Product & Technology

Turbocharger Principles

In exhaust gas turbo charging, part of exhaust gas energy, which would normally be wasted is used to drive a turbine. The turbine shaft is connected to a compressor, which draws in combustion air, compresses it, and then supplies it to the engine. The increased air supply enables more fuel to be burnt; hence the engine develops higher power. Increased air availability improves combustion of fuel, thus leading to lower fuel consumption and less emission.

The advantages of modern turbocharged engine, compared to naturally aspirated engines of identical power output are as follows:

  1. Better power and torque characteristics
  2. Lower emission  
  3. Lower weight and a smaller engine package
  4. Lower fuel consumption
  5. Lower engine noise
  6. Reduced power loss at high altitude

As a result, turbochargers contribute significantly to the protection of the environment and the better utilization of energy resources.

Construction and Function of a Turbocharger

A turbocharger comprises of a compressor and a turbine. The turbine and compressor wheels are mounted on a common shaft. This sub-assembly is known as the rotor. The rotor is supported by journals housed in the central housing. The turbocharger turbine consists of the turbine wheel and turbine housing. The engine exhaust gases are directed to the turbine wheel via. Turbine housing. The energy available in the exhaust gas is converted into kinetic energy by the turbine housing and is used for driving the turbine wheel and compressor wheel as both are mounted on common shaft.

The compressor consists of the compressor wheel and compressor housing. Whenever the compressor wheel rotates, the air is drawn axially, and delivered radially at a higher pressure to the intake manifold. Increase in pressure also results in increase in temperature. To reduce the compressed air temperature, some of the turbocharged engines use an after cooler.

For reasons of improved drivability, a smaller turbine size is chosen such that sufficient boost pressure is available at low speeds. In such cases, part of the exhaust gas is by-passed once the required boost pressure is reached. This is achieved by opening a valve operated by a spring-loaded diaphragm (actuator assembly).

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