Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has developed a new hybrid turbocharger that could further enhance the possibilities for improving fuel efficiency through downsizing. Turbochargers have traditionally be used as a way of to recycle some of the thermal and mechanical energy that normally flows out the exhaust pipe and to force more air into the engine. The exhaust gases spin a turbine that sits on a common shaft with a compressor that blows air into the intake.

The new MHI hybrid turbocharger adds an electrical generator that is also driven off the same shaft. The MET83MAG turbocharger is currently designed for marine applications where the engines typically run at more or less constant speeds. The exhaust-driven generator can provide all of the electrical needs of a ship, which obviously cuts fuel consumption.

There doesn't seem to be any reason that a similar system couldn't be applied to cars or trucks to cut the parasitic losses of driving an alternator. Such a turbocharger could be particularly useful on the range-extending engine for a series hybrid like the Chevrolet Volt. A smaller engine with a hybrid turbocharger could produce electricity to charge/sustain the battery in addition to the generator connected to the drive shaft.

[Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries]

PRESS RELEASE

MHI Develops Hybrid Turbocharger to Generate Electricity Utilizing Exhaust Gas from Marine Engines

Built-in Generator Supplies Necessary Electricity at Sea and Reduces Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions

Tokyo, August 26, 2010 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has developed the "MET83MAG," a generator-integrated hybrid turbocharger for marine propulsion diesel engines which utilizes engine exhaust gas not only to drive the turbocharger but also to generate electricity. The MET83MAG is capable of supplying all electric power necessary during normal sea going. At the same time, the hybrid turbocharger also enables reductions in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The hybrid turbocharger, which was commercialized in cooperation with Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), Universal Shipbuilding Corporation and Hitachi Zosen Corporation, will be installed and tested on a bulk carrier that is slated to go into service in 2011. The event will mark the world's first on-board testing of a hybrid turbocharger using a commercial ship in actual operation. In celebration of the completion of the first MET83MAG unit, a presentation ceremony for the hybrid turbocharger took place at MHI's Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works.

The generator of the MET83MAG, which is capable to generate a maximum power output of 754 kilowatts (kW) at an engine speed of 9,500 revolutions per minute (rpm), also can substitute the function of auxiliary blower from its use as an electric motor to enhance the performance of the turbocharger when engine speed is not fast enough,For the actual on-board testing, a hybrid turbocharger will be installed on a capesize bulk carrier currently under construction by Universal Shipbuilding for NYK Line.

The MET83MAG hybrid turbocharger is one of the waste heat recovery systems that utilize exhaust gas from the engine and is compact due to its built-in generator. The new turbocharger can accommodate demand for replacement of existing turbochargers. Previously MHI has developed and successfully commercialized the waste heat recovery system "MERS (Mitsubishi Energy Recovery System)," which enables a 10% reduction in fuel costs by generating electric power through combination of an exhaust-gas-driven turbine and a steam turbine, for vessels requiring large electric power, such as container carriers and crude oil carriers.

Leveraging its expertise and strength derived from providing various equipments for effective energy utilization in marine applications, going forward MHI will continue to develop innovative products and systems and propose new and better solution as Mitsubishi Marine Energy & Environmental Technical Solution System that meets stricter regulations in future as well as further enhancement of thermal efficiency.


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