Volvo improves its turbo compounding engine tech in more fuel efficient D13TC

Volvo Trucks North America on Friday debuted the next generation of its turbo compound technology – an evolution that led to an additional 3 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over the current D13TC, 13-liter turbo compound engine.

The new D13TC delivers up to 11 percent fuel savings overall compared with model-year 2015 trucks, Volvo said. Other improvements include enhanced efficiency over a wider range of applications, more engine ratings and a new EE Extra Efficiency drive mode. The new D13TC will be available for order later this year and go into production at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Volvo Trucks North America product marketing manager John Moore said almost 300 million miles have been logged, validating the up to 8 percent fuel-savings benefits of first generation of turbo compounding engine since it was developed in 2017.

“This new D13TC builds upon this game-changing engine technology, further increasing fuel efficiency by up to 3 percent over the current D13TC engine, saving approximately $1,200 per year per truck, based on the average fuel price and 125,000 miles per year,” he said.

Volvo Trucks’ new D13TC offers three individual drive modes, Dynamic Torque, an additional 405 horsepower rating, and the next evolution of the Volvo Trucks’ patented wave piston design, the company says. These updates enable further-increased fuel efficiency over a wider range of loads, vehicle speeds and engine RPMs. This offers a broader use of applications compared with the first generation of the D13TC engine, which was designed specifically for over-the-road, long-haul applications for trucks loaded at 80,000 lb.

The three individual drive modes available with the new D13TC engine are Extra Efficiency, Economy and Performance. These modes will enable the driver to better optimize fuel efficiency for the vehicle with desired performance, depending on application, topography and driving conditions. This new engine also features a wider RPM efficiency band, which enables top fuel efficiency for longer periods of time, Volvo says.

Dynamic Torque is an incremental torque system designed to provide the right torque at the right time. Rather than operating in silos of high-torque and low-torque modes, Dynamic Torque automatically sets a torque level dependent upon the weight of the truck, the grade and the road conditions at any given time. Volvo says Dynamic Torque also features an automatic 12th gear lockout on heavy loads with adaptive gearing engine ratings.

A kick-down switch along with performance drive mode allow access to full torque for customers requiring it on demand. This simpler, more effective system on the new D13TC engine will provide an even more consistent improvement in fuel efficiency across different applications, enabling customers to cut costs on a wider range of operations, the company says.

The new engine also features a revised wave piston, designed and patented by Volvo Trucks. The improved design optimizes wave technology to evenly distribute the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder, burning the fuel more consistently than a traditional piston. Volvo says the design increases the compression ratio from 17:1 to 18:1 while maintaining up to a 90 percent reduction of soot in the cylinder, further improving fuel efficiency in the engine.

“The individual drive modes allow drivers new heights in fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. We are also taking it to the next level with a simpler torque package that delivers the right torque at the right time,” Moore said. “Not only is it cutting edge when it comes to sustainable use of diesel in the transportation industry, but it is the most fuel efficient Volvo engine on the market for our customers, with trucks running cleaner at a reduced cost.”