Securing worthwhile fuel economy gains
Using proven Delphi common rail
Technology from Europe
In the context of turbocompounding, it would be interesting to know if Volvo's re-examination of the technology - remember the company briefly flirted with turbocompounding some years ago - is the result of quiet market research that has been conducted by Volvo Trucks North America. More than likely, executives will have initiated studies to tout the opinions of rival long-haul operators using Daimler AG's Freightliner trucks powered by the DD15 engine.
This Detroit Diesel DD15 carries turbocompunding technology but althoough based in Detroit, Michigan and owned by Daimler AG, more than likely the Detroit Diesel-branded technology was developed some three or more years ago alongside the engine in Mannheim, Germany. There, engineers will no doubt have minutely studied the turbocharging systems adopted by Scania and Volvo and possibly taken a leaf out of their book.
Turbocompounding is not an attractive option on European roads where hills on many cross-country routes require constant gear-changing. Hence its non-arrearence in the rion. But in the US, where truckers can take advantage of long, straight stretches of Interstate Highways, the full benefits of having a turbcompoiunded-engine can be realised. And no doubt Volvo executives have tapped into this, otherwise there would be little point in going to the expense of developing a more complex engine which no doubt will provide some additional headaches for Volvo service engineers on the roadside In passing, it would be interesting to know the on-costs of turbocharging for a standard D13 engine.
As to another technology - compacted graphite iron (CGI) - Volvo powertrain planners clearly considered turbocompounding a more worthwhile option in preference at this stage for their 'new' engines. No mention of the material is made in the Volvo press releases or company statements.
Meanwhile, Freightliner managers will be carefully monitoring the emergence of this new turbocompounded engine from Volvo - developed in Sweden - to assess user reaction and, if possible, quantify any reliability issues attributable directly to the technology as opposed to peripheral causes of problems, such as faulty sensors and the like which, although small items in their own way, can cause long delays for operators at the roadside.