THE FUTURE OF DIESEL HYBRIDS
Auto manufacturers have been producing hybrid vehicles that run on gas, electric, or some other mode of operation that improves its fuel efficiency. The automotive diesel industry has not really moved that direction yet, but there is no doubt that it is coming. Instead of hybrids diesel truck manufacturers have been required to install expensive and complicated emission equipment on their engines. This emissions equipment cleans the exhaust so that it does not put out harmful pollutants in our air and makes black smoke a thing of the past.
Rolls Royce is an auto manufacturer that has multiple divisions which include the MTU diesel engines as part of their Power Systems line. MTU is a German heavy duty engine manufacturer that is known for its marine, mining and oil, and gas engines.
G+L innotec is a Germany company that has been working on the development of an electrically assisted turbocharger. The turbocharger will incorporate an electric motor technology which G+L innotec calls the Cross-Charger®. The Cross-Charger® is a hybrid turbocharger that will improve fuel consumption and reduce gas emissions of combustion engines. Currently this technology is of great interest to many automobile manufacturers, but is currently only in the prototype phase.
Recently Rolls Royce Power Systems acquired from G+L innotec the exclusive rights to the use for this new Cross-Charger® turbocharger technology. This technology is protected by patents and has not been available on the market to date. Rolls Royce Power Systems plans to offer this technology in their MTU off-highway diesel engines above the 600 horsepower ranged with this technology in 2021. The electrically-assisted turbocharging is a milestone on the way to hybridizing of diesel engines. With this technology it will be possible to develop agile, low fuel consumption engines as reported by Dr. Johannes Kech, who is the director of Development Turbocharging & Fluids Systems at MTU. MTU and G+L innotec will work on the next stages of development as they grow their partnership.
So how does it work? The Cross-Charger® is comprised of an electric drive combined with a traditional turbocharger developed and manufactured by MTU. The compressor wheel will have a permanent magnet attached to it and around that will be the electrical windings which is cased in a housing at the intake of the turbocharger. With this arrangement, the air pulled in by the compressor wheel is not obstructed and at the same time the electrical components are cooled by the air. By combining a traditional turbocharger with an electrical drive the turbocharger can be accelerated electrically and the charge pressure can build up earlier. This will aid in increased acceleration of the engine and help with load response capabilities in diesel generator drives. In addition, it will be possible to reduce the engine’s fuel consumption and emissions. This technology would be effective in the auto and trucking industry to allow quicker response of on and off throttle situations and reduce or even eliminate the well know turbo lag issue that we all hate.