The flow in the intake manifold of a downsized internal combustion engine has become more unsteady due to the reduction of cylinder number and increasing boosting level. The turbocharger compressor is thus imposed by an unsteady backpressure when matched with an engine. It has been experimentally confirmed that the compressor performance is affected when exposed to pulsating backpressure. In order to enhance compressor stability and achieve better turbo-engine matching, it is necessary to understand behaviors of compressor at pulsating backpressure conditions. In this study, the performance of compressor exposed to pulsating backpressure is experimentally studied on the compressor test rig located in Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The results show that compressor performance with pulsating backpressure is notably different from the one with constant backpressure. Hysteresis loops which encapsulate the steady performance are generated at pulsating backpressure conditions due to filling-emptying effect. The mass flow rate, pulse frequency and compressor rotational speed all have evident influence on dynamic behaviors of the compressor. As the mass flow rate and rotational speed increase, hysteresis loops are enlarged and the unsteady behaviors are enhanced. The influence of pulsating backpressure on the compressor surge margin is analyzed in detail. Results demonstrate that the stable operation range is evidently influenced by the pulsating backpressure. Particularly, the mass flow rate of surge is postponed by 15.1% compared with the corresponding constant backpressure condition. Fast Fourier Transform method (FFT) is applied to identify the initiation of surge. The frequency domain analysis proves that the pulsating backpressure has little influence on the frequency of surge, but the strength of surge is alleviated indicated by the magnitude of fluctuations. The study provides an insight on the influence of pulsating backpressure on the centrifugal compressor, which can benefit the design methodology of compressor as well as turbo-engine matching.

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