Electric Supercharger Boosts Torque 50% and Reduces CO2 by 20%

Photo: Controlled Power Technologies

Making Gasoline Engines as Efficient as Diesel

The most common type of hybrid car uses electricity stored in batteries to power an electric motor. But what if instead of going to a motor, that electricity was used to power an electric supercharger? That's exactly what UK firm Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) is doing, and the results are promising. Tests on various engine types have shown that a gasoline engine equipped with this tech can compete with a diesel, and torque has been increased by 40-50% and CO2 emissions have been reduced by around 20%.

Photo: Controlled Power Technologies

Downsizing for Better MPG
Of course the big benefits of making gas and diesel (this supercharger can also work on oil burners) more powerful is that you can downsize them. Instead of using a 2-3 L engine, you might be able to use a 1.5-1.8 L and get similar performance (but better fuel economy).

Photo: Controlled Power Technologies

Combining it With Turbochargers
The CPT electric supercharger has been tested on a 1.2 L turbocharged engine and rounded it up nicely by providing a lot more torque below 3000 RPM, a kind of blind spot for the turbocharger. See the graph above for the comparison between the torque curves.

When applied to a 196PS/285Nm (equivalent to typical 2.5l gasoline engine) 1.2L turbocharged DI Otto engine, VTES delivers increased torque and power at engine speeds below 3000rpm, at which speeds there is insufficient turbine power to deliver the required performance.

Additionally, >90% of the available torque is delivered in 1s thus enabling installation into larger, heavier vehicles with a CO2 reduction potential > 20%.

Photo: Controlled Power Technologies

Testing Electric Supercharger on VW Passat
Some tests done by Controlled Power Technologies and the German powertrain developer AVL List GmbH on a VW Passat with a direct injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine have shown that diesel efficiencies could be matched.

"When fitted in a Volkswagen Passat, the electrically-supercharged engine produces CO2 emissions of 159g/km. The regular 167 horsepower 2.0-liter TDI diesel Passat on the other hand emits 165g/km, while the 197 horsepower 2.0-liter TFSI gasoline version emits 194g/km." (Motorauthority)

The CO2 reduction could no doubt have been bigger if the engine had been downsized and a turbocharger had been added (maybe a 1.2-liter would've been good enough).

Photo: Controlled Power Technologies

Where Can I Get One?
CPT has inked a deal with Switched Reluctance Drives Limited to start developing OEM units. So far no automaker has said it would use electric supercharger technology, though it wouldn't be surprising if some did to help them meet new government MPG targets in the US.

Not a Panacea, But a Useful Tool
This electric supercharger technology isn't a solution to our transportation problems, far from it, but it's one more tool in the toolbox to try to reduce emissions while we transition to zero carbon technologies.

Via Controlled Power Technologies, Motorauthority

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Tags: Fuel Efficiency | Hybrid Cars | Transportation


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