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Turbocharger to generator conversion? Answered

Hey, I was just wondering, could we turn a turbocharger into a generator that would produce electricity as water flows into one gate and out the other?  Similar to a hydroelectric generator using the mechanical energy of flowing water through a turbine to produce electricity.

6 Replies

rickharrisBest Answer (author)2012-04-23

A lot depends on your water source - A turbo expects a high speed flow of gas so it isn't very big.

Water turbines tend to be quite big to extract maximum energy from a large volume of water rather than a fast flow.

You might be better off with a water wheel and gear up the output to drive a generator. The wheel give you slow rotation at huge torque.

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steveastrouk (author)rickharris2012-04-23

Look at "impulse turbines" and the "Pelton wheel" - both high pressure low flow concepts.

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ELECTRONICS3 (author)2017-12-14

can car turbocharger pump water if I conect 2000rpm 1kw motor to it ?!

I have old turbo from vw sharan 1.9tdi

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lemonie (author)2012-04-23

Yes, but you'd need quite a lot of water flowing through it and at a fair pressure / head.
What have you got?


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iceng (author)2012-04-23

A turbocharger has special blade design made to react to a hot gas
and rotate very very fast.

Water wheels are designed to be turned by a liquid and because water
density is 62.4 lb/ft3 that is 815 times as dense as air 0.0765 lb/ft3.

The blade shape of a gas turbine cannot accept the strength and energy imparted by a liquid. It will turn in a sloshing type motion
and stop at any mechanical load where the delicate gas blades
may brake off....

Further a gas turbine electric generator would be a very high speed
and output frequency type compared to a water wheel generator.


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bwrussell (author)2012-04-23

In theory you would just need to swap the compressor for a shaft connected to a generator. The turbocharger would be like the blades on a windmill, you still need the actual generator.

In practice it all depends on how well a water stream will turn the blades, it should be but when you're using something for something other then it's intended purpose weird things can happen.

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