A Turbocharger “Step Forward”
By Ian Cameron24 February 2020
Ricardo Performance Products will support the first phase of commercial industrialization of the SuperTurbo system – a planetary traction drive that enables high speed power transfer to and from a turbocharger shaft, offering driveability and fuel efficiency benefits for large trucks
Ricardo claimed the SuperTurbo is a step forward from a traditional turbocharger, in that it has a novel mechanical transmission that links the turbo shaft to the engine drive. This enables power transfer to and from the turbo shaft that is not possible with a normal turbocharger, it said.
During transient operation, the SuperTurbo will behave like a supercharger and draw mechanical energy to accelerate the turbomachinery for improved engine response.
Unlike a traditional supercharger, the SuperTurbo also receives transient power from its turbine. The net effect is both a fast-transient response and a more efficient power draw for supercharging, the company claimed.
The system also provides efficiency benefits to the engine. During operation at higher engine power levels, the turbine of the SuperTurbo captures any excess energy from the exhaust above that needed to drive the compressor to provide boost pressure to the engine.
In this operating condition, the system operates in turbo-compound mode, providing surplus power to the engine crankshaft, thus improving fuel efficiency. The precise control over air flow allows the engine manufacturer to tune and control the optimal combustion parameters and reduce particulate emissions. Likewise, NOx emission reduction is enhanced through bypass enabled higher aftertreatment temperatures and improved transient and steady state EGR control.
Under the contract announced today, Ricardo will support Colorado-based SuperTurbo Technologies Inc. by providing product industrialization expertise to help in planning the route to commercial manufacture of the SuperTurbo system.