Boost Controller - Electronic Boost Control - Limitations and Disadvantages

Limitations and Disadvantages

Even with an electronic controller, actuator springs that are too soft can cause the wastegate to open before desired. Exhaust gas backpressure is still pushing against the wastegate valve itself. This backpressure can overcome the spring pressure without the aid of the actuator at all. Electronic control may still enable control of boost to over double gauge pressure of the spring's rated pressure.

The solenoid and stepper motors also need to be installed in such a way to maximize the advantages of failure modes. For instance, if a solenoid is installed to control boost electronically, it should be installed such that if the solenoid fails in the most common failure mode (probably non-energized position) the boost control falls back to simple wastegate actuator boost levels. It is possible a solenoid or stepper motor could get stuck in a position that lets no boost pressure reach the wastegate, causing boost to quickly rise out of control.

The electronic systems, extra hoses, solenoids and soforth add complexity to the turbocharger system. This runs counter to the "keep it simple" principle as there are more things that can go wrong. It is worth noting that virtually all modern factory turbocharged cars, the same cars with long warranty periods, implement electronic boost control. Manufacturers such as Subaru, Mitsubishi and Saab integrate electronic boost control in all turbo model cars.

Read more about this topic:  Boost Controller, Electronic Boost Control

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