NuVinci VSS schematic

Fallbrook Technologies developing innovative supercharger

The supercharger will be based on Fallbrook's continuously variable planetary (CVP) technology called NuVinci and could help automakers downsize engines and increase fuel efficiency in a big way.

Fallbrook is targeting automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for this variable speed supercharger (VSS) and is currently working with a Tier 1 automotive equipment supplier on development of the device. Test results show potential fuel-saving and engine down-sizing opportunities that do not adversely affect performance and drivability.

Based on the company's NuVinci CVP, the VSS uses a set of rotating and tilting balls positioned between the input and output components of the supercharger (see schematic). The balls tilt and move to change their contact diameters, varying the ratio of injection in much the same way CVP operates in an equipped transmission to change speeds in gearing.

Using this, a smaller engine can still output higher torque and horsepower values, even at lower RPM ranges. Most superchargers and turbo units require high RPM to operate efficiently, but Fallbrook's VSS allows operation in a much broader range of RPM, increasing efficiencies. The NuVinci-enabled supercharger can be independently controlled from engine speed, allowing intake and ingestion to be separate. This means that airflow to the engine's ingestion can be precise with little to no bypass losses and their associated performance and efficiency issues (NVH).


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