Turbos Charging Ahead In 2014

Turbos are back in force with the switch to smaller engines in order to satisfy both fuel consumption and power requirements.

Only, it is not the good old turbocharger that is showing up supplementing these smaller engines, but reinvented turbochargers benefiting from a few decades of technology advancements.

Honeywell Turbo Technologies (HTT) explained it expects to launch more than 100 turbocharger applications involving more than 20 new technologies in 2014. The company said these new applications will be found on gasoline, diesel, natural gas and hybrid powertrains in both light vehicle passenger and commercial vehicles.

Having pioneered automotive turbocharging more than 60 years ago and having produced more than 100 million turbos in its history, Honeywell stated it is a global leader with more than 500 current turbo programs in various stages of development in its customer pipeline, which are all expected to come to market in the next few years.

Honeywell turbos, including the recently announced Honeywell VNT turbo helping power the Fiat 500L and its 1.6L Multi Jet II diesel engine, are said by HTT to make significant contributions to automakers balancing improved fuel economy, lower emissions and enhanced performance.

“Our Honeywell technology roadmap is contributing to Fiat’s current and future engine strategies for fuel efficient and fun to drive vehicles.  The consistently large number of turbo launches we have each year reflects the value downsizing and turbocharging brings to auto makers in response to global demands for improved fuel economy and emissions without compromising performance,” said Honeywell Transportation Systems President and CEO Terrence Hahn. “Honeywell is intent on delivering to Fiat and all of our customers the differentiated technology customers are seeking in exciting, fun-to-drive vehicles, which can also help put more time between trips to the fuel pump.”

Honeywell added it expects turbocharging to continue growing globally from 31 percent in 2013 to 38 percent by 2018. While Europe is by far the global leader in turbo penetration given the high percentage of diesel vehicles sold, the addition of gasoline turbocharging will increase its turbo penetration to nearly 67 percent by 2018.

This compares to HTT’s 2018 estimates of 31 percent of total sales in North America, 33 percent in China and 53 percent in India.

The turbocharging technology allows a smaller engine to achieve similar if not improved power outputs of larger naturally aspirated engines while being between 20 to 40 percent more fuel efficient in gasoline and diesel engines respectively, explained HTT. The smaller engine size contributes to make turbos a technology which can help auto makers meet stricter emissions standards as well as saving weight.

HTT added these Honeywell technologies are helping auto makers further improve power and fuel economy with more advanced variable geometry turbos in diesels as well as address the growing gasoline segment globally with advanced twin scroll designs for 4-cylinder engines.

In 2014, HTT said it will bring to market new technologies improving turbocharging performance with innovations such as: new ball bearing designs for improved response and efficiency; improved flow control valves for gasoline engines and variable geometry applications for diesel engines to expand performance capability; new sensors for improved engine integration; improved casting processes and materials development for greater temperature range performance at predictable costs; and new aerodynamic designs to improve speed margins of compressor and turbine wheels inside the turbo.