Abstract :

The increasing demands for low-fuel, highly efficient vehicles with low CO2 emissions have forced the auto-manufacturing industry and other researchers to continuously seek for innovative ways of improving engine performance and passenger comfort without sacrificing safety and increasing operational costs of vehicles. This study, which represents such innovative efforts, employed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to analyze the flow variables of fluids flowing through a radial turbine, and the dynamic characteristics of the fluid within the turbine. The results obtained indicate that a radial turbine can be used to harvest and convert the waste exhaust gas energy from the internal combustion (IC) engine into useful work, as about 70% of exhaust gas energy was extracted with an isentropic efficiency of 84%.Under ideal operational situations, 59.77 kW of electric power can be produced by the electric generator coupled to the turbine. The study results also show that it is technically possible to provide a separate power source for engine accessories such as water and oil pumps, air conditioner compressors, cooling fans, and alternators in an automobile by using a radial turbine to harness the exhaust gas energy and convert it into useful work for the generation of electricity. This can be achieved by installing a radial flow turbine in the exhaust manifold of an IC engine of an automobile and coupling an electricity generator to the radial turbine shaft. This will serve as a good alternative to the use of expensive superchargers for extra energy requirements in automobiles for example in order to satisfy the energy demands for the automobile's accessories, for improved passenger comfort, with the possible reduction in the cost of fuel and impact of gas emissions to the environment together with a significant improvement in the automobile engine service life.