How the TPL76-C component upgrade brings a new lease of life

A close up of a turbocharger cartridge
We recently announced the availability of our latest turbocharger component upgrade offering, for the popular TPL76-C turbocharger. In this post, we take a look at what that entails and why it should be of interest to owners and operators who make use of the equipment.

We recently announced the availability of our latest turbocharger component upgrade offering, for the popular TPL76-C turbocharger. In this post, I’ll cover what that entails and why it should be of interest to owners and operators who make use of the equipment.

The TPL76-C is a turbocharger for medium-speed, four-stroke diesel and gas engines. It was designed from the start to offer a long lifecycle, low service requirements and the highest efficiency. This turbocharger series was first offered 15 years ago, and it is approaching maturity but is still extremely popular. It’s reaching the point, though, at which customers need to make a decision about what to do with their turbocharger: invest in a major overhaul, or upgrade?

Of course, though, we continued to improve the design of our turbochargers over the years through intensive development effort. We managed to increase the efficiency of turbochargers remarkably, which enabled engine concepts with reduced fuel consumption, decreased thermal load, all leading to lower OPEX, as well as lower emissions.


Different path

Historically, gaining access to this improved technology for a turbocharger already in operation would have meant changing the whole turbocharger. But that would also mean a substantial investment for customers, and entail replacing sound components as well as worn or superceded ones.

So we thought: “let’s do it differently”. Through a dedicated project we developed over two years, we have improved the design of the compressor, diffuser and turbine rotor. The bearings now have an optimized, low-friction design and the nozzle ring is optimized for the right boost pressure. This means that by only exchanging the rotating and further thermodynamically relevant components listed above, we can revitalize an older turbocharger with today’s technology, at a much-reduced cost.

The renewed turbocharger will have increased efficiency leading to lower fuel consumption, and thus operating costs also go down. If this turbocharger upgrade is combined with an engine side upgrade, an operator of a 17MW engine is able to achieve savings of 526.5 tons of fuel over a year, equivalent to roughly $250,000 every year at present (this figure depends on fuel prices, of course). And reducing the fuel consumption not only reduces the fuel bill but also reduces the CO2 emission, contributing towards a greener future.

As an added benefit, replacing these vital components will increase the turbocharger’s lifetime. Further, the recommended exchange interval of the rotating parts can be extended from 50-75,000 running hours. This also increases the sustainability credentials of the upgrade, because a lot less material is required than a completely new turbocharger. And, of course, upgraded turbochargers created through this process have been extensively validated on our test bed in Baden, and then given considerable further testing in the field to ensure the effectiveness and reliability of the operation.


Step forward

This offering is a breakthrough over what’s been possible until now. What we’ve done is to go through each component and optimize them specifically to the needs of these older models, so that they all work together to bring the maximum benefit at a minimum cost for customers.

We’re especially keen to perform upgrades in co-operation with engine OEMs, too, so upgrades are also performed on the engine – this will multiply the benefits of the process, boosting efficiency still further.

What’s next for upgrades at ABB Turbocharging? Well, in cooperation with the engine OEMs, we want to make the TPL76-C upgrade available on all engine platforms for power plants and marine customers alike. What we aim to do after that is to bring an equivalent product to the different frame sizes we offer.

If you’d like to learn more about the TPL76-C component upgrade, or would like to discuss it with someone from ABB, this webpage is for you.