This paper presents a CFD-based numerical analysis on the potential benefits of non-radial blading turbine for low speed-low pressure applications. Electric turbocompounding is a waste heat recovery technology consisting of a turbine coupled to a generator that transforms the energy left over in the engine exhaust gases, which is typically found at low pressure, into electricity. Turbines designed to operate at low specific speed are ideal for these applications since the peak efficiency occurs at lower pressure ratios than conventional high speed turbines. The baseline design consisted of a vaneless radial fibre turbine, operating at 1.2 pressure ratio and 28,000rpm. Experimental low temperature tests were carried out with the baseline radial blading turbine at nominal, lower and higher pressure ratio operating conditions to validate numerical simulations. The baseline turbine incidence angle effect was studied and positive inlet blade angle impact was assessed in the current paper. Four different turbine rotor designs of 20, 30, 40 and 50° of positive inlet blade angle are presented, with the aim to reduce the losses associated to positive incidence, specially at midspan. The volute domain was included in all CFD calculations to take into account the volute-rotor interactions. The results obtained from numerical simulations of the modified designs were compared with those from the baseline turbine rotor at design and off-design conditions. Total-to-static efficiency improved in all the non-radial blading designs at all operating points considered, by maximum of 1.5% at design conditions and 5% at off-design conditions, particularly at low pressure ratio. As non-radial fibre blading may be susceptible to high centrifugal and thermal stresses, a structural analysis was performed to assess the feasibility of each design. Most of non-radial blading designs showed acceptable levels of stress and deformation.

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