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Electric supercharger promises simplicity, efficiency

AN American company has found a way to produce an electric supercharger for vehicle engines.

Duryea Technologies (founded in 1996 under the name “eCycle” with the objective of commercialising hybrid and electric motorcycles) says its battery-powered supercharger takes full advantage of enhanced combustion to improve performance and fuel economy at low engine speeds, where mechanically driven superchargers and exhaust driven turbochargers are ineffective.

Traditional superchargers compress the intake charge to increase the amount of air delivered to an engine, which results in combustion that is more complete, and therefore of greater power.

Conventional superchargers are gear- or belt-driven by the engine, and output is limited by engine speed.

Duryea Technologies says this electric supercharger can increase low-end torque by up to 100 percent for rapid acceleration.

Duryea’s electric superchargers consist of a SolidSlot brushless motor/generator and a centrifugal blower; the supercharger spends 7kW to get 40 kW of engine performance.

The Duryea electric supercharger is similar to a conventional belt or gear-driven unit, except that a low voltage battery bank and brushless motor power the compressor.

Unconventionally, the Duryea model is operated independent of engine speed, which increases low-end torque and allows it to more effectively spool up a turbocharger.

Importantly, the Duryea supercharger only needs to apply a small portion of traction power to the engine via compressed air, in order to achieve output that is comparable to other traditional hybrid configurations.

This proprietary technology enables a low battery bank voltage, with inherent advantages in cost, simplicity, and safety. The Duryea supercharger system can be recharged while the vehicle is cruising, and also from an electrical outlet when parked, thereby creating a low cost plug-in hybrid, given the use of suitably sized batteries.

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About Nigel Andretti

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