Audi and the turbo electric TDi-e: Manifesto of technology

Turbo elettrico

You know what? There are those who actually uses competitions to introduce new technologies on series products. It’s not a surprise that those are Germans, that is Audi. In Ingolstadt there is a direct line through which you can not only transmit contents between motorsport and the sedan car which you sell in dealers, there is more: they are able to communicate this innovation.

The last step is called turbo electric: it is installed under the hood of the Audi RS5 TDI-e concept (just a detail) and it is characterized by an approach to what could be the near future, thanks also to Formula 1.
The concept is to reset the turbo-lag on TDI engines to zero and to do that it goes beyond the already known variable geometry turbo, even more than doubling in the low inertia turbo and a second one dedicated to ensure “power”. You study a third way.

How does the turbo electric TDI-e work?

By simply adding a third compressor upstream of aspiration. Easy to put it that way. Actually a dedicated electrical system, 48 volt, work to turn the blades of a turbocharger auxiliary up to 70,000 rpm: this happens at idle, just turned on the car. So doing it is not necessary to wait until the exhaust gases go to activate the traditional turbo, which in turn exerts its benefits: it generates the same effects by activating electrically a third unit which is then bypassed when regimes are such to allow full efficiency from the “traditional” turbo.

Just look at the torque values to realize how it is a whole new level if compared to today: 750 Nm already at 1250 r/min and it remains constant up to 2000 rev/min- it is exaggerated value. To give a reference, today the diesel probably more sporty on the market, the 3-liter BMW, stops at 630 Nm delivered at 1500 r /min. as not to think about the maximum power, equal to 385 hp, as well as declared by consumption (less than 5.3 litres/100 Km).

Audi RS5

The real news is just in the use of electricity to optimize a system already known. There’s more: to activate the turbo electric, the 48-volt system collects and stores energy – otherwise dispersed- in small lithium-ion battery.

The benefits of the system are also appreciated in driving phases in which the engine decreases the speed and the flow of the exhaust gas has a reduce flow rate to obtain the maximum from the turbo: to get support the electric one comes, always ensuring high values of torque , ready immediately.

Easy to imagine the next step, the one famous today in Formula 1, the much maligned and short of spectacular Formula 1: being able to do without the third turbo electric and integrate an electric engine directly on main the turbocharger .
Apparently, competitions give interesting insights, in spite of everything…

Translated by Federica Izzo

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