Automotive Turbochargers: The Only Bridge to Our Electric Future

Jan 22,2019

The 2019 edition of Coventry 's Race Retro will celebrate the first era of turbocharged Formula 1 cars, which were banned in 1988 on the grounds of spiraling cost and concerns over the safety of such extremely powerful cars. It was only in 2014 that the F1 regulations, which were then designed to accommodate hybrid technologies of the future. While the modern turbochargers are electrically-assisted to further drive up the fuel efficiency, the turbochargers will be able

Like the F1s, demand for powerful vehicles is here to stay.

Turbocharging: Efficiency in Times of High Fuel Prices

While it is difficult to imagine modern vehicles with turbocharging system, automotive turbochargers  will remain the most common charging device- used both in ICEs (Internal Combustion Engines) and innovative hybrid drive units. Surging passenger vehicle production and robust demand for vehicles with higher power output in line with stringent emission rates  can be higher with a turbocharger.

In the last 20 years, OEMs have made significant savings in their range of technologies including turbocharging and engine downsizing to meet stringent emission standards in CO2 and NOx levels. Turbocharger sales will increase their vehicles-both in terms of efficiency and power.

Although Europe has been a part of the high-fuel-price landscape for the future, the US is only learning to cope with such a scenario, further pushing car makers to consider manufacturing vehicles aftermarket turbocharger-fitment options, in addition to upgrading existing turbochargers.

CO2 / km (presently) to 95 g CO2 / km until 2021, the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have been jointly regulated greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles including trucks and passenger cars. The automotive industry has made advancements in diesel technology. To fall in line with the emission targets, manufacturers have introduced several technologies such as selective catalytic reduction and exhaust gas circulation, apart from engine downsizing. However, as a concept, engine downsizing may have reached its threshold, making way for smaller engines with electric motors.

Future Belongs to E-Turbochargers

The shift towards electric turbochargers is obvious given its predominant advantages over the conventional ones. An E-turbocharger with an electric motor will not just eliminate turbo lag, but will also generate electricity from the alternator, which saves fuel. As per Honeywell, a leading manufacturer of world-class automotive turbochargers, close to 60 percent turbocharged engines are likely to be manufactured by 2030, globally, creating its room for electric automotive turbochargers, given its superior characteristics.

While most contemporary turbo mills produce substantial torque at low engine speed, increasing the turbine wheel space and increasing pressure on the engine, e-turbo on the other hand, leaves scope for larger turbines, adding at least two inches in length to a turbocharger.

Industry experts believe that early adoption of e-turbo will make it easier to achieve better fuel efficiency and better fuel efficiency. However, e-turbo adding electrical power to the system will remain the most fascinating aspect of the automakers competing with the standard CO2 emission and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.

Efficient Turbochargers with Additive Manufacturing

Cummins, a global engineering leader in turbocharger technology, investigates the advantages and disadvantages associated with Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and explored the potentiality of improving turbocharger efficiency with novel turbine wheel designs through additive manufacturing .

Manufacturers are currently using flexible, flexible processing, and on-site manufacturing, but also poses challenges while manufacturing nickel base superalloys turbine wheels. Given its implementation capabilities and flexible design, additive manufacturing could revolutionize the design of automotive turbochargers.

Variable Geometry Turbocharging - The Most Efficient Option?

As emission regulations are increasingly difficult to automate, demand for downsized, down-speeded, and higher-than-right engines are invariably high in the development of turbocharging systems. Variable geometry turbochargers (VGT), also called VNT-Variable Nozzle Turbocharger has been the technology of choice for developing more advanced turbocharging options. VGT has been employed in a huge range of passenger, on- and off-highway, rail, and marine ICE applications.

Future Automotive Insights (FMI), while automotive turbochargers have witnessed substantial demand in the last two decades, particularly where naturally-aspirated engine dominated till recently, dominated market share in the global automotive market. turbocharging market, with exceptionally high demand in North America, Middle East and Africa, and South East Asian countries. The attractiveness of VGTs can be safely attributed to the constant boosting of supply, with no lag or build-up and regardless of the engine speed.

However, additional components and highly specialized materials for coping with high temperatures (EGTs) are an additional cost, VGTs remain an expensive option. In addition, while VGTs are practically found in heavy-duty diesel applications, when it comes to petrol-powered cars, VGTs include only Porsche's Boxster S and Cayman S.

Given the high pricing of VGTs, it can be seen that it is a good alternative to its ability to increase low-end torque, improve turbine efficiency and improve response. As for the market study by FMI, demand for twin-scroll technology in the global automotive turbocharger market, through 2028, increasing increasing energy extraction from four-cylinder variants. In addition, twin-scroll automotive turbochargers could also prove more reliable than the VGTs considering less moving components and better functioning without having to rely on secondary and tertiary actuators to function properly.

Can twin-scroll technology practically replace VGTs-a rarity in petrol-powered sports cars? Find out