The Active Control Turbine (ACT) is a new concept that enhances turbocharger turbine aerodynamic performance in response to pulsating exhaust gas flow.


Active control technologyThe device is a means to improve the turbo-charging of internal combustion engines, in particular diesel engines. Additional energy is extracted from the engine exhaust by an innovative technique that considers the fluctuations in exhaust pressure over small time periods and adjusts the nozzle vane positions (see picture) in a way that is synchronised with the exhaust fluctuations.

The innovation increases the available power from the turbocharged engine by up to 20%. In addition, the use of the ACT turbo charger control produces a gain in thermal efficiency of the engine in the order of 2%, as more energy is extracted from the engine exhaust, which in turn increases the useable energy which can be obtained from a given mass of fuel. Key features for ACT technologies are:

  • Up to 7% exhaust energy recovered by turbine
  • 5% increase in engine brake power
  • 0.5% increase in thermal efficiency
  • Potential for engine downsizing by 20%


These turbocharger improvements will benefit all applications of turbocharged internal combustion engines, this effect is especially valuable to stationary power and other applications where operation is fairly constant and running costs are key business drivers. Imperial is looking to license this technology to leading turbocharger manufacturers.


The development of this technology is currently being supported by the Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Engineering team at Imperial College London. A business development manager has been engaged to attract and negotiate with potential licensees for the technology.

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