What is a Hybrid Turbo?
As a very top line, general answer, making a hybrid turbo involves taking your existing setup and improving the performance, using carefully selected components from a variety of manufacturers… hence ‘hybrid’!
But let's get under the hood of that a little more.
What are we trying to achieve?
Again, putting it simply, we want more power - but that’s not all. If the power output you're achieving comes at the cost of reliability, then what’s the point?
The difference between an engineer who knows what they’re doing and a cheap cowboy, is the long term knowledge and understanding of the effects from the modifications they make. A well designed hybrid will achieve better power, better reliability at the optimum efficiency.
Each hybrid turbo has been custom designed through trial and error of hundreds of combinations of parts available on the market. The knowledge and understanding of the optimum set up for any given turbo is the real value you’re getting from a turbo engineer.
Sometimes the optimum part won’t quite fit the existing housing, so it’s necessary to create the exact amount of space required for the part. For example, if the compressor wheel was being upgraded to a larger version, the housing around it may require CNC profiling to an exact specification to allow room.
There are also instances where parts can be improved with slight alterations. An example of this is the practice of clipping the turbine blades, which in some circumstances, allows air to escape quicker and reduces back pressure.
There are occasions where upgrading the turbo components, causes stress on other engine parts. Again, this is where a good turbo engineer, will come in handy and advise you on what you might need to upgrade to maintain the reliability.
Research & Development
With technology moving so quickly, and competition being fierce, how do you stay on top of the game?
All good engineers spend a lot of time on research and development. They need to stay on top of all the available parts, latest turbos and trends within the industry - as well as trying to improve the performance of their hybrid designs.
At Venom Hybrid Turbos, we first develop and test the design externally from the vehicle. This gives us an idea of what the turbo is capable of, but it doesn’t end there. We also need to see how the design stands up in situ. For this we fit the turbo in a donor car and again test the performance. This very much depends on the set up of that particular vehicle, but the data trends all feed back into our knowledge base to help with future projects. As an extra step, which for us, is vitally important - we conduct tests at different intervals in the future, to accurately measure the long terms performance and reliability. Only then, are we happy to allow that design available on the market.
Stage 1 - 4
You might see that on our website, the turbos are available in 3 stages. This is common practice, but what’s involved in each stage, differs from company to company. There’s actually a 4th stage, which is so custom, we can’t list it on the website.
Stage 1 might involve a mild upgrade on the turbine wheel and a modification on the airflow, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, a stage 4 might start with a new unit and involve a variety of new and upgraded components, which in turn might require new engine parts to cope with the upgrades, such as custom manifolds, downpipes, oil lines.
All stages include rigorous cleaning, polishing extra care of attention to make sure they look as good as they perform.