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Turbocharging, Stop Gap Step to Variable Supercharging?


David

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G. David Felt
Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com

 

Turbocharging, Stop Gap Step to Variable Supercharging?

 

 

I have come across multiple stories lately about Variable Supercharging. Torotrak has the rather dry scripted but exciting video about Variable Supercharging that delivers big engine feel all the time with none of the traditional Turbo lag or the high pressure, premium fuel requirement of traditional Superchargers. The video does cover how this variable Supercharging compares to turbo's and regular Superchargers.

 

With the push for fuel economy and downsizing of engines by taxation on the size of an engine, we have all seen our auto companies move towards turbocharging small 3 & 4 cylinder engines to get higher MPG while trying to deliver big V8 block performance. Many have achieved some incredible performance out of smaller size engines, but with variable results in regards to reducing Turbo lag or affecting engine life. We have also seen where performance on either Turbos or Superchargers usually delivers peak efficiency at only certain rpm ranges that have resulted in exciting low-end response but no top end sustainability or top end fun with dull low end response.

 

So this leads us to what has happened over the last 10 years or so. Seems to have started around 2006 at the Global Powertrain Congress with  the fist 2 speed Supercharger by Antonov. I found we did have this posted in our S.E.M.A. section from 2006: https://www.cheersandgears.com/topic/12871-sema-preview-antonov-2-speed-supercharger/ 

 

Antonov 2 speed Supercharger - Company Closed in 2011

 

post-12-0-88450600-1469642911_thumb.jpg

 

Lately over this last 10 years we now have the following 3rd party Variable Supercharger systems as follows:

 

Eaton Variable Electric Roots Supercharger - available to work on traditional engines or hybrids.

 

post-12-0-52045600-1469642912_thumb.jpg

 

Fallbrook Tech. Variable planetary Supercharger

 

post-12-0-22016200-1469642913_thumb.jpg

 

ProCharger i-1 CVT Variable Supercharger - Discontinued product

 

post-12-0-06711900-1469642914_thumb.jpg

 

Final option is the Torotrak V-charger (Variable Supercharger)

 

post-12-0-90846900-1469642914_thumb.jpg

post-12-0-78012800-1469642915_thumb.jpg

post-12-0-45911200-1469642916_thumb.jpg

 

Interesting is that while the first 4 vendors have approached this from an add on application to auto driving fun. Torotrak according to their web site is going after the OEM channel by allowing their variable supercharger to be controlled by the OEM ECU. Their web site says 0 to 95% of target torque in 400 milliseconds and when not required, removal of boost just as fast.

 

As you can see in the last picture above, you have the drive unit that has a ratio from .35:1 to 2.82:1 with output from 1050 to 8460 rpm. The fixed 12.67:1 planetary traction drive pushing out the supercharger centrifugal compressor running from 13,300 to 107,200 rpm.

 

All in all some very cool technology with some being outdated already and others being delivered before it's time and dying. Yet we still have 3 of the 5 Superchargers on the market selling.

 

What are your thoughts about this technology?

 

Is this better than Turbochargers?

 

Wonder why OEMs have embraced Turbochargers at a time that there does seem to be better options?

 

Sound off on what your thoughts are about this technology!

 

Web Sites used in compiling this story:

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/05/antonov-pursuin.html

https://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/ltd/antonov-automotive-technologies

http://www.eaton.com/Eaton/ProductsServices/Vehicle/Superchargers/index.htm

http://www.fallbrooktech.com/accessory-drives/supercharger

https://www.procharger.com/

http://www.torotrak.com/products-partners/products/v-charge/

 

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