Variable Geometry Turbocharger Design

Redesigning the internal components of a variable geometry turbocharger was a challenging but enjoyable project involving a multi-disciplinary team. You can check out our entry in the 2014 MiB design exhibition here and our award winning experience at another exhibition here.

Project Origins and Motivation

In September 2014 I was part of a newly formed team of final year Masters students that were embarking on their major final year project, we chose to redesign the nozzle of a variable geometry turbocharger. A nozzle is a device that channels air coming into a turbine, and directs it onto the rotor, to extract the maximum amount of energy from the flow.

The motivations are clear; as emissions legislation around the world is tightened in the face of global warming, internal combustion engine manufacturers have to produce increasingly fuel efficient engines. The key enabler for this is turbocharging, it allows more power to be squeezed from an engine, which means they can be made much smaller for the same power output. A smaller engine is not only lighter, but it burns less fuel and produces less harmful pollutant gases and particulates.

Variable Geometry Turbocharging (VGT)

A variable geometry turbocharger, as the name suggests, has movable parts which can change the flow area dependant on the engine speed to optimise performance to any given condition and therefore offering improved performance and fuel savings.

As a team of 5, we had engineers responsible for CAD, stress analysis, computational fluid dynamics, materials/manufacturing and testing. I was responsible for fluid flow and therefore conducted simulations in CFD (computational fluid dynamics) although my role also involved a significant amount of CAD work and a contribution to the testing plan. I was lucky to be part of a fantastic team, and we were rewarded with the 2014 Jaguar Land Rover Prize for Innovation in Engineering, Sustainability and Design Aesthetics.

Mechanical Design Service

The project involved a full design process; from research through the concept and design stage, to testing and analysis before finally manufacturing and testing. All of these areas are service I can offer to you and your project or invention.

Whether you are looking for stress analysis on a part, theoretical performance calculations for an engine, or design for manufacture and 3D printing; I’m your guy.

Featured 3D Printing Item3D Printed Turbocharger Components

Featured Mechanical Design ItemVariable Geometry Turbocharger Design