The Turbocharger

This is the original one I experimented with. It came off a Cosworth engined Formula 1 car, back in the days when they were turbocharged (1986). The turbo is manufactured by Garrett.

F1 turbo

The steel plate attached to the turbine housing is for mounting to the frame.

The brass tee is for oil feed, and the oil pressure gauge.

The optical tacho probe fibres can be seen entering the compressor inlet. One fibre carries light, which reflects off the compressor nut, and is transmitted back to the tacho box (see instrument section)

The 30cm rule shows the size of the unit.

During development, it became apparent that for a self-sustaining gas turbine, the F1 turbo was not very suitable.

The compressor was not well matched to the turbine, so that the compressor was operating in an unstable aerodynamic condition called surge. This mismatch resulted in very high turbine inlet temperatures, and the surge produced an deafening twittering noise from the compressor inlet.

I replaced the entire F1 turbo with one off a rally project, and then removed the large compressor, and fitted a smaller one in order to acheive the required matching. Although the components are now matched, the small compressor has a rather low mass flow, so I'm not anticipating much thrust from my finished turbine !

The image below gives some idea of the current turbocharger (left), and the original. The original has a larger compressor, and smaller turbine housing than the current one. The small turbine housing, and relatively large compressor is the reason for the compressor surge.

current turbo (left) and F1 turbo

For comparison purposes, here is my 'family' of turbochargers. The front row are the two in the image above. Left rear row is an Indy Car turbo, which is destined as a power turbine for the current rig. Rear row right is a colossal turbocharger, for which I have no plans, since I can only just lift it !! There is a 30cm rule in the image for some idea of the scale.

Turbocharger 'family'

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