The technical merits of turbogenerating shown through the design, validation and implementation of a 1 dimensional engine model

Ian GM Thompson, Stephen W. Spence, David Thornhill, Charles D. McCartan, Jonathan MH Talbot-Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Turbocompounding is the process of recovering a proportion of an engine’s fuel energy that would otherwise be lost in the exhaust process and adding it to the output power. This was first seen in the 1930s and is carried out by coupling an exhaust gas turbine to the crankshaft of a reciprocating engine. It has since been recognised that coupling the power turbine to an electrical generator instead of the crankshaft has the potential to reduce the fuel consumption further with the added flexibility of being able to decide how this recovered energy is used. The electricity generated can be used in automotive applications to assist the crankshaft using a flywheel motor generator or to power ancillaries that would otherwise have run off the crankshaft. In the case of stationary power plants, it can assist the electrical power output. Decoupling the power turbine from the crankshaft and coupling it to a generator allows the power electronics to control the turbine speed independently in order to optimise the specific fuel consumption for different engine operating conditions. This method of energy recapture is termed ‘turbogenerating’.

This paper gives a brief history of turbocompounding and its thermodynamic merits. It then moves on to give an account of the validation of a turbogenerated engine model. The model is then used to investigate what needs to be done to an engine when a turbogenerator is installed. The engine being modelled is used for stationary power generation and is fuelled by an induced biogas with a small portion of palm oil being injected into the cylinder to initiate combustion by compression ignition. From these investigations, optimum settings were found that result in a 10.90% improvement in overall efficiency. These savings relate to the same engine without a turbogenerator installed operating with fixed fuelling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-77
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Engine Research
Issue number1
Early online date29 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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