Under on-engine operating conditions, a turbocharger turbine is subject to a pulsating flow and, consequently, experiences deviations from the performance measured under continuous flow. Furthermore, due to the high exhaust gas temperatures, heat transfer further deteriorates the turbine performance. The complex interaction of the aerothermodynamic mechanisms occurring inside the hot-side, and consequently the turbine behavior, is largely affected by the shape of the pulse, which can be parameterized through three parameters: pulse amplitude, frequency, and temporal gradient. This paper investigates the hot-side system response to the pulse amplitude via a Detached Eddy Simulation (DES) approach of a radial turbocharger turbine system including exhaust manifold. Firstly, the computational model is validated against experimental data obtained under gas stand continuous flow conditions. Then, two different mass flow pulses, characterized by a pulse amplitude difference of ≈ 5%, are compared. An exergy-based post-processing approach shows the beneficial effects of increasing pulse amplitude. An improvement of the turbine power by 1.3%, despite the increment of the heat transfer and total internal irreversibilities by 5.8% and 3.4%, respectively, is reported. As a result of the higher maximum speed, internal losses by viscous friction are responsible for the growth of the total internal irreversibilities as pulse amplitude increases.

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