Home – Media – The golden age of the turbocharger is yet to come

Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe expects strong growth for years to come. Drivers are the electric powertrain, synthetic fuels and a possible Euro 7 will become standard.

Therefore, Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe (MTEE) is opening a second test centre in Almere. Bas Bonnier does not have to fear the strict requirements of future emissions laws. On the contrary: Bonnier is certain that to meet the requirements regarding CO2 and nitrogen oxides, “engine developers are dependent on turbocharger systems. And that will give the turbocharger market a strong boost,”. Incidentally, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ General Manager Turbocharger Operations is not alone in making this prediction. The analysts of Transparency Market Research (TMR) also expect the global market for turbochargers for vehicles to grow by 10.1 percent in terms of sales in a forecast period from 2016 to 2024, which is just under 20.35 billion US dollars in 2024. However: according to Bonnier, the business is not a “self-sustainer”.

The discussion surrounding the diesel engine reveals how quickly the general conditions for ongoing business can change. “The market has changed dramatically in recent months,” Bonnier said. According to the company, the share of turbochargers for diesel engines would have fallen to just under 25 percent by 2024. Due to the detection of manipulated exhaust gas values for diesel, the decline should now occur much earlier. For Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe MTEE, however, this is not a problem. “Our strength is the turbocharged gasoline engine business. And we expect enormous growth there. Especially in China,” the MTEE told MTZ during an editorial visit to Almere.

 

The turbocharger market is booming

According to his prediction, up to 65 million vehicles with a turbocharger will come to the market worldwide after 2024. Nearly 75 percent will be installed in a gasoline engine. At 60 percent, China will be the largest sales market, with Europe increasing to just over 21 percent. Bonnier is therefore very confident. “I expect that a few years later almost every car will be equipped with a turbocharger”. With a market share of currently around 20 percent in Europe and a production capacity of 3.8 million units per year, MTEE will also benefit from the upcoming turbo boom.

One driver of this development is the combination of downsizing and downspeeding to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions – while simultaneously increasing driving performance. On the other hand, Bonnier believes that a possible Euro 7 standard necessarily requires a turbocharger. A lot of work for his team. After all, the engine developers expect the turbocharger to be matched to the respective engine generation in terms of “performance dynamics as well as emissions and immissions”. And there is another challenge for the engineers at the R&D site in Almere.

 

Electrification is an opportunity for the turbocharger

The electrification of the powertrain will strongly promote diversification and thus will not make business easier. A six-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation and hybrid drive, for example, places completely different demands on the dynamic behavior and control of a turbocharger than a plug-in hybrid. And gasoline engines that run in the energy-efficient Miller cycle, for example, require turbochargers with variable geometry (VTG). A principle which has been known for a long time and which has been used in diesel engines, but whose further development for gasoline engines only recently succeeded.

In addition to the material stress caused by the high temperatures of the petrol engine, “we also had to get the costs for the VTG supercharger under control,” explains Bonnier and then points out that a “compressor” has been developed even for vehicles with MTEE fuel cell drive. Bonnier even believes that the problem of synthetic fuels, which release more aggressive gases during combustion, are solvable. The components and the entire engine turbocharger system are tested on the test benches around the clock. A second test centre will be put into operation at the Almere site before the end of this year, doubling the test capacity. This will enable the engineers to run double as many engine and component tests.

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