Flow measurements related to gas exchange applications

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: This thesis deals with flow measuring techniques applied to steady and pulsating gas flows relevant to gas exchange systems for internal combustion engines. Gas flows in such environments are complex, i.e. they are inhomogeneous, three-dimensional, unsteady, non-isothermal and exhibit significant density changes. While a variety of flow metering devices are available and have been devised for such flow conditions, the performance of these flow metersis to a large extent undocumented when a strongly pulsatile motion is superposed on the already complex flow field. Nonetheless, gas flow meters are commonly applied in such environments, e.g. in the measurement of the air flow to the engine or the amount of exhaust gas recirculation. The aim of the present thesis is therefore to understand and assess, and if possible to improve the performance of various flow meters under highly pulsatile conditions as well as demonstrating the use of a new type of flow meter for measurements of the pulsating mass flow upstream and downstream the turbine of a turbocharger.The thesis can be subdivided into three parts. The first one assesses the flow quality of a newly developed flow rig, designed for measurements of steady and pulsating air flow at flow rates and pulse frequencies typically found in the gas exchange system of cars and smaller trucks. Flow rates and pulsation frequencies achieved and measured range up to about 200 g/s and 80 Hz, respectively. The time-resolved mass flux and stagnation temperature under both steady and pulsating conditions were characterized by means of a combined hot/cold-wire probe which is part of a newly developed automated measurement module. This rig and measurement module were used to create a unique data base with well-defined boundary conditions to be used for the validation of numerical simulations, but in particular, to assess the performance of various flow meters.In the second part a novel vortex flow meter that can measure the timedependent flow rate using wavelet analysis has been invented, verified and extensively tested under various industrially relevant conditions. The newly developed technique was used to provide unique turbine maps under pulsatile conditions through time-resolved and simultaneous measurements of mass flow, temperature and pressure upstream and downstream the turbine. Results confirm that the quasi-steady assumption is invalid for the turbine considered as a whole.In the third and last part of the thesis, two basic fundamental questions that arose during the course of hot/cold-wire measurements in the aforementioned high speed flows have been addressed, namely to assess which temperature a cold-wire measures or to which a hot-wire is exposed to in high speed flows as well as whether the hot-wire measures the product of velocity and density or total density. Hot/cold-wire measurements in a nozzle have been performed to test various hypothesis and results show that the recovery temperature as well as the product of velocity and stagnation density are measured.