A new turbocharger research facility at the University of Huddersfield will help improve fuel efficiency to meet transport emission reduction targets.
The new Turbocharger Research Institute will focus on the application side of turbocharging, analysing how the machines would behave in real-life conditions.
“You cannot meet the current emissions legislation without turbocharging,” said Professor John Allport, who has been appointed the head of the new facility. “It is an essential part of engine efficiency now,” he said, pointing to the fact that today’s turbocharged 1.6 litre Formula One engines deliver more power than 3-litre engines did a decade ago.
According to Professor Allport, turbocharger technology remained relatively static for decades until it began to develop exponentially in the 1980s, in the wake of the 1970s fuel crisis. Initially, turbos were associated with power and performance, but nowadays the emphasis is on emissions and pollution control.
The vast majority of lorries and a large proportion of cars are now turbo-equipped, with many vehicles having multiple turbos.
“It is not the efficiency of a single turbocharger that is the issue any more. It is how that turbocharger works with one or possibly two others in a system. A lot of our research will be based around this interaction,” said Professor Allport.
The new research institute will initially be based in specially-adapted labs, but plans are being made for a construction of an all-new research centre on a site recently acquired by the university that once housed a local engineering firm.
The institute will offer an MSc degree with places for 25 students, specially designed for people working in the industry.
The Institute has received important backing from the multi-national engineering firm BorgWarner – which has a plant in Bradford – as part of a project backed by the Regional Growth Fund.