for the emissions-focused natural gas industry are air flow rate, compressor discharge pressure, turbine inlet pressure, efficiency, and engine control. The performance analysis identifies a stable and efficient


( z FB )( tb1 ) Cm1 = 0.8 1 + (10) sin 2 sin W r ( )( ) ( )( ) 1 1 1 1

2 2

Blade Loading: The blade loading loss model is used to account for blade-to-blade pressure gradients, which produce secondary flows and may lead to blade stall [3]. This loss mechanism is based on the relative average blade velocity difference between the pressure and suction vane surface as well as the relative velocity at the impeller leading edge.


W = (1/ 24 ) W1


Though loss models are necessary for performance prediction, designing around established best practice methods is essential when using a one-dimensional flow analysis tool. Some of the more commonplace parameters correlating best practice to expected stage performance are the flow coefficient and head coefficient. The flow coefficient is defined as [3]:

Q0 r22U 2


It may help to visualize Equation 12 as the ratio of inlet stagnation volumetric flow to a fictitious volumetric flow produced by a pipe the diameter of the impeller base with air traveling within at the linear velocity of the impeller discharge tip. The head coefficient ratios the total enthalpy rise required to achieve the stage discharge pressure through an ideal process against the square of the impeller discharge tip linear velocity. The head coefficient is defined as [3]:

H rev 2 U2


The flow and head coefficients have strong ties to specific speed which is documented in many turbomachinery texts to project achievable efficiencies based on best practice design criteria. Specific Speed can be correlated to the flow and head coefficient as shown by Equation 14 [3].

ns = 1.773

0.75 is


compressor operating region. Within this region, turbine capacity, for a given set of thermodynamic inlet and discharge conditions, dictates the compressor flow rate. The compressor discharge pressure generated is now a function of turbocharger speed, and therefore, the available power provided by the turbine and efficiency at which this power is utilized. Most reciprocating engines within the natural gas industry use turbocharger compressor discharge pressure to bias either fuel injection pressure, fuel injection duration, or both. The purpose is to limit the fuel entering the combustion chamber based on combustion air availability. This prevents exceeding either the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio or a leaner limit imposed for emission reduction reasons. The turbocharger compressor reaches a maximum pressure ratio based on available exhaust energy and overall turbocharger efficiency. If this occurs, any decrease in compressor inlet pressure or any increase in compressor inlet temperature causes a reduction in available combustion air, and therefore, a reduction in unit brake horsepower. Hence, it is necessary to ensure this maximum is not reached during normal engine operation. Reaching this maximum is avoided by designing the turbocharger to operate at a higher efficiency level than that required by the air specification design points. ACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE PARAMETERS The final step of the compressor analysis is to ensure all individual components are conforming to best practice design criteria. Evaluation of specific performance parameters ensures that aerodynamic components are optimally matched to each other and the flow requirements. The inducer stall and tip recirculation parameter are commonly used to assess impeller performance. The inducer stall parameter ratios the impeller inlet suction surface relative velocity to the throat relative velocity [3],

The coefficient of pressure recovery is defined as [5]:

p4 p3 p03 p3


The volute sizing parameter is a primary design control for the compressor volute. The ideal scroll or volute design conserves angular momentum. The sizing parameter is defined as:

r5CU 5 r6C6


In all, while running a mean-line analysis, GTSI utilizes 61 parameters, loss coefficients, and efficiencies combined for the impeller, 59 for the diffuser, and 13 for the volute to assess and improve on performance. For further reading material and indepth explanation of these and other performance parameters see references Aungier [3], Japikse [5], and Cumpsty [6]. SUMMARY In summary, the air specification provides the necessary energy balance dictating required turbocharger efficiencies, combustion airflow rate and air density. This data immediately gives the designer a general idea of which turbocharger frame size and/or family to begin analyzing. Combining the aerodynamic component geometry with operating conditions, the performance model is run. The turbocharger compressor discharge pressure is a result of work-input calculations with total pressure loss models imposed. These loss models represent the pressure losses throughout the impeller and diffusion system. The net required power to drive the compressor is a product of the total work input (accounting for parasitic losses) and compressor mass flow rate. Establishing a safe and efficient operating region is paramount to the sizing process. Defining the turbocharger compressor operating region identifies the breadth of stage flow and pressure ratio capability. This data also illustrates compressor surge margin, choke margin, basic operational stability and compressor efficiency. When possible it is always prudent to validate calculated predictions of the compressor stage performance to a feasible extent. Final review of the stage design assesses whether the stage meets all requirements set forth in the air specification. This verification typically includes air flow rate, discharge pressure, stage efficiency, and ensures the turbocharger maximum flow and head capability exceeds that required under least favorable operating conditions. Provided all air specification requirements are met, the final step reviews best practice performance parameters such as inducer stall, impeller tip recirculation, diffuser vane blade loading, pressure recovery, and volute sizing. The known limits of these parameters guide the turbomachinery designer for optimal matching of the aerodynamic components providing a high level of efficient operation.

W1s / Wth


The impeller tip recirculation parameter ratios the maximum suction surface velocity to the relative impeller discharge velocity, it is defined as [3]:

Wmax / W2


For vaned diffusers, blade loading and the coefficient of pressure recovery represent strong indices of performance. Blade loading is defined as [3]:

2 ( r3CU 3 r4CU 4 ) ( z )( LB )( C3 C4 )


This concludes the turbocharger compressor analysis. The design methodology is then repeated for the turbine concluding with an iterative turbocharger power balance. The turbine performance analysis will be outlined within Part 2 of this document. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author and Globe Turbocharger Specialties extend special thanks and recognition to Ronald H. Aungier, Nick DOrsi and Chip Hobson for their continued counsel and support implementing these analysis tools. REFERENCES [1] Nunn R. H., Intermediate Fluid Mechanics, Hemisphere Publishing Corporation, New York, 1989 [2] CFX-TASCflow, Theory Documentation Version 2.12, Advanced Scientific Computing Ltd, 2002 Aungier, R. H., Centrifugal Compressors A Strategy for Aerodynamic Design and Analysis, ASME Press, New York, 2000 Schlichting, H., Boundary-Layer Theory, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1968 6th Ed.,




Japikse, David, Centrifugal Compressor Design and Performance, Concepts ETI, Inc, Vermont, 1996 Cumpsty, N.A., Compressor aerodynamics, Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar FL, 2004 ASME, Performance Test Code on Compressors and Exhausters PTC 10-1997, ASME, 1998