Audi future engines: Electric turbocharger is coming
The turbocharger is a very efficient way for automakers to take a smaller displacement engine, and increase both engine performance and reduce fuel consumption. But turbochargers can have a lag in power as they wait for the exhaust gasses to build up. Audi has developed an electric biturbo that will revolutionize the turbocharged engine by completely eliminating turbo lag.
Turbocharging makes a lot of sense because automakers can downsize engine displacement and achieve the same power and efficiency compared with larger naturally aspirated engines. Audi says that their TDI diesel engines have realized power gains of over 100 percent and torque gains of 70 percent since 1989. Over the same time period, emissions have been reduced by 95 percent with the use of turbochargers.
Audi's electric biturbo technology
In advanced diesel development at Audi’s site in Neckarsulm, engineers developed this new electric biturbo technology that uses a secondary compressor that boosts the main turbocharger at lower engine speeds. All turbochargers use energy from the exhaust to drive the turbo. The problem with conventional turbo’s is the torque needed for power becomes gradually greater only as the exhaust energy increases.