Based on its recent research on the powertrain market, Frost & Sullivan presents Bowman Power Group Ltd. (Bowman Power) with the "2010 European Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award" for the development of electrical turbogenerators that convert exhaust gases into useful energy. In an industry that is challenged by emission and fuel consumption regulations, there is constant need for innovative but affordable technologies to tackle toxic emissions and help energy conservation. Electrical turbogenerators are competently superior to the conventional technologies and products available in the market.
The efficiency of these electrical turbogenerators from Bowman Power is far higher than that of the mechanical ones from its competitors. It, however, varies according to the load on the engine. At its optimum operating condition, the electrical turbogenerator offers more than three times the efficiency offered by mechanical turbocompounding. Mechanical turbocompounding may even absorb power at certain load conditions and generate power at other load conditions unlike Bowman Power's turbogenerators, which electrically enables the turbine wheel of the turbogenerator to run at controlled speeds thus making sure that all engine points generate power rather than absorb power.
"While Bowman Power's competitors have introduced mechanical turbocompounding that convert the exhaust gas into mechanical energy that is fed back to the crankshaft, the exhaust heat recovery system from Bowman Power is unique in its ability to convert some of the heat energy from exhaust gases into useful electrical energy," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Arif Basheer. "Running the turbogenerator at controlled speeds, which is one of Bowman's pending patents, optimises the efficiency across a wider range of engine conditions and delivers significantly higher fuel efficiency thereby having an advantage over the mechanical turbogenerators from its competitors."
Depending on the engine application, the electrical turbogenerator can deliver an average increase in fuel efficiency across the varied operating conditions of the engine of around 8 per cent, which far exceeds the 2-3 per cent increase in fuel efficiency offered by mechanical turbocompounding. Considering the increasing cost of fuel, such value-add from the company ensures customer loyalty and deeper market penetration.
"With emission norms becoming stricter with time, OEMs and suppliers are working toward developing exhaust emission reduction systems that are efficient, easy to integrate into existing vehicle powertrains and at the same time, are cost effective," says Basheer. "Bowman Power's electrical turbogenerator is an example of a complete system possessed with the potential of catering to all the requirements of an OEM."
The return on investment (ROI) offered by Bowman Power's electrical turbogenerator is also far higher as it also allows for engine downsizing and maintains engine power with high exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). While the cost of developing a new technology can be high, Bowman Power claims that the investment on turbogenerators is made mainly keeping in mind the increase in efficiency. Since fuel economy is of top priority in trucks and buses, manufacturers of these vehicles are interested in such systems and within a span of two years, it is possible to break-even the cost invested on the turbogenerator. These advantages offered by Bowman Power's product eliminate the need for a customer to develop and tune the system further, thereby saving time and eliminating the need for further investment.
Within a short period of time, Bowman Power has already secured contracts with over five commercial vehicle manufacturers in Europe, North America and Japan. The company offers off-the-shelf products for certain diesel engine types because the technology involved varies for different engines. However, because of their modular thermodynamic design, it is possible to cater for a wide engine displacement, from 7 litres to 60 litres, with minor adjustments to their current product range. It has also been working with several commercial vehicle manufacturers, generator manufacturers and packagers in order to offer the best efficiency through its products. The tailor-made systems for different engines from Bowman Power give it an edge over its competitors. Bowman is now embarking on designs for spark ignition generators and alternative Energy Recovery Technologies for smaller displacement commercial vehicle engines, essentially a highly efficient motor-generator embedded in a turbocharger or e-turbo, something previously attempted by major tier 1s without all the pieces of the puzzle. Bowman has all the pieces, so it will be interesting to see if they can succeed where others have failed.
For these achievements that have culminated in an innovative product that offers both the client and the company superior benefits, Bowman Power is the worthy recipient of the 2010 European Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award in the automotive powertrain market. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leverage leading edge technologies. The award recognizes the value added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it offers customers, which in turn increases customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Bowman Power
Bowman Power (bowmanpower.co.uk) is a privately funded company that is involved with the development of turbomachinery, electrical machines and software controlled power management electronics. The company is based in Southampton (United Kingdom). The company has successfully showcased consistent improvement of technologies and applied them to diesel engines to deliver better efficiency.
Adrian Patterson, Business Development Manager
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About Frost & Sullivan
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