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How Turbo Charging Can Lead to Better Fuel Efficiency

How Turbo Charging Can Lead to Better Fuel Efficiency

Published : 01 Jun 2021 Industry: Automotive

According to a recent study conducted by a car valuation company CAP, ‘The fuel efficiency has become the most important factor followed by running costs, cost of ownership as well as service and maintenance costs in the present for improving the overall efficiency and performance of vehicles along with maintaining ecological balance.’

A number of advances have been taken place in all areas of vehicle design in recent years, one of which is turbocharging which is designed to improve the fuel efficiency. Several vehicle manufacturers are adding turbochargers to their vehicles to meet the greenhouse gas emission standards for light-motor vehicles. Even a smaller turbocharged engine can lower fuel consumption by 2 to 6 per cent which not only reduces environmental pollution but also saves money.

The turbochargers are enabling the manufacturers to improve the fuel efficiency by boosting the power of smaller engines. These chargers force air into the engine’s cylinder that draws air in at atmospheric pressure which means that a smaller turbocharged engine has the potential to produce same power as the large standard engine. By using the wasted energy from the exhaust to drive a turbine attached to a compressor, turbochargers forces the air into the cylinder of the engine which causes less effort to pull the air-fuel mixture into the combustion chamber resulting in lesser wastage of fuel.

The introduction of turbocharging has really revolutionized the way people approach buying cars. Turbocharged vehicles are fuel efficient as this technology offers a better balance between performance and efficiency. These chargers are making it possible to get the same level of performance from an engine with four cylinders when six would have been used in the past.

Economic and environmental concerns (greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for light-duty vehicles) have forced consumers to look for vehicles which deliver better fuel efficiency and are environment-friendly. Turbochargers continue to gain traction, as can be seen from the steady growth of the global automotive turbocharger market.

A car's engine needs fuel and air in order to run. Engines can achieve more power if more air and fuel can be forced into the cylinders for each combustion cycle. The more air a car can get, the better the combustion, and the more power it can produce.

The turbo uses some of the normally wasted exhaust energy. A turbocharger is a device that compresses fresh air and forces it into the engine's cylinders, increasing the amounts of both air and fuel in the combustion chamber.

A turbocharger is composed of two fans (a turbine and a compressor): one part is attached to car's exhaust system where the force of the exhaust gas causes it to rotate. The second part uses this rotating motion to push clean air into the engine's intake system.

This means more air for more power and better efficiency. Turbochargers use the otherwise wasted pressure and energy from the exhaust system to drive a turbine that is attached to a compressor. In short - a turbocharger is basically a pump that forces more air, and therefore more oxygen, into the fuel-air mixture that an engine can burn.


Turbo Charging: Key Trends


Automakers have been using turbochargers to boost performance and nowadays they have focused on improving fuel economy more. The turbo itself doesn’t save gas, but using the smaller engine does. It is established fact that turbocharged engines deliver more torque than larger engines and now is used in sports cars and pickup trucks.

Manufacturers are replacing larger engines with turbochargers on small engines to improve fuel efficiency and to boost performance. There is an increase in installation of the turbocharger in luxury vehicles. Earlier, the prime focus of turbo charging was only to raise horsepower.

Today, however, they are broadly used to enhance efficiency in family vehicles. Small cars that earlier came with V-6 engines and large four-cylinder engines now have been equipped turbocharged engines as small as 1.5 liters, a size that used to be confined to sub-compact cars. Ford sold more than 1 million turbocharged vehicles.

EcoBoost V-6 engines are the brand name of turbocharger from the dominating Ford pickup trucks. The company installs smaller turbocharged engines as a more fuel efficient solution against conventional cylinder deactivation. With cylinder deactivation, a bigger engine behaves like a smaller one. In normal driving, a smaller engine with turbo enhances performance and more fuel economy.

However, consumers have complaints of responsiveness and fuel economy besides mechanical failures of turbocharged vehicles. Usually, for getting fast and instant acceleration, drivers tend to use heavy throttling.

One should keep in mind that turbocharging is meant to save gas, instead of going fast. Turbocharging allows automakers to substitute a smaller, more fuel-efficient engine for a bigger engine, without sacrificing power.

Though turbocharged engines cost more, so one should ensure to drive within the speed limit of 60kmph. The secret to fueling efficiency depends upon driver’s approach.

Since turbochargers re-circulates the exhaust gases back into the engine to drive the turbine, this system ensures that the fuel is burnt properly before being emitted thereby reducing carbon emissions. As we all know Transport System is also responsible for global greenhouse gas emissions concerning the internal combustion engine (ICE) of vehicles. 

As far as the environment is concerned – with the innovative technology, fossil fuel consumption decreases with the resultant emission of no or lesser heat-trapping gases which are the major culprits of global warming.

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