Ricardo Performance Products will help Colorado-based Superturbo Technologies with the first phase of production of its SuperTurbo system.

The SuperTurbo is claimed to be a step forward from a traditional turbocharger in that it has a mechanical transmission that links the turbo shaft to the engine drive.

This enables power transfer to and from the turbo shaft that is not possible with a normal turbocharger.

During transient operation, the device will behave like a supercharger and draw mechanical energy to accelerate the turbomachinery for improved engine response. Unlike a traditional supercharger, it also receives transient power from its turbine. The net effect is both a fast transient response and a more efficient power draw for supercharging.

The system is also said to provide efficiency benefits to the engine. During operation at higher engine power levels, the turbine captures any excess energy from the exhaust above that needed to drive the compressor to provide boost pressure to the engine. In this operating condition, the system operates in turbo-compound mode, providing surplus power to the engine crankshaft, improving fuel efficiency. The precise control over air flow allows the engine manufacturer to tune and control the optimal combustion parameters and reduce particulate emissions.

NOx emission reduction is enhanced through bypass enabled higher aftertreatment temperatures and improved transient and steady state EGR control.

Under the contract, Ricardo will provide "product industrialisation expertise to help in planning the route to commercial manufacture".