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As Honeywell prepares to divest its Transportation Systems business, turbochargers look set to go on a roll.

Stephen Moore

October 20, 2017

2 Min Read
The future of turbocharging: anything but all hot air

Honeywell plans to spin off its Transportation Systems business, which includes turbochargers, at a time when demand for the fuel-saving devices is set to boom according to company internal forecasts. Even with increased adoption of hybrid powertrain systems, the company sees adoption of turbocharging growing from 41 percent global penetration today to 48 percent by 2021.

Electric and hybrid vehicles  are expected to grow from a total of 3 million vehicles in 2016 to a total of 16 million by 2021. Within the electrified category, mild hybrids are expected to account for 46 percent of the mix; full hybrids will account for 40 percent; and pure electric vehicles will account for most of the remaining 14 percent. Honeywell estimates 70 percent of all mild hybrid vehicles will have a turbo or multiple turbo systems (mechanical and electric).

Another emerging turbo-related trend is the E-charger, or E-compressor; an additional unit with an electric motor that drives a second compressor and works in conjunction with a traditional turbocharger. By adding an E-compressor transient response is improved as is low-end torque. This powertrain configuration also matches the engine profile and gearbox ratios much better than is achieved with a twin-turbo system. “Here we really need to see a much higher adoption rate for 48V systems, because conventional 12V systems are not really powerful enough for fully effective hybrids,” notes Honeywell.

With 48V systems in place – and they are coming from all manufacturers according to Honeywell,– the company envisages a more elegant solution through the use of an E-turbo. This is a single unit with an electric motor added between the compressor and the turbine. “It is a more efficient system with greater benefits for packaging and reduction in plumbing as it also allows for the turbo to return excess energy to a generator providing electricity into the hybrid system,” says Honeywell. “In this manner, the turbo is not just a consumer of electrical power, but also a supplier. We are developing such systems today with an on-road example being our support of Scuderia Ferrari in Formula 1 racing,” it adds.

In addition, Honeywell has drawn upon its engineering competencies in the automotive and aerospace industries to create a new two-stage electrical compressor used by Honda Motor Co. for its hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle.

By 2021, Honeywell predicts that the majority of mild hybrid vehicles will utilize turbochargers.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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