First of all if you're unclear on turbos check out our Car tech 101 on [UNKNOWN] from episode two.
And our turbos versus superchargers episode 15 segment.
But I can save you some trouble.
We can do a quick refresher on turbos right here with this Ford eco boost four cylinder.
Now this is the turbo apparatus.
This part picks up the exhaust gas coming out of the engine and starts To spin the shaft.
On the other end of that is a compressor that takes air and rams more of it into the cylinder so the environment would do naturally and that's how you get more power out of the engine because more fuel more power But there are three hang nuts to this kind of design.
First of all, since it's run by exhaust, which is a gas, and a compressible gas, there's a whole lot of lag when you step on the gas pedal before you get the full effect of it.
Secondly, you've got an issue of size and placement.
You've got one spool here, another spool here, and a lot of plumbing.
That means this thing's fairly big.
Because it runs off the exhaust, it has to live at the exhaust manifold more or less.
That takes away some flexibility for engine designers who would like to put it somewhere else.
And that means the engine breathes less well.
That's not good for power or efficiency.
The electric turbo seeks to answer all three of those limitations.
Major supplier Valeo has an electric turbo, which they happen to call and electric supercharger.
It's powered by 48 volts DC.
Four times what your car has now.
This is a new thing but we covered it recently, in our episode 63 Car Tech 101 if you wanna brush up.
Now once you have 48 volts, this turbo can be mounted almost anywhere.
Typically close to the intake of the engine for the shortest run to push the boosted air and of course, not sitting in the exhaust path.
Or it can be used to pre boost a traditional turbo, so it works better.
That's part of why Valeo claims this can increase M-P-G on a car by at least 10% and maybe over 15.
To conquer turbo lag, there electric booster always idles at around 10,000 R-P-M spooling up to a max of 70,000 to deliver full boost at almost the moment you demand it by the pedal.
Audi's been testing it.
And Valeo says that company will put it into a production car in 2016.
Honeywell and Continental are two other big industry suppliers who plan to have electric turbos on the market and in production cars perhaps a year or two after Valeo.
Taking a slightly different tack is major turbo maker BorgWarner, with what they call an e-Booster.
It's a small electric air pump that additionally boosts what a conventional turbo is shoving into the engine.
Either by being mounted before or after the turbo itself.
The e-Booster is always a helper, not a primary turbo.
The fuel economy and emissions targets that are coming in the EU and US alone cover enough new cars each year to demand new ways of managing engine efficiency.
Opening the door for electric turbos, especially in smaller engines that demand more nuanced, flexible boosting technology.
more car tech demystified right now at cnet on cars dot com.
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