Variable geometry turbines are more and more widely used in diesel engines to meet the requirements of the stringent emission standards. The VGTs mostly operate at off-design conditions. At highly off-design conditions, there exist complex secondary flow structures and severe flow separation in the rotor passage, which deteriorate the turbine performance largely.

The influence of rotor blade leading edge geometries on the VGT performance was studied by CFD simulations. The blade angle distribution along the leading edge was varied while keeping the radial-fiber rotor construction. The effects of inlet sweep angle distribution and lean angle of the blade leading edge on the turbine flow fields and performance were investigated under different operating conditions.

Results show that the turbine with backswept leading edge has better performance at low U/C, while the turbine with forward swept leading edge has a higher efficiency under high flow rate conditions. With the same sweep angle distribution, the leading edge lean affects the flow fields in the rotor passage as well as the turbine performance significantly. The influence of blade lean on the turbine performance varies according to different swept blading and operating conditions.

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