Machine Design

Scanning for Ideas: Supercharged Turbocharger

Turbochargers are notorious for turbo lag, the delay between hitting the throttle and when power finally gets to the wheels.

Superchargers, on the other hand, have a reputation for being gas guzzlers.

A new approach to turbocharging from Woodward Governor Co., Loveland, Colo. (, Super Turbo, is a hybrid of the two and said to boost fuel efficiency and power while rendering turbo lag negligible. Mileage typically improves by 5 to 7%, while power gets a 4 to 6% bump, according to the company.

The device uses a hydraulic pump running off the crankshaft at low loads to quickly spool the turbocharger up to speed, minimizing lag. And when there’s more exhaust gas than the turbocharger can use, the excess gets sent through a hydraulic transmission to directly drive the crankshaft. Thanks to electronic controls, the users can adjust the amount of turbo boost as well as throttle response. The company says the units can be installed on trucks, off-road equipment, boats, and consumer vehicles.

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