Applying Ball Bearings to the Series Turbochargers for the Caterpillar® Heavy-Duty On-Highway Truck Engines
Fuel is a significant portion of the operating cost for an on-highway diesel engine and fuel economy is important to the economics of shipping most goods in North America. Cat® ACERT™ engine technology is no exception. Ball bearings have been applied to the series turbochargers for the Caterpillar heavy-duty, on-highway diesel truck engines in order to reduce mechanical loss for improved efficiency and lower fuel consumption. Over many years of turbocharger development, much effort has been put into improving the aerodynamic efficiency of the compressor and turbine stages. Over the same span of time, the mechanical bearing losses of a turbocharger have not experienced a significant reduction in power consumption. Most turbochargers continue to use conventional hydrodynamic radial and thrust bearings to support the rotor. While these conventional bearings provide a low cost solution, they do create significant mechanical loss.