Electric Turbo

A lag free, high performance, low cost turbo solution that is customizable and provides about 8-10 pounds of boost (about +200hp).

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The most common configuration turbo kit for cars is a simple compressor that works off of exhaust fumes from the engine. It's a semi practical use of otherwise mostly useless exhaust. This approach does cause some problems since you have to wait for the fumes to propagate out of the engine and into the impeller as well the volatile corrosive nature of the fumes themselves which leads to turbo failure.

The idea is that an electric turbo with a compressor would be much faster and lag free as the turbo can spin up as the RPM increases. Our first prototype will be in a 2004 Nissan 350Z.

The eventual idea is to build a prototype and then develop a kit that can be applied to a variety of cars.

As of time of writing, there has not been a single production car to include a electric turbo though Audi reportedly has one in the works for 2016-ish. I don't know of any other electric turbo kits so this will be one of a kind.

  • 1 × Compressor (1 Kw 48v) This can be sourced from the front half a turbo. It will compress about 8-10 psi into the air intake
  • 1 × Microcontroller needs to communicate over OBDII
  • 1 × Motor controller AC motor controller
  • 1 × Large Battery
  • 1 × Bluetooth Module

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  • Planning Stage

    Matthew Carlson01/07/2015 at 19:46 0 comments

    The car that this will be first installed and developed on is still being worked on (a 2004 Nissan 350z) and the engine block is currently being machined and cleaned at a local shop. Until then we can plan out.

    After some discussion and some back of the envelope math, we have come to the conclusion that a 1Kw motor would be required to get to the levels of boost that we want (up to 15 lbs). The average car only can handle about 5lbs and a nicer car can handle up to about 10. Those with reinforced or modded cars can go up to roughly 20 lbs before things are getting really complicated (or if they don't care that their engine has a large likely hood of bursting). Aiming to capture as large of a market as reasonable, we decided that 15 is a good upper limit for us.

    The main problem that this introduces is that your average car battery can't handle 1kW motor. We estimate that if we use a 24v or 48v motor, we can probably get by with a beefy battery of continuous boost for about a minute. The micro-controller would have to accommodate this and be able to measure the battery voltage. In order to charge the larger battery, a better alternator would likely have to be installed.

    With a electronic turbo and a micro-controller it is possible to have dynamic turbo curves. A bluetooth module on the micro-controller allows someone to change it and check on various car stats as well as adjust it (whether to respond to throttle position, RPMs, or a combination of the two).

    For now, we'll be looking to battery options as well as the merits of different micro-controllers.

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Discussions wrote 01/07/2015 at 21:33 point

The thing that makes turbos efficient is the exhaust gas. That makes the turbo power "free" because it doesn't cost much to run. When you move to a belt driven or electric drive you lose that efficiency because now it "costs" you to spin the turbo. If you need more than a car battery to run your electric turbo, you probably also need a bigger alternator to charge that bigger battery bank, right? The bigger alternator then requires more power from the engine...

The F1 racing teams are moving to hybrid electric turbos, which can put power into or take power out of the spinning compressor wheel. You're doing something right by adding the motor but don't rule out the importance of the exhaust gases to do the bulk of the work.

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zakqwy wrote 12/26/2014 at 04:48 point

What are your plans for the motor? Turbo compressor wheels turn pretty fast.

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Matthew Carlson wrote 12/26/2014 at 04:59 point

We are already rebuilding the engine that it will be prototyped for. The idea is stronger bolts and cranks along with new seals and pistons with a new bore on the cylinder walls for a few extra cc'a.

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zakqwy wrote 12/26/2014 at 13:03 point

Makes sense. I should have been more specific--have you selected the electric motor for the turbo?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Matthew Carlson wrote 01/07/2015 at 19:48 point

Not yet I don't think. I think we're still in the planning stage but we estimated that a 1 kW would be sufficient. We might be wrong though.

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