Ricardo, Lontra and Ford Motor Company have been awarded funding by the UK Technology Strategy Board to demonstrate Lontra’s Blade Supercharger. The team will integrate the unique technology with a downsized engine to create a Ford vehicle demonstrator.
The Blade Supercharger is a variable flow compressor with the ability to meet the boost requirements of downsized engines, said to deliver 20% efficiency gains over competing technologies. The compressor is designed for high volumetric and thermal efficiency, and the geometry of the compressor allows high efficiency heat recovery. It is oil free, and other features include small size, low vibration and quiet operation. A key feature is the compressor's ability to vary flow and pressure with minimal efficiency loss, without the use of Variable Speed Drive.
It is a rotary device with a wrapped toroidal chamber. The key features are a rotating blade, which passes through a slot in a rotating disc once per cycle. The unit is therefore a compact, double acting rotary compressor.
The funding grant provided by the Technology Strategy Board will enable the development of the supercharger for Ford’s engine package, and the integration of the boosted engine into a vehicle demonstrator. Lontra and Ricardo engineers will work together to implement the project.
Simon Hombersley, Business Development Director of Lontra said, “Boosting automotive engines is one of Lontra’s initial three applications for our unique energy efficient technology. We’re very enthusiastic to work with such experienced partners in the automotive sector, and look forward to demonstrating the technology next year.”
The Technology Strategy Board promotes UK innovation, and the grant is part of its fast track funding stream, which has a streamlined application process for projects of 12 months or less. The team anticipate a vehicle demonstrator will be completed in 2010.