Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Rolls Royce Power Systems: Electrically assisted turbochargers for high-power engines

By WniF editors

Rolls-Royce Power Systems has acquired the exclusive rights of use for a new technology for the electrically-assisted charging of off-highway combustion engines in the power range from 600hp (450kW) and more from G+L innotec. The new invention from the Laupheim, Southern Germany-based development and engineering services provider, is protected by patents, and has not been available on the market before.

Rolls-Royce plans to offer engines from its MTU brand with this technology as of 2021.

“Electrically-assisted charging is a milestone on the way to the hybridising of the engine,” MTU’s director of development for turbocharging and fluid systems, Dr Johannes Kech, said. “Using this technology, it will be possible for us to develop agile, low-consumption engines.

MTU and G+L innotec will complete the next stages of development on the basis of a close partnership.

The electrically-assisted charging system comprises an electric drive combined with a traditional turbocharger developed and manufactured by MTU. As a result, the turbocharger can be accelerated electrically and the charge pressure built up earlier. In operating conditions, in which the energy required for a faster charge pressure of the turbine would normally not be sufficient, it is also possible to build up with the aid of the electric drive.

The technology also allows the turbocharger’s electric motor to generate power when the turbine is being powered solely by exhaust gases.

Using the technology developed by G+L innotec, MTU will be able to increase the acceleration capability of marine engines, for example, and also the load response capabilities of generator drives significantly. In addition, it will also be possible to reduce the engine’s fuel consumption and emissions in a variety of different applications. This technology is ideally suited to diesel engines and those powered by natural gas or gas from anaerobic digestion. It can also be used with petrol engines.

To provide the turbocharger with electrical assistance, a permanent magnet is installed upstream of the compressor wheel and the electrical winding is integrated into the casing of the compressor. With this arrangement, the air drawn in by the compressor is not obstructed and at the same time the electrical components are cooled by the air. The special feature of this arrangement is the large gap between the magnet and winding. This so-called media gap motor requires specially designed power electronics. This ensures that there is no aerodynamic impact on the charger, and also that existing chargers can be adapted easily to enable them to make use of this technology.

On the basis of a development collaboration agreement with G+L innotec, MTU has equipped turbochargers with this electric drive and has carried out component tests to determine its possible potential. In the next stage, the two partner companies will prepare the new products for series production, so that as of 2021, MTU will be able to launch engines equipped with this technology on the market. The first areas of application suitable for these engines include ships, emergency generator sets and off-road vehicles.

Under the agreement with Rolls Royce, G+L innotec can market the rights to use the technology in power units of less than 600hp to other engine maufacturers.

For more information visit: www.rrpowersystems.com.

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