It’s almost 60 years since a commercial vehicle first exploited the advantages of turbocharging.
That original turbo, developed by Honeywell, was specified for an earth-moving tractor…and its success set in train the adoption of a technology that now boosts over nine out of every 10 medium or heavy-duty trucks in developed regions.
Today the focus for commercial vehicle engine boosting is mostly on the continuous pursuit of fuel efficiency and emissions reduction, and Honeywell, with the broadest product portfolio of any turbo manufacturer, is a key technology partner for on and off-highway OEMs.
In the on-highway truck and bus segment, new generation engine design is incorporating sophisticated turbocharged Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and downstream systems such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) in order to achieve ultra-low NOx levels. In the medium-duty sector, cost focus and driving conditions have been favoring more advanced solutions such as double axle variable geometry turbos, while for longer-haul heavy-duty trucks, high-efficiency single and two-stage turbo systems are becoming more commonplace.
In the off-highway industry – covering everything from small agriculture equipment with power ratings as low as 56kW to huge mine trucks developing 2MW (million watts) – turbo sophistication will likely proliferate to enable manufacturers to meet regulations such as US Tier4, which demands particulate matter and NOx reductions of around 90 percent over Tier3 levels.