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Eight Things About Turbochargers You (Probably) Never Knew

Honeywell partners with Oerlikon in the development and testing of performance enhancing solutions for turbochargers.


Honeywell has been producing turbochargers since the 1950s. Since that time, the technology has become synonymous with high-end performance in vehicles, but turbos are also now commonly used by automakers around the globe to improve energy efficiency through engine downsizing. By using a turbo, engine manufacturers can downsize the cylinder capacity of their engines to reap the fuel economy and emissions benefits of the lighter weight, smaller engine, without sacrificing performance.

These benefits are why, in its recent turbo forecast, Honeywell predicted that 200 million cars with turbocharged engines will be produced during the next five years. By 2020, 47 percent of all new vehicles are expected to have a turbo fitted.

Here are some things you may or may not know about the turbocharger that is giving your car that extra boost!

Handle fuel nozzle to refuel. Vehicle fueling facility.

Fuel Frugality: By integrating a turbocharger with a downsized engine, automakers can improve fuel efficiency by as much as 40 percent in diesel applications and 20 percent in gas applications as compared to a larger naturally-aspirated gas engine with similar output performance.

Hong Kong central district at night

 You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Turbo, Baby): The turbine in a typical car turbocharger has to spin incredibly quickly. While your car’s engine revs, at cruise, at around 2,000 rpm, a turbo’s turbine can reach rotational speeds of more than 280,000 rpm.

3d turbine turbo charger, car booster on white background 3D illustration

 Fine Engineering: The required level of accuracy when designing and manufacturing the size of a turbo’s components is, in some cases, smaller than the width of a human hair.

A close up shot taken literally meters away from the impressive volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland in 2010. In the darkest of nights, we witnessed the roaring bursts of lava.

 Toasty Turbines: Turbos operate in extreme heat, in excess of 1050 °C in gasoline engines. Even in diesel engines they run hotter than the temperature of molten lava.

Arizona Scenic Drive. Driving Down the Road During Scenic Summer Sunset. Summer Trip.

Going Green: By 2020 Honeywell expects that 7 percent of all cars on the road will be hybrids – at least 2 percent of which will be turbocharged.

traffic-jam on 4-lane highway at rush-hour

 Driving Demand: In order to meet huge demand from the world’s automakers, Honeywell launches on average 100 new turbo applications every year, and has more than 500 programs in its product development pipeline at any given time.

Motorsport / FIA WEC 2015: 6 Hours of Silverstone, Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber *** Local Caption *** Jiri Krenek / Porsche

In It For The Long Haul: Turbocharger performance is integral to engine design and performance, which is why reliability is extremely important. Cars using Honeywell turbochargers have won the 24hrs of Le Mans endurance race every year for the past 17 years.

Second life, first in quality

Second Life, First In Quality: Honeywell Garrett is the company’s independent aftermarket brand which sells replacement turbos. A recent study commissioned by Honeywell and conducted by an independent laboratory in the U.K. determined replacement turbos like Honeywell Garrett products can have as much as 40 percent better torque and emit as much as 28 percent less nitrous oxides than copy replacement parts not built to the exacting original equipment specifications of your vehicle.

Originally published by Honeywell

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