Innovative High-Speed Traction Drive
The SuperTurbo™ is a new driven-turbo technology that can be adapted specifically for efficiency improvement and emission reduction strategies for commercial internal combustion engines and vehicles. The SuperTurbo can be used to control the speed of the turbomachinery independently of the engine’s exhaust flow and vary the relative ratio between engine speed and turbo speed. This is done by utilizing mechanical components to either add or subtract power from the turbocharger shaft. The SuperTurbo employs a speed reduction fixed ratio planetary drive coupled with a continuously variable transmission to realize this effect.
The SuperTurbo is utilized for several reasons, including performance, efficiency, and emissions. It can be largely considered as an ‘on-demand’ air device. The engine can now prescribe precise and variable air flow across different operating conditions, thus providing more options for engine control and tuning. 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, a driven-turbo 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 SuperTurbo can also utilize different turbine and compressor designs that benefit from eliminating a conventional turbo’s direct balance between turbine and compressor power. The turbines can be designed with reduced constraints related to inertia and overspeed. At higher power engine operating conditions, the SuperTurbo will have more turbine power than the compressor requires. In this case the driven turbo will return mechanical power to the engine in the form of turbo-compounding, and thus be recovering extra exhaust power to improve efficiency. These attributes allow the SuperTurbo to perform all the functions of a supercharger, turbocharger, and turbo-compounder.