Birth of the Supercharger

The first exhaust-driven supercharger was developed by Dr. Alfred J. Büchi of Switzerland between 1909 and 1912. Dr. Büchi was Chief Engineer of Sulzer Brothers Research Department, and in 1911 he led Sulzer Bros Ltd when it opened an experimental turbocharging plant in Winterthur, Switzerland. In 1915, Büchi proposed the first prototype of a turbocharged diesel engine, but his ideas gained little or no acceptance at that time. Ten years later, the first successful turbocharger application appeared on two German shipsfitted with 2,000 hp turbocharged diesel engines. This success led to Büchi licensing many manufacturers in Europe, the USA and Japan.

Applications for Turbochargers Increase

In the 1930s turbochargers with axial turbines were used in marine, railcar and large stationary applications. During the next decade, the advent of the aircraft gas turbine led to major advances in materials technology and design. This had the following implications for turbocharging: development of improved heat resisting materials; development of precision casting techniques for high temperature materials; and the development of radial turbines, which led to the use of radial flow turbochargers on small automotive diesel engines. Major engine producers such as Cummins, Volvo and Scania began experimenting with turbocharged engines for trucks using turbochargers supplied by Elliot and Eberspächer in the 1950s. These early designs were unsuccessful due to the large size of the turbocharger. Soon, however, an innovative compact design by German engineer Kurt Beirer was taken up by Schwitzer Corporation, Indianapolis. In that same city at the Indianapolis 500, a turbocharged Cummins engine won pole position in 1952. Two years later, Cummins offered a range of turbocharged engines, the VT12, six cylinder NT, NRTs and JTs. Also in 1954, Volvo offered their first turbocharged truck diesel, the TD96AS, rated at 185 bhp compared with the 150 bhp naturally aspirated D96AS. In addition, Holset identified turbocharging as a key future technology and began manufacturing turbochargers. Holset soon became an industry leader, known for robust turbocharger design and dependability. In 1973 the ownership of Holset changed twice, first with the purchase by the Hanson Trust and then by Cummins Engine Company Inc. Utilising faster and faster computer-aided modelling during the ’80s and ’90s, Holset Turbochargers continued their prominence in durability and efficient design. As Holset’s global footprint grew, so did its cutting-edge technologies, including the 1998 launch of the world’s first sliding-wall variable geometry turbocharger (Holset VGT™). In 2006, Holset changed its name to Cummins Turbo Technologies to align more closely with the parent company, and further expansion continued around the world.

Cummins Turbo Technologies New Technology Developments

1986

Turbocharging made a step change in efficiency with patented Map Width Enhancement technology increasing the range of the compressor by 20%.

1988

3D viscous flow analysis programme introduced to reduce aerodynamic analysis from 13 weeks to less than one week.

1990

The first European heavy-duty wastegate turbocharger was released in production. The first commercial automotive turbocompound engine was released with Scania with additional Holset Power Turbine downstream of the turbocharger to deliver significantly improved fuel consumption.

1998

The Worldwide Technical Centre was opened and the world's first sliding-wall variable geometry turbocharger (Holset VGTTM) was launched.

2009

A prototype turbine expander unit was developed for waste heat recovery systems.

2011

A waste heat recovery test cell opened in Huddersfield, the first of its kind in the world.

2012

Future technologies launched including Waste Heat Turbine Expander, Next Generation Holset VGTTM , Next Generation Two-Stage System and Next Generation Components.

 

2014

Introduction of the Series 900 to the already robust and flexible large product range, Series 800 and Series 1000, creating the most efficient and diverse turbochargers we have ever produced for the 16 litre and above engine range.

2014

Next Generation technologies launched including Next Generation HE300VG, Electric Wastegate (eWG), M2 Two-Stage Technology featuring Rotary Turbine Control (RTC), Electrical Waste Heat Recovery Turbine Expander.