When you think Supercharger you usually associate it with big horsepower or performance engines. That may be the coolest and most fun aspect of a supercharged car but that’s not the only thing a supercharger is good for. With the obvious need to improve engine performance while lowering emissions the supercharger can go beyond our tuned horse power monster rides and make an impact outside of racing and street machines.
To combat rising fuel costs and the environmental impact of combustion engines a large portion of new cars are being produced with downsized and smaller engines. This has motivated several companies to research ways to combat these low torque and low horse power vehicles. One company who is making progress is the UK based Lontra.
Earlier this year Lontra working with Ricardo and Ford were awarded funding from the Technology Strategy Board to demonstrate their new supercharger system, The Blade Supercharger™. Lontra’s supercharger is an optimized and application specific version of Lontra’s The Blade Compressor™. This system is designed to meet the needs of heavily downsized gas and diesel power trains.
As described by Lontra’s Business Development Director, Simon Hombersley, The Blade Supercharger is “A small, rotary double-acting positive displacement compressor.” The Blade allows for real time variation of flow and internal compression ratio without having to change rotational speed. This provides precise matching of boost requirements for an engine through its cycle.
Lontra claims that with this design they can offer a supercharger with up to 20% efficiency gain over current systems. It is designed for high volumetric and thermal efficiency with high efficiency heat recovery. It works at a constant speed, is an oil free system and is small in size with low vibration and quiet operation.
A demonstration vehicle with a Ford engine is expected to be shown next year some time. The bottom line with the Lontra design is improved performance through the entire power band without turbo lag or as in some superchargers where there’s a noticeable difference of power from low to high RPM’s.
Although Lontra’s new supercharger is initially geared toward highly downsized engines it will be very exciting to see how the technology will be applied to big horse power and high performance vehicles. I am really looking forward to the first Lontra Supercharger Kits.
Here’s a video of The Blade Supercharger™ in action: