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Eaton Introduces Next-Generation Supercharger

31 October 2006

Eaton Corporation has unveiled its newest generation of Roots-type supercharger design that will enable automakers to use smaller, more efficient compressors to create more engine boost.

The new design, called Twin Vortices Series (TVS), features four-lobe rotors and high-flow inlet and outlet ports that greatly enhance thermal efficiency, enabling greater volumetric capacity at higher revolutions per minute (RPM). Previous Eaton Roots-type designs featured only three-lobe rotor assemblies. The new TVS supercharger design is scalable and adaptable to virtually all engine designs, according to Eaton.

We think the TVS is a game-changer that will allow our customers to make more horsepower without the traditional engineering tradeoffs. The TVS design has remarkably improved efficiencies and broadens the performance range of the supercharger across an engine’s entire performance range.

—Jeff Romig, vice president and general manager of Eaton’s supercharger business

Eaton has development programs underway with several automakers to incorporate the TVS into future vehicle programs and it is working with its aftermarket partners to make the TVS technology available to performance enthusiast in 2007.

October 31, 2006 in Engines | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

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This could pave the way for further engine size reductions with engines based on Mazda's "Miller-Cycle" concept where you take an Atkinson-cycle engine and put a supercharger on it to have all the efficiency of the Atkinson-cycle engine at idle and low to medium load, but you have all the power of a mildly supercharged engine at full power.

Superchargers can improve fuel economy if and only if the engine displacement is significantly reduced. Mercedes did this for a while with its Kompressor models, but they switched to the far more efficient turbos because lag is much less of a problem these days.

Superchargers are also useful for CNG vehicles with port fuel injection.

The concept of combining a supercharger with valve detuning is intriguing but I suspect the thermodynamic gains from the Atkinson cycle will be nullified by the overhead of running an expensive supercharger. You might as well just stick with a naturally aspirated engine.

Direct Injection of CNG with a turbocharger sounds interesting. I like the idea of getting a lot of power out of a small displacement engine, for a series hybrid genset.

Rafael:

Modern superchargers quite effectively went-off air when not in use (99% of the time of operation of gasoline engine), and hence have very small drag on the engine. On WOT they have zero lag and their compression ratio is constant within engine RPM range, which significantly simplifies engine controls. Also they have way lower rotational speed than turbochargers, do not require cooling, and actually are cheaper than gasoline turbochargers (subject to high temperature stresses from exhaust gases). They also do not require expensive alterations to exhaust manifold. For street-driven performance cars they emerge as being the best option. But of course not for family sedans.

They also are quite noisy.

Turbos will compensate for high altitude to a great extent (limited by turbine speed). Positive displacement superchargers like the Roots type described do not provide any altitude compensation. If you stay near sea level it doesn't matter, but for vehicles that are operated in mountains or other high altitude areas the turbo has a major advantage.

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