FLORIDA – February 3rd, 2014 – Mainstream Engineering Corporation, a 28-year-old Brevard County research and manufacturing company, has been awarded a follow-on contract from the Department of Energy to demonstrate their hybrid-electric turbocharger design for improved combustion engine performance, reduced emissions and energy recovery.
Engine turbocharging provides many advantages in terms of improvements in fuel efficiency and the potential for engine downsizing. However, current turbochargers are deficient in their transient response, effective operating range, and recovery of excess engine exhaust energy. By decreasing the turbine spool-up time with this hybrid approach, the turbocharger’s response to acceleration events is quicker, making a more desirable and driveable vehicle for car enthusiasts. The quicker response coupled with fully controllable boost pressure not only results in faster throttle response but results in improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions by allowing the engine and turbo to operate at the most efficient and effective point at all times.
Mainstream’s unique hybrid turbocharger configuration will also allow the scavenging of waste energy from the exhaust, which would normally bypass the turbo at high speeds. In other words, this turbocharger acts as an energy recovery device, capturing energy from the exhaust when a normal turbocharger would be dumping this energy through the wastegate. This electrical power can be used for propulsive power or battery recharge in hybrid vehicle applications or for powering electrical accessories, leading to further fuel economy improvements.
Mainstream is developing this turbocharger for both military and civilian applications. While no word yet when this turbocharger will be available to car enthusiasts, Mainstream has a history of successfully commercializing its military product developments for civilian use. Sports car enthusiasts may want the enjoyment of additional low-rpm torque and horsepower while also improving fuel economy; a rare but desirable combination.
Mainstream has been heavily involved in engine research since the nineteen eighties, investigating all aspects of engine design, including alternative fuel utilization, improvements to engine breathing, improved fuel economy, reduced emissions, advanced fuel injection and new supercharging and turbocharging techniques. Recently, Mainstream completed the design and fabrication of a new compact, lightweight turbocharged Advanced Modular Diesel (AMD) engine, referred to as the AMD45. This three-cylinder four-stroke, common-rail fuel injected diesel engine can also be configured in two-cylinder or four-cylinder versions. This unique engine uses a patented integrated starter-alternator hybrid drive and was developed for military generators and hybrid vehicles.
Mainstream also has a history of developing advanced engine configurations for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
About Mainstream Engineering
Mainstream Engineering Corporation is a solutions-oriented research, development and manufacturing small business founded in 1986. Our primary mission is to transition advanced thermal control, energy storage and energy conversion technology into high-quality, cost-effective, environmentally safe, green, commercial products. Products include lightweight diesel/JP8-fueled engines (including generators and hybrid vehicle drive trains), advanced thermal control units, advanced energy storage techniques, electrical power conditioning and monitoring, advanced biomass conversion technologies, refrigerators/freezers for shipping containers and the QwikProduct™ line of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) products.