Vehicle Details : Engineering

Intercooled Turbocharging

What's the Benefit?
Turbocharging increases the efficiency of an engine, both in terms of fuel use and power production.

The Feature:
This technology allows a small engine to make big-engine power—with great efficiency.

  • In basic terms, a turbine wheel placed within the exhaust system is spun by the flow of exhaust gases.
  • That turbine drives a shaft that in turn spins an air pump in the intake tract.
  • The resulting increase in pressure pushes more air and fuel into the engine’s combustion chamber, for a more powerful expansion of the ignited air-fuel mixture and greater power production.
  • So a smaller, more fuel-efficient engine can produce the torque of a bigger powerplant.
  • An intercooler is placed within the intake tract to enhance the system’s efficiency even further.
    • The act of compressing the air heats it, creating less density of the oxygen molecules necessary for combustion.
    • When the heated air flows through the intercooler, its temperature is reduced and a more dense concentration of oxygen is then available for burning.
  • It’s possible for a turbo system to create too much boost pressure on the intake side, destabilizing combustion and creating detonation, an uncontrolled burning of the air-fuel mixture.
    • To prevent this, a sensor in the intake side can trigger a device called a wastegate in the exhaust system.
    • When opened, the wastegate allows some of the exhaust flow to bypass the turbine, reducing its speed and resulting in lower intake-tract compression.