Due to recent emission regulations, the use of turbochargers for force induction of internal combustion engines has increased. Actually, the trend in diesel engines is to downsize the engine by use of turbochargers that operate at higher pressure ratio. Unfortunately, increasing the rotational speed tends to reduce the turbocharger radial compressor range of operation which is limited at low mass flow rate by the occurrence of surge.
In order to extent the operability of turbochargers, compressor housings can be equipped with a passive surge control device also known as ported shroud. This specific casing treatment has been demonstrated to enhance surge margin with minor negative impact on the compressor efficiency. However, the actual working mechanisms of the bypass system remain not well understood. In order to optimize the design of the ported shroud, it is then crucial to identify the dynamic flow changes induced by the implementation of the device to control instabilities.
Experimental methods were used to assess the development of instabilities from stable, stall and eventually surge regimes of a ported shroud centrifugal compressor. Systematic comparison was conducted with the same compressor design without ported shroud. Hence, the full pressure dynamic survey of both compressors’ performance characteristics converged toward two different and probably interrelated driving mechanisms to the development and/or propagation of unsteadiness within each compressor. One related the pressure disturbances at the compressor inlet, and notably the more apparent development of perturbations in the non-ported compressor impeller, whereas the other was attributed to the pressure distortions induced by the presence of the tongue in the asymmetric design of the compressor volute.
Specific points of operation were selected to carry out planar flow measurements. At normal working, both standard and stereoscopic particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) measurements were performed to calculate the instantaneous and mean velocity fields at the inlet of the compressor. At incipient and full surge, phase-locked PIV measurements were added. In this work, satisfying characterization of the compressor inlet flow instabilities was obtained at different operational speeds. Combining transient pressure data and PIV measurements, the time evolution of the complex flow patterns occurring at surge was reconstructed and a better insight into the bypass mechanisms was achieved.