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PAPER SERIES 1999-01-0908

Turbocharger Modeling for Automotive

Control Applications
Paul Moraal
Ford Forschungszentrum Aachen

Ilya Kolmanovsky
Ford Research Laboratories

Reprinted From: SI Engine Modeling


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Turbocharger Modeling for Automotive Control Applications

Paul Moraal
Ford Forschungszentrum Aachen

Ilya Kolmanovsky
Ford Research Laboratories

Copyright © 1999 Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.

ABSTRACT engine models because the standard linear interpolation

routine is not continuously differentiable, sometimes lead-
Dynamic simulation models of turbocharged Diesel and ing to apparent discontinuities in simulations. Further-
gasoline engines are increasingly being used for design more, and more seriously, this type of model does not
and initial testing of engine control strategies. The turbo- adequately handle operating conditions outside of the
charger submodel is a critical part of the overall model, mapped data range, for example at very low turbocharger
but its control-oriented modeling has received limited rotational speeds.
attention thus far. Turbocharger performance maps are
While engine mapping usually covers the entire operating
typically supplied in table form, however, for inclusion into
range, the situation for the turbocharger unit is different.
engine simulation models this form is not well suited.
Generally, it is possible to obtain the performance charac-
Standard table interpolation routines are not continuously
teristics from the supplier. However, the turbocharger
differentiable, extrapolation is unreliable and the table
characteristics are typically only mapped for higher turbo
representation is not compact. This paper presents an
speeds (typically 90000 RPM and up) and pressure
overview of curve fitting methods for compressor and tur-
ratios, whereas the operating range on the engine ex-
bine characteristics overcoming these problems. We
include some background on compressor and turbine
modeling, limitations to experimental mapping of turbo- Compressor map
Measured engine data
chargers, as well as the implications of the compressor 2.6
model choice on the overall engine model stiffness and
simulation times. 2.4

The emphasis in this paper is on compressor flow rate 2.2

pressure ratio

modeling, since this is both a very challenging problem 2

as well as a crucial part of the overall engine model. For 180000
the compressor, four different methods, including neural 1.8
networks, are presented and tested on three different
1.6 160000
compressors in terms of curve fitting accuracy, model
complexity, genericity and extrapolation capabilities. 1.4 140000
Curve fitting methods for turbine characteristics are pre- 120000
sented for both a wastegated and a variable geometry
turbine. 1
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35
Scaled compressor flow parameter
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Figure 1. Typical compressor map. Usually, such a
compressor map shows constant speedlines
Dynamic simulation models of turbocharged Diesel and and constant isentropic efficiency lines. Here,
gasoline engines are increasingly being used for design we have omitted the efficiency lines and
and initial testing of engine control strategies. The turbo- instead superimposed the compressor flow
charger submodel is a critical part of the overall model, rate determined from engine mapping data. It
but its control-oriented modeling has received limited is readily apparent that the compressor
attention thus far. A standard approach still appears to be mapping data does not cover the operating
to include the turbocharger performance data in the form range of the compressor on the engine. In
of lookup tables directly into the model [6], [12]. However, particular, low speed and low pressure ratio
this form is not ideally suited for use in control-oriented data are lacking.

tends down to 10000 RPM shaft speed and pressure HEAT TRANSFER EFFECTS
ratios close to unity. This is illustrated in Figure 1. As a
result, standard interpolation methods (polynomial A second problem associated with the low speed region
regression, look-up tables) generally fail to produce rea- of the maps is caused by the heat conduction from the
sonable results outside of the region where experimental hot lubricating oil to the cool compressor end. At higher
data is available. In fact, because of the nonlinear nature speeds, the conduction can reverse and go from the hot
of the compressor and turbine characteristics even inter- air to the lubricating oil. This heat added to the air is mea-
polation through lookup tables has been found to cause sured by the temperature sensors measuring the temper-
unacceptable performance in simulations. ature rise of the air and used to calculate the work input
In this paper we will present a number of different curve and hence the efficiency of the compressor and the effi-
fitting methods for turbochargers which allow a more ciency of the turbine. It makes the compressor look worse
compact implementation of the turbocharger submodel. because apparently more turbine work is required than is
Special emphasis will be on the abilities of the different really used. The same effect makes the turbine look bet-
methods to extrapolate the performance characteristics ter. This problem is worst at low speeds because of the
into regions which are usually not mapped, but which are higher temperature differences. With relatively large
encountered during normal operation of the engine. First areas, higher temperature drops and low flow rates, the
we'll provide some insight into the limitations of experi- backplate and compressor housing are relatively efficient
heat exchangers. This effect can be seen on the com-
mental turbocharger mapping.
pressor maps which all show efficiency collapsing at low
pressure ratios. This is not true aero performance. On the
turbine maps, the opposite effect of the turbine looking
TURBOCHARGER MAPPING better than it really is is apparent. Again this is not true
aerodynamic performance. Lower speeds would show
Whenever the choice is given, one should obviously aim
the heat transfer effect as more extreme. This means that
for extending the range of available experimental data,
the predicted transient performance would be in error if
rather than trying to predict/extrapolate the behavior out-
the maps were used without correction because the tur-
side of the given range (unless good models of the
bine work to drive the compressor is overestimated and
underlying physics are available, in which case a few
more work is actually available to accelerate the rotor.
experimentally measured data points may suffice to char-
The heat transfer problem is not easily overcome without
acterize a large operating region and experimental devel-
separate turbine, bearing and compressor dynamome-
opment time can thus be reduced). With regard to
ters. When these are in use, the compressor mapping
extending the range of experimental mapping of turbo-
method could be adjusted to control the temperature dif-
charger units on a flow bench (in particular, lower turbine
ferences driving the heat transfer so that it could be
speeds and lower mass flow rates), two problems arise,
largely eliminated. However, different oil temperatures
which would require significant effort to work around. The
may require different bearings to be used and either of
following is an explanation provided by David Flaxington
these two changes would affect the turbine maps. This is
[2], at the time working at Allied Signal - Garrett.
a problem the turbocharger manufacturers are well aware
of, but simple solutions presently don't appear to be avail-

The flow through the compressor (the same arguments COMPRESSOR

hold for the turbine) is usually measured by determining
the differential pressure across a properly sized orifice BACKGROUND – The rotating impeller of a centrifugal
placed in the flow path, and using Bernoulli's law, assum- compressor imparts a high velocity to the air. The air is
ing incompressible flow (constant density), to determine then decelerated in a diffuser with a consequent rise in
the flow rate [3]. This gives a smooth variation of com- static pressure. Neglecting heat losses, the power, P,
pressor characteristics as the flow rate is varied. One can required to drive the compressor can be related to the
map at lower speeds if smaller orifice plates and nozzles mass flow rate through the compressor, W, and the total
are used to measure the lower flows, but this produces a enthalpy change across the compressor from the first law
problem. As the flow rate is reduced, the accuracy of the of thermodynamics as
readings with any one measuring device reduces.
Changing at some point to another measuring device
sized for lower flow rates then causes a step change in
the mass flow readings as the accuracy of the measure- Assuming constant specific heat coefficients, the power
ment is again improved. is given by
With a vast set of orifice plates and nozzles this problem
could be circumvented. However, this is not standard (2)
practice and improvements are largely dependant upon The subscripts 01 and 02 refer to the stagnation condi-
the goodwill of the supplier. tions at the compressor inlet and outlet, respectively. If cp

is specified in kJ/kg/K, W in kg/sec and T01,T02 are in K through the compressor [13]. Thus, from equation (10)
then units of P are kW. For an isentropic process the tem- we obtain
perature ratio can be related to the pressure ratio using
the relation, (11)

Cθ2 U2
To account for the fact that the compression process is
not isentropic, the compressor isentropic efficiency, 0 ≤
ηc,is ≤ 1, is introduced and defined as the ratio of theoret-
ical (isentropic) temperature rise and actual temperature

Figure 2. Generic compressor flow velocity diagram at

impeller tip, indicating blade tip velocity U2, air
flow absolute velocity C2 , and the tangential
Combining equations (3) and (4), component of the air leaving the compressor,

If the dependence of the slip factor on the mass flow rate

(5) is neglected, equations (7) and (11) suggest that, ideally
(i.e. if ∆h = ∆hideal), the pressure increase across the
compressor should only be a function of the turbocharger
speed Ntc. However, this is not the case because of the
losses that do depend on the mass flow rate, W. The
actual enthalpy change across the compressor is larger
than ∆hideal and the ratio is precisely the compressor effi-
An insight into various terms comprising equation (6) can ciency:
be obtained by considering the enthalpy change across
the compressor, ∆h. From equations (1) and (6), we (12)
obtain the following relation between enthalpy change
and pressure risse across the compressor: There are several sources of losses that can be broadly
categorized as (1) incidence losses in the impeller and
diffuser caused by flow instantaneously changing direc-
tion to comply with geometry, (2) friction losses in impel-
(7) ler, diffuser and collector (e.g. due to viscous drag on the
walls), (3) clearance losses in the impeller, (4) losses in
Assuming that there are no losses (i.e. in the ideal case),
the impeller due to the backflow and several others, see
∆h can be estimated from Euler's equation for turboma-
[13]. Accounting for these losses individually with phys-
chinery. Consider a compressor with a radial vaned
ics-based sub-models may be very difficult. Further-
impeller, no backsweep and no inlet pre-whirl. Then [13],
more, it is not clear how to validate the individual sub-
models from the experimental data. Consequently, one
(8) can view their use as simply a way of introducing a partic-
where U2 is the velocity of the impeller at the impeller tip, ular parametrization with multiple parameters to be
Cθ2 is the tangential component of the air velocity leaving regressed from compressor performance maps. Simpler
the impeller, while U1, is the velocity of the impeller at the expressions can potentially be generated by only partially
impeller entry (where air enters the impeller), and Cθ1 restricting ourselves to the structure suggested by the
the tangential component of the air velocity entering the physics based models. This is, basically, the curve fitting
impeller (see Figure 2 for a velocity diagram). The no inlet approach pursued in this paper.
pre-whirl assumption implies that Cθ2 = 0 and The turbocharger manufacturer specifies the perfor-
mance characteristics in terms of the mass flow rate and
(9) isentropic efficiency for varying compressor speeds and
pressure ratios on a flow stand and supplies the informa-
The ratio
tion as performance maps in table form. It is conven-
tional to specify the performance maps in terms of scaled
(10) mass flow rate parameter, φ, and compressor rotational
is known as the slip factor and depends, for example, on speed parameter, , that are defined as
blade spacing, backsweep angle, and mass flow rate

or the pressure ratio across the compressor can be mod-
eled as a function of compressor flow Wc and turbine
speed Ntc:
where Ntc denotes the compressor rotational speed
(rpm). The use of the scaled parameters eliminates the (17)
dependence of the performance maps on inlet condi-
tions (Tin and pin). For the remainder of this section, we When viewing the compressor model in isolation, Model
will assume that the inlet and outlet velocities for the II appears to be the better choice:
compressor are small enough to ignore the difference • In the areas where the speedlines are almost hori-
between static and stagnation pressure and temperature. zontal,coinciding with a large part of the engine oper-
The dependencies are ating regime, as illustrated in Figure 1, this model is
less sensitive to input or modeling errors. In Model I,
lines of constant pressure ratio intersect the speed-
(14) lines with a very small angle, resulting in high sensi-
tivity of Wc for small changes in pressure ratio pout/
(15) pin.
• Unlike Model II, Model I cannot be easily incorpo-
Figure 1 shows several speedlines (lines of stable operat- rated into a dynamic model that exhibits surge
ing points of pressure ratio versus mass flow parameter behavior (as will be made clear below).
for constant speeds) for a typical compressor. For each
speedline, there are two limits to the flow range. The However, when the compressor model is implemented as
upper limit is due to choking, when the flow reaches the part of an engine model, other aspects need to be taken
velocity of sound at some cross-section. In this regime no into account.
further flow increase can be obtained by reducing the
compressor outlet pressure and the speedline slope SENSITIVITY – When the compressor model is con-
becomes infinite. The lower limit is due to a dangerous nected to the engine model, the equilibrium compressor
instability known as surge [13]. During surging a noisy flow and boost pressure levels are determined from an
and often violent flow process can occur causing cycle equilibrium of the engine pumping rate and the compres-
periods of backflow through the whole compressor and sor flow map. The engine pumping is given by the follow-
the installation downstream the compressor. The specific ing equation:
value of φ at which surge occurs depends not only on the
compressor characteristics but also on the properties of
the installation downstream of the compressor. Typically, (18)
this value is where the slope of the speedline is zero or
slightly positive. The left-hand extremities of the speed- where, for fixed fueling rate, the volumetric efficiency ηvol
lines may be joined up to form what is known as the and engine speed N are only weak functions of boost
surge line. When the turbocharger compressor is con- pressure pi and compressor flow Wc. The subscript i
nected to an engine intake manifold, the volume of the refers to intake manifold conditions. For fixed engine
manifold is often not sufficient to damp out the pressure speed, the term ηvol Vd N/(120 R Ti) is sometimes
fluctuations arising from periodic suction strokes of the referred to as engine pumping constant, and the pumping
pistons. As a result, even though the mean value of φ map is a linear function of intake manifold pressure.
may lie to the right of a surge line obtained in a steady- Superimposing the engine pumping map for various val-
state flow stand, the minimum mass flow rate (at the peak ues of the engine pumping constant onto the compressor
of the pulse) may cause surge to develop. Other instabili- map (Figure 3) illustrates that the sensitivity issue has
ties that can develop during operation of a centrifugal changed significantly: the engine operating points are
compressor include stalls. See [13] for a discussion of determined by the intersection of the two sets of lines.
inducer stalls, impeller stalls and rotating stalls. The angle of intersection is never close to zero, but rather
around 60-90 degrees, indicating that the sensitivity to
CURVE FITTING OF COMPRESSOR MASS compressor modeling error is almost the same for Mod-
FLOW els I and II. Of course, this analysis is only correct for
steady-state operating points. During transients the
For the mathematical representation of the compressor engine operating trajectory behaves differently with
flow characteristics, there are two options. The flow respect to the compressor speed lines due to the fact that
through the compressor can be expressed as a function the pressure ratio changes much faster than the com-
of pressure ratio pout/pin and turbine shaft speed Ntc pressor flow rate.


earized system was found to be between -0.5 and -280.
The additional state introduced an eigenvalue of -4100 to
the system. The resulting increase in simulation time by a
factor of 3 - 4 may be unacceptable. However, if the con-
necting tube between compressor and intake manifold is
longer (this may be required for packaging of the inter-
cooler, for example), say, l=100cm, the additional state
introduces an eigenvalue of -450 to the system. In this
latter case, the simulation time will not be significantly
In the remainder of the section we'll describe four differ-
ent curve fitting techniques for the flow characteristics of
Figure 3. Generic compressor speed lines and engine a radial compressor. Alternative approaches have been
pumping map (for fixed engine speeds). The reported in [10].
intersections of the two sets of lines
determine engine operating equilibria Jensen & Kristensen Method (5) – In [5], Jensen & Kris-
tensen present a simplification of a model due to Winkler
MODEL STIFFNESS – Model I can easily be incorpo- [14]. The model uses the dimensionless head parameter
rated into a mean value engine model with ambient pres- Ψ, equivalent to the slip factor defined in equation [10]:
sure pamb as (constant) input and intake manifold
pressure pi as state variable. The intake manifold dynam-
ics are modeled by

(19) (23)
where the implicit assumptions of constant temperature where Uc is the compressor blade tip speed
and absence of EGR are without loss of generality. Using
Model I, the compressor flow Wc is simply given by
The normalized compressor flow rate Φ is defined by
Using Model II, an additional state variable must be intro-
duced based on the momentum equation for the air mass
mc in the tube connecting the compressor outlet and the (25)
intake manifold. With pc denoting the compressor outlet and the inlet Mach number M introduced by
pressure, and A and l representing the cross sectional
area and length respectively of the connecting tube, the
momentum equation is given by
The head parameter Ψ and compressor efficiency ηc are
(21) then expressed as functions of Φ and M in the following
hence way:

(22) (27)
Depending on the geometry of the intake assembly, the
addition of this state variable can increase the model stiff-
ness considerably. Model stiffness refers to the ratio of
smallest to largest eigenvalue of the linearization around (28)
a given operating point, or, equivalently, to the difference
of time scales in the system’s dynamics. Dynamic models The coefficients k and a are determined through a least
for the complete engine dynamics can be found in, e.g., squares fit on experimental data. Since equation (27) is
[5]-[8]. Using typical values for A and l, say A=50cm2 and invertible, this compressor model is also capable of
l=20cm, at a nominal operating point (fuel=1.5 kg/hr, describing the compressor flow as a function of pressure
load=40Nm, no EGR), the range of eigenvalues of the lin- ratio (Model I) by

Depending on the model chosen, the output is then given

or by
This model is expressed in the form of Model II and can-
not easily be inverted to a Model I form. Whatever finite
period of time is needed for determining the sign of the
square root term in the inversion (during which the sign
(31) may be incorrect, and if a globally stable sign detection
algorithm can be found at all) will more than likely be
Due to the particular choice of basis functions, namely unacceptable in dynamic simulations.
rational polynomials, this method is effective in describing
both the flat speedlines at low flow rates, as well as the Zero Slope Line method (ZSLM) – Another model for the
almost vertical speedlines at high compressor speeds. compressor flow map was developed in an internal publi-
The functional form (27) has a singularity at Φ=k3. Only cation [7]. It describes the compressor flow parameter, φ,
the curve to the left of this asymptote is used. During sim- as a function of pressure ratio, r, and speed parameter,
ulations, care must be taken to avoid crossing this singu- (Model I). First, the curve connecting the maximum
larity during the numerical integration. mass flows on each speedline (also referred to as the
Even though the model is not entirely physics-based, zero-slope line) is characterized by a quadratic in :
equation (31) shows that extrapolation to low compressor
speeds and low mass flow rates causes the resulting
pressure ratio to decrease continuously to unity for zero
mass flow, which is exactly what one would expect to (34)
happen physically. The only constraint on the curve fitting
where rp,top are the values of the pressure ratio corre-
parameters is that k3>0 for all compressor speeds.
sponding to φtop. Then, in order to capture the steep
slope of the speedlines near the choke limit, the speed-
Mueller method – In his Master's Thesis [8], Martin
lines to the right of the zero-slope line are modeled as
Mueller from DTU derives a compressor model from first
principles, incorporating the underlying physical princi-
ples as well as the compressor assembly geometry. The
models thus derived can predict the compressor charac-
teristics surprisingly well. However, once experimental
data is available, still better accuracy can always be (35)
achieved by appropriate curve fitting.
for rp,< rp,top and are linearly extended to the left of the
Based on physical considerations, Mueller proposes to zero-slope line:
model Ψ as a quadratic function in Φ:

(32) (36)
This model is claimed to be generic, however, the param- where the parameter α is modeled as a constant, or as a
eters A, B, and C are known to be speed dependent and function of :
the way in which this speed dependence is modeled is
again a design choice. The obvious choice is to model A,
B, and C as linear or quadratic in Uc. However, Mueller (37)
observes that this choice does not lead to a generic
model because it fails to give satisfactory results for Neural networks – Neural networks are becoming
some of the compressor types under investigation. It increasingly popular for a wide range of applications,
turns out that, rather than fitting A, B, and C indepen- including curve fitting, system identification, etc. The use
dently, it is advantageous to exploit one more observa- of neural networks for representing turbocharger charac-
tion, namely that the curve connecting the maximum teristics is reported in [4], among others. However, even
mass flows Wc,top on each speedline is typically a qua- though neural networks are claimed to be universal func-
dratic function in Uc. This then leads to the following tion approximators, which they are in even a quite gen-
parametrization: eral sense, finding the right structure and coefficients
requires some amount of trial and error.

In [4], a network with one hidden layer and five neurons is zation method (also referred to as network training)
used to represent a compressor flow map in the form of needs to be computationally very efficient and have built-
model II, i.e., pressure ratio is fitted as a function of mass in mechanisms for escaping from local minima. Over the
flow and compressor rotational speed. A network with nu past couple of years, the issue of computational speed
inputs (nu=2 in this case), one hidden layer containing nn has improved significantly compared to the initial back-
neurons and ny outputs (ny=1 for now) would mathemat- propagation algorithms, which are a type of gradient
ically be represented by descent method. Commercially available software, such
as The Mathworks' Neural Network Toolbox [1], imple-
ment a number of different second order methods, such
as Levenberg-Marquardt, which are orders of magnitude
(38) faster than gradient descent based backpropagation
where b and W are coefficient vectors and matrices
respectively, and the function f is the neuron transfer The issue of global convergence on the other hand, has
function (basis function) typically of the form not been solved with the same level of success. The
crude method is simply to start the optimization many
times from different, semi-randomly generated initial con-
(39) ditions (knowledge about the output range allows one to
restrict some coefficients to a sensible range). However,
In general, such a network requires a total of this can be quite tedious. A large number of trials with 4
(nu+ny+1)*nn+ ny coefficients to be fitted. A network with and 5-node networks for the model I compressor map
2 inputs, 5 hidden neurons and 1 output would therefore revealed that about one out of ten times the resulting net-
have 21 parameters to be fitted, the same network with work starts to look acceptable, but a sufficiently accurate
two outputs would have 27 coefficients. Considering the fit was not obtained. A more systematic way of dealing
fact that a typical compressor map is specified by 25-40 with local minima was developed by Puskorias and Feld-
points, this is a large number of coefficients. Of course, if kamp [9] and, undoubtedly, more exist; however, a
one given network is used to fit a family of compressor review of the neural network literature is beyond the
maps, the ratio of data points to coefficients improves scope of this paper.
The conclusion is that for a generic compressor charac-
Here we have used a smaller network to fit the compres- teristics curve fitting method, neural networks are very
sor maps; in fact, both mass flow map and efficiency are well suited for models of type II, but appear not to be
represented in one single network with two inputs and suited for models of type I (or, at least, it is not straightfor-
two outputs. For a compressor map in the form of model ward to find the right structure and training procedure,
II, i.e., pressure ratio is fitted as a function of mass flow and significant manual modifications of the mapping data
and compressor rotational speed, 3 and 4-node net- are required).
works with 17 and 22 coefficients respectively gave
excellent results for the compressor pressure ratio (see CURVE FITTING RESULTS FOR THREE
Figure 7). The problem of fitting a compressor model of DIFFERENT COMPRESSORS
type I, i.e., compressor mass flow as a function of pres-
sure ratio and compressor speed, proved much more dif- In this section we present the curve fitting results on
ficult - practically impossible actually. Any combination of three compressors from two different manufacturers for
3-5 neurons and one or two hidden layers was tried up to the methods discussed sofar. The compressors are iden-
10 times, with initial coefficients generated in a partially tified here only as compressors 1,2, and 3. In Figures 4-
random way without success. The problem here is that 7, the curve fitting methods are applied to the compres-
the fit through the mapped data points may have to be sor flow map for three compressors used for engine dis-
less than optimal in order to get sensible extrapolation placements in the range from 1.1 to 2.4 liter. The data
results. This type of behavior is difficult to enforce in a supplied by the manufacturer is indicated by the solid
generic structure such as a neural network. Even the lines - the speedlines cover speeds in the range of 90 -
addition of "artificial" mapping points in the surge region 230 kRPM. Superimposed onto the manufacturer's data
and at low compressor speeds, or the deletion of the pos- are the results of the curve fits (dashed lines), extended
itive slope speedline segments was without success. down to very low turbine speeds (10kRPM, 30kRPM, and
Of course, with an increasing number of neurons and lay- 60kRPM) and pressure ratios or mass flows. The exten-
ers, the optimization problem to determine the best coef- sion of the maps gives an indication as to whether the
ficients increases in dimensionality and number of local curve fits produce sensible results in extrapolation. Espe-
extrema. This means that the optimization process will cially for lower turbine speeds, this is important, because
take longer, and at the same time, it may become more they represent operating conditions which are frequently
difficult to find a sufficiently good initialization because of encountered.
the larger number of local minima. Therefore, the optimi-

It can be noted that all methods yield quite similar results Compressor 1
for the lower speed lines of the supplied compressor 2.8 18
maps. Also, except for the neural network approach, each
method has difficulties describing the highest speed lines
for at least one of the given compressors. The extensions 2.4 16

into the surge region, i.e., extending the speed lines to

pressure ratio
the left, yield very different results depending on the
2 14
curve fitting method chosen. This was to be expected
since the methods of Jensen & Kristensen and ZSLM 1.8
require the speed lines to be strictly monotonic. However,
for use in mean value control oriented engine models,
any of the proposed extensions will work since they all 1.4 9 140000

provide bounded and continuously differentiable exten- 1.2 6


sions, and the surge region is expected to be entered 3

1 90000
only for very short periods during transients, if at all. 0 0.05 0.1 0.15
scaled mass flow parameter
0.2 0.25 0.3

Finally, Mueller's method applied to compressors 2 and 3 mean eror 0.021426%, std 0.059537

reveals some slight difficulties with the extension to very

low speed lines: the extrapolated speed lines for 30
kRPM in the second and third fit in Figure 5 are obviously Compressor 2
incorrect. 20

In order to validate the extrapolation results to the lower
speed lines, all the compressor fits were repeated and 18
supplied with the manufacturer's data excluding the low-
est speed line. All methods showed acceptable results for

pressure ratio
the extrapolated lowest speedline. In fact, the methods by 200000
Jensen & Kristensen and Mueller yielded almost identical 2 14
results compared to the fits where all the original data 180000
were used for curve fitting. 12
1.5 10
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3
scaled mass flow parameter
One method for describing the compressor isentropic mean eror -0.217840%, std 0.094753
efficiency was already given in equation (28). It models
the efficiency as a quadratic function of the compressor
flow rate, with coefficients depending on the speed Compressor 3
parameter. For compressor 1, the corresponding effi- 23
ciency fit is shown in Figure (8)
Alternatively, if the compressor flow is represented using 3
a neural network, the network can be augmented with a
pressure ratio

second output (and additional nodes if necessary) and

be retrained to provide an approximation for the isen- 230000
tropic efficiency as well as for the mass flow rate. This 210000
was actually already done for the neural network curvefits 2 15
shown in Figure (7). For compressor 1, the correspond- 13
ing efficiency fit is shown in Figure (9) 1.5 11 150000
9 130000
6 110000
3 90000
1 1
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25
scaled mass flow parameter
mean eror 1.664988%, std 0.097928

Figure 4. Curve fits for three different compressors

using method proposed by Jensen &
Kristensen [5].

Compressor 1 Compressor 1

2.8 compressor data 2.8 compressor data

curve fit curve fit
2.6 2.6 zero slope line

2.4 2.4
pressure ratio

pressure ratio
2.2 2.2

2 2
180000 18 180000
1.8 1.8

1.6 1.6
12 160000 160000

1.4 9 140000 1.4 140000

6 120000 120000
1.2 1.2
1 90000 14 1 3 6 900009 12 14 16 18
1 1
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3
scaled mass flow parameter scaled mass flow parameter
mean eror 0.053687%, std 0.058212 mean error = -4.73764 % , std = 0.0023737

Compressor 2
Compressor 2
compressor data
compressor data 3 curve fit
curve fit zero slope line


pressure ratio
pressure ratio

20 2
12 160000 1.5
18 140000
1.5 10
140000 120000
120000 100000
3 100000 1 3 6 10 12 14 16 18 20
16 1
14 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3
1 scaled mass flow parameter
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3
scaled mass flow parameter mean error = -5.47799 % , std = 0.0031010
mean eror 0.041969%, std 0.060226

Compressor 3
Compressor 3
3.5 compressor data
3.5 compressor data curve fit
curve fit zero slope line

pressure ratio
pressure ratio

2.5 230000
2.5 230000

210000 23 2
2 190000
21 170000
1.5 150000
1.5 11 150000 19
9 130000
130000 110000
6 110000 17 90000
3 90000
13 1 1 3 6 9 11 13 15
23 17
1 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25
0 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.2 scaled mass flow parameter
scaled mass flow parameter mean error = 0.114804 % , std = 0.00070898
mean eror 0.189370%, std 0.055547

Figure 5. Curve fits for three different compressors Figure 6. Curve fits for three different comprressors
using curve fitting method proposed by compressors using curve fitting method
Mueller [8] proposed in [7].

Compressor 1 Compressor 1
2.8 compressor data
curve fit
2.6 18

2.4 0.7

Compressor efficiency
pressure ratio

2.2 0.65

0.6 180000
180000 120000
1.8 140000160000
1.6 90000
1.4 9 140000
6 120000 0.45
1 90000
1 0.4
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35
scaled mass flow parameter Scaled mass flow parameter
mean eror 0.002116%, std 0.016118
Figure 8. Compressor efficienc curve fit for compressor
1 using curve fitting method proposed by
Jensen & Kristensen [5].
Compressor 2

compressor data
curve fit Compressor 1
3 0.8

2.5 18
pressure ratio

Compressor efficiency
0.6 180000
120000 140000
16 200000
2 0.5
14 180000
1.5 10
6 120000
1 100000
0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03
scaled mass flow parameter
mean eror -0.004643%, std 0.014558 0.1
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35
Scaled mass flow parameter

Figure 9. Compressor efficiency curve fit for compressor

1 using the same 3 node neural network as
was used for the compressor flow rate in the
Compressor 3
top graph of Figure (7).
3.5 compressor data
curve fit
3 21

19 BACKGROUND – The turbine is powered by the energy

pressure ratio

of the exhaust gas. The power input to the turbine, P,

2.5 17 230000
can be obtained from the first law of thermodynamics,
210000 neglecting heat transfer, as
170000 (40)
1.5 11
130000 where W is the mass flow rate of the exhaust gas
3 90000
110000 through the turbine. As previously, the subscripts 01 and
1 02 refer to stagnation conditions at the turbine inlet and
0 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16
scaled mass flow parameter
mean eror 0.312992%, std 0.02571 the turbine outlet, respectively. Treating the exhaust gas
Figure 7. Curve fits for three different compressors as an ideal gas, we obtain
using a neural network with 3 neurons in one
hidden layer. (41)

If W is specified in kg/sec, cp in kJ/kg/K, and T in K then Typically, the turbine model is used during simulations to
P is in kW. For a given pressure ratio across the turbine, calculate turbine power and mass flow rate given inlet
the outlet temperature can be computed assuming isen- and outlet pressure values and turbocharger speed. The
tropic expansion, turbocharger speed and inlet pressure are usually state
variables whose behavior is determined by differential
equations based on compressor-turbine power balance
and ideal gas law respectively. The turbine outlet pres-
(42) sure is a function of the flow restriction of the exhaust
In order to account for the fact that the expansion through system assembly downstream of the turbine. Ideally, it is
the turbine is not isentropic, the turbine (total-to-static) equal to atmospheric. As a consequence of this use of
isentropic efficiency is introduced and defined as the model, it is convenient to express the turbine charac-
teristics in the same form as the compressor Model I, i.e.,
the turbine mass flow is expressed as a function of tur-
bine pressure ratio and rotational speed.
The turbocharger manufacturer characterizes the mass
where T2,is is the temperature of the exhaust gas leaving flow rate and isentropic efficiency over a certain operat-
the turbine if the expansion were isentropic. Note that the ing range (typically for turbine speeds between 100
turbine outlet temperature is evaluated as static, because kRPM and 180 kRPM and pressure ratio between 0.3
no use can be made of the kinetic energy left in the and 0.8) on a flow stand and supplies the information in
exhaust gas at the turbine outlet. table form. For turbines with variable inlet geometry
Using equation (42) and the above defined isentropic effi- (generically abbreviated as VGT - variable geometry tur-
ciency, we obtain the following expression for the turbine bochargers), an additional input for these maps is the
power: inlet geometry setting ϑvgt
Again, we'll use the scaled mass flow parameter, φ, and
turbine speed parameter, , and neglect differences
between static and stagnation pressures and tempera-
(44) tures:
The turbine outlet temperature T02 is given by

(45) The use of these parameters eliminates the dependence
Similar to the analysis done for the compressor, it is pos- of the performance maps on inlet conditions (Tin and pin).
sible to obtain more insight into various terms that com- These maps are now only a function of speed parameter,
prise the above equation. From Euler's equation for the pressure ratio across the turbine, and, if applicable, VGT
turbine rotor we obtain setting ϑvgt:

where ∆hideal is the ideal (or isentropic) enthalpy drop
across the turbine, Cθ1 is the tangential velocity compo- and
nent of the flow at the entry to the rotor and U1 is the
velocity of the turbine rotor at the point where the flow
enters. Assuming that there is no swirl at the turbine out- (50)
let we obtain Cθ2 = 0, and ∆hideal = U1Cθ1. Similar to
where U/C is the blade-speed ratio [13], defined as
the compressor slip factor, the ratio Cθ1/U1 is a function
of several variables, e.g. the number of rotor blades. Con-
sequently, in the ideal case

(47) and D denotes the turbine blade diameter. Note that the
is proportional to the square of the turbo speed. Of blade speed ratio is a function of pressure ratio and
course, various sources of energy losses (accounted for speed parameter, and hence no new independent vari-
by the turbine efficiency) do introduce the dependence on ables are introduced.
the turbine mass flow rate. See [13] for more details.

It should be noted that the manufacturer supplied data on turbine flow, not only do we know that the expansion is
turbine characteristics is not as representative of actual not isentropic, but we also know the isentropic efficiency.
turbine behavior on the engine as is the case for com- Hence, we could use a more general form of the equa-
pressor data. The turbine is characterized on a flow tions presented here, taking into account the isentropic
bench with steady flow, whereas the turbine on the efficiency. However, at least for the turbines considered
engine experiences strong pressure pulsations, which here, this modification did not result in noticeably better
will influence its performance. For that reason, it may be fits, hence we'll stick with the standard equations. There-
preferable to model the turbine using data measured fore, turbine flow equations are given by
directly on the engine. However, this does require the tur-
bine speed measurement, which may not always be
available. Figure (10) illustrates this to some extent: the
flow measured on the engine is slightly higher than the
mapped flow for a given mean value of the pressure ratio
across the turbine. The figure also clearly illustrates the
effect of the wastegate: for expansion ratios close to 2 (52)
and higher, an increasing portion of the exhaust flow
bypasses the turbine through the wastegate. As a result, where the effective turbine area At . is modeled as a
the total flow through the exhaust increases without build- function of turbine pressure ratio and speed parameter.
ing up additional boost pressure or exhaust manifold For a fixed geometry turbocharger, a simple fit for the
pressure. A final observation on Figure (10) is that here, effective turbine flow area At was proposed by Jensen &
again, we see that the turbine map does not cover the Kristensen:
entire region of turbine operation on the engine. Just as
with the compressor, lower flows and lower expansion
ratios were not mapped. In contrast to the compressor, (53)
however, the turbine characteristics can be extrapolated
where the parameters kti are functions of the speed
into those regions without real difficulty.
Turbine flow data
0.18 This representation is only approximate because the
Turbine map
Measured engine data
pressure ratio across the turbine at which choked flow
occurs is actually lower than the expected value of
Turbine mass flow parameter φ

0.14 approximately 0.55 (depending on exhaust gas composi-

tion and temperature). The reason is that the turbine
effectively behaves as a series of two nozzles (inlet noz-
zle vanes and rotor passages), which each individually
0.08 experience higher pressure ratios than the total across
the turbine. However, by including the pressure ratio as a
parameter in the effective area fit (53), the model can still
0.04 represent an increasing mass flow parameter at pressure
ratios beyond the critical pressure ratio. A second restric-
tion on the validity of the adiabatic nozzle flow model is
0 the fact that, in the limit, the turbine can actually act as a
1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5
Turbine expansion ratio
compressor with flow against a positive pressure gradi-
Figure 10. Comparison of turbine flow characteristics ent, whereas in an adiabatic nozzle flow reversal would
provided by the turbine manufacturer and occur under those conditions.
measured on the engine. At higher boost
pressures, the wastegate opens and part of Figure (11) illustrates the results of the turbine flow curve
the exhaust flow bypasses the turbine. Since fit. The accuracy is more than adequate.
the wastegate flow was not measured
separately, the turbine flow parameter VARIABLE GEOMETRY TURBINE – For variable geom-
includes the wastegate flow. etry turbochargers, the turbine area is modified by chang-
ing the inlet geometry. For example, in the case of
CURVE FITTING OF TURBINE MASS FLOW variable nozzle geometry, the throat area of the nozzles
is modified, resulting in a change in expansion ratio for
FIXED GEOMETRY TURBINE – The mass flow rate the same mass flow rate. One way to model the turbine
through the turbine can be modeled as an adiabatic noz- flow in the presence of a variable inlet geometry is to use
zle flow, where the effective flow area is a function of the equation (51) where the effective area is also a function
turbine speed parameter, and pressure ratio. In [11] it is of the (normalized) geometry setting. For turbine 2 a rea-
pointed out that the standard orifice flow equations are sonably good fit could be obtained this way without a tur-
derived assuming isentropic expansion. In the case of the bine speed dependence, i.e., the mass flow parameter is

expressed as a function only of the pressure ratio and the sion ratios. However, in light of the comments on turbo-
inlet geometry setting. A slight variation of equation (51) charger mapping limitations described earlier, the
is given by observed decreased efficiency at lower expansion ratios
may be an artifact of heat transfer effects occurring dur-
ing the experimental procedure.
Turbine 2


Scaled turbine mass flow parameter


where 1-g is the theoretical zero flow pressure ratio (the 0.2
intersection of the curves with the abscissa in Figure 12), 0.333

and g is fitted as a quadratic function in vane position.

The result of this fit is shown in Figure 12. 0

Turbine data for turbine 1


0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0


Turbine expansion ratio
Scaled mass flow parameter

5415 Figure 12. Curve fit of turbine flow for turbine 2, using
modified version of adiabatic nozzle flow.
4061 VGT setting, normalized between 0 and 1 is
indicated in the graph.

Turbine data for turbine 2


Scaled turbine mass flow parameter

0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0

Turbine expansion ratio

Figure 11. Curve fit of turbine flow for turbine 1 for

different values of the speed parameter. 0.333

An alternative is to use a neural network with all inputs 0.167

(speed parameter, pressure ratio, and vane setting) and
one hidden layer with three neurons. The result of that fit
is shown in Figure 13. An interesting note on extrapola-
tion: the asterisks in Figure 13 mark the extrapolated tur- 0
1.5 2.0 3.0
bine flows at 10kRPM. It is apparent that these Turbine expansion ratio

extrapolation results do not make physical sense. Hence, Figure 13. Curve fit of turbine flow for turbine 2, using 3-
in order to get sensible extrapolation results for low tur- node neural network. VGT setting, normalized
bine speeds, the neural network needs to be supplied between 0 and 1 is indicated in the graph.
with additional, artificial mapping points forcing the net- The asterisks near the y-axis are the result of
work to provide much lower turbine flows at these low extrapolation of the turbine flow parameter to
speeds. For the previous fit based on the orifice flow 10kRPM turbine speed for the given VGT
equations the extrapolation did give sensible results. settings. This network would have to be
retrained and supplied with artificial mapping
CURVE FITTING OF TURBINE EFFICIENCY points at low turbine speeds to force it to give
more sensible low speed turbine flows.
For fixed turbine speed, the turbine efficiency typically
has the shape of an inverted parabola, and can usually The curve fit illustrated in Figure 14 is a quadratic polyno-
be modelled by a quadratic or cubic polynomial in blade mial in blade speed ratio with coefficients linearly depen-
speed ratio, with coefficients depending on the speed dant on the speed parameter:
parameter [5], [7], [8]. In [10], a correction factor at low
expansion ratios is used to account for the observed
accelerated decrease in efficiency at those lower expan- (54)

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS empirical model proposed by Jensen & Kristensen
appeared to be best suited.
In this paper we have presented an overview of curve fit- For the representation of the turbine characteristics we
ting techniques for automotive turbochargers, motivated made a similar experience as for the compressor Model I
by two facts: Turbocharger mapping data usually do not representation: a neural network can give an accurate fit
span the operating range experienced on the engine, of the mapping points, but a sensible extrapolation to
hence a need for reliable extrapolation, and, even though lower expansion ratios and turbine speeds can only be
it still appears to be commonly used, the representation obtained by augmenting the experimental mapping data
in lookup tables is not well-suited for implementation in with a suitable number of articial mapping points in those
dynamic engine simulation models. . areas. On the other hand, a more physically based model
Turbine data for turbine 1 using adiabatic nozzle flow equations extrapolated very
well without manual intervention in the mapping data.

Turbine efficiency

Thanks to Michiel van Nieuwstadt from Ford Research
0.71 Laboratories and an anonymous reviewer for careful
4061 reading of the draft paper. Thanks also to David Flaxing-
ton from Allied Signal/Garrett for a number of fruitful dis-
0.69 4738 cussions.
0.55 0.6 0.65 0.7 0.75 0.8
1. Demuth, H., Beale, M., "Neural Network Toolbox, version
Blade speed ratio U/C 3.0", The Mathworks, Inc., 1988.
Figure 14. Curve fit of turbine efficiency turbine 1 for 2. Flaxington, D., Allied Signal/Garrett. Personal communica-
different values of the speed parameter tion. July1996.

The emphasis was on compressor flow rate curve fitting 3. Fraden, J., "AIP Handbook of modern sensors", AIP Press,
for two reasons: engine models are generally more sensi- 1993.
tive to errors in mass flow than to errors in temperatures 4. Nelson, S.A., Filipi, Z.S., Assanis, D.N., "The use of neural
(within reason, of course), and the compressor character- networks for matching compressors with diesel engines,"
istics are more difficult to capture based on first principles Spring Technical Conference, volum ICE-26-3, pages 35-
models than the turbine characteristics. In other words, 42, 1996.
the compressor flow rate representation is both the more 5. Jensen, J.P, Kristensen, A.F., Sorenson, S.C., Houbak, N. ,
critical and the more challenging task. Four different Hendricks, E., "Mean value modeling of a small turbo-
techniques were described and illustrated on three differ- charged diesel engine," SAE 910070.
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6. Kao, M., Moskwa, J.J., "Turbocharged diesel engine model-
put, the methods can be classified into two categories:
ing for nonlinear engine control and estimation", ASME
Model I uses pressure ratio and speed to compute mass
Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control,
flow, Model II uses mass flow and speed to compute
Vol 117, 1995.
pressure ratio. The particular choice has interesting impli-
cations on the overall engine model. For a compressor 7. Kolmanovsky, I.V., Moraal, P.E., van Nieuwstadt, M.J., Crid-
characterisation in the form of Model II, a neural network dle, M., Wood, P., "Modeling and identification of a 2.0 l tur-
appeared to be the most accurate technique for all three bocharged DI diesel engine". Ford internal technical report
compressors. It is also the most flexible in that its com- SR-97-039, 1997.
plexity is easily changed by changing the number of neu- 8. Mueller, M., "Mean value modeling of turbocharged spark
rons or hidden layers. Furthermore, by combining ignition engines", Master’s thesis, DTU, Denmark, 1997.
compressor pressure ratio and isentropic efficiency in
9. Puskorius, G.V., Feldkamp, L.A., "Decoupled extended Kal-
one network, the total number of coefficients compares
man filter training of feedforward layered networks", Pro-
not unfavorably to the other techniques described. For a
ceedings IJCNN, 1991.
compressor characterisation in the form of Model I how-
ever (typically used in control oriented mean value 10. Sher, E., Rakib, S., Luria, D., "A practical model for the per-
engine models), a neural network was not found to give formance simulation of an automotive turbocharger", SAE
an acceptable representation. Sensible extrapolation of 870295.
the model to lower turbocharger speeds and compressor 11. Sokolov, A.A., Glad, S.T., "Identifiability of turbocharged IC
flow rates could not be obtained, even after manual mod- engine models", SAE 1999.
ifications in the compressor mapping data. Instead, an

12. Watson, N., "Dynamic turbocharged diesel engine simula-
tor for electronic control system development", Journal of
Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control 106, pp.27-
45, 1984.
13. Watson, N., Janota, M.S., "Turbocharging the internal com-
bustion engine", John Wiley & Sons, 1982.
14. Winkler, G., "Steady state and dynamic modeling of engine
turbomachinery systems", PhD Thesis, University of Bath,