PowerPulse: Volvo reinvents the diesel engine using compressed air

Volvo debuts a new engine turbodiesel in the Volvo S90, but it is not a diesel engine like the others. While we wait, impatient that some manufacturer will launch to market turbos electric, Volvo takes the lead and develops the system PowerPulse compressed air to reduce to a minimum the lag turbocharger without the need of complicating things. We talk about a technology that is unprecedented in engines able to get the D5 engine 2-liter turbo develops nothing less than 235 HP. This is how it works.

Speak of a system that can almost eliminate the lag of turbocharged engines.

At Volvo are very clear that they want to take advantage of the possible to its modular architecture of diesel engines Drive-E. Although we know that Volvo already work with engines supercharged with turbo electric able to reach 450 HP from a 2 litre petrol, the technology PowerPulse is presented to us as an intermediate step to reduce costs and complexity.


The all-new Volvo S90 will release a D5 engine of 235 HP. This engine employs a system of supercharging with two turbochargers in series, one with variable geometry (for low and medium loads) and another, fixed geometry (for high loads). With this arrangement it is achieved to reduce significantly the response time of the supercharger, however Volvo has wanted to go one step further by sandwiching the system PowerPulse. This system is not more than a compressor of a conventional air that takes intake air, compresses it and then stores it in a small tank that will store a reserve of compressed air in an uninterrupted manner.

Less innovative than a Turbo electric, but just as practical according to the theory

The objective of Volvo interspersed with this system is to reduce to minimum the time of loading of the turbochargers. When the driver accelerates suddenly, the system PowerPulse inject the compressed air stored on the turbine exhaust to the turbocharger to speed up its spin, and so to get it to compress air almost instantly.


By the time Volvo only has provided us with the data of maximum power, 235 BHP, and maximum torque, 480 Nm from 1,750 rpm. However there will be very attentive to know the horsepower and torque curves of the engine, so if the system PowerPulse complies with what promises, there may be a very important step to remove the lag of the turbcompresores.

Source: Volvo
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