ABB Turbocharging upgrade orders in Brazil improve power plants’ fuel efficiency by...

ABB Turbocharging upgrade orders in Brazil improve power plants’ fuel efficiency by at least 1% annually

ABB Turbocharging upgrade orders in Brazil improve power plants’ fuel efficiency by at least 1% annually

ABB’s Turbocharging business unit received a major order to upgrade a series of power plants within the context of its business collaboration with Wärtsilä. The order is the first of three, which together will amount to substantial annual fuel savings for the power plants being upgraded.

“Together with Wärtsilä we received orders very early on for upgrading 30 turbochargers in a series of power plants operated by Wärtsilä under O&M agreements,” notes Herbert Müller, Head of End User Sales for ABB’s Turbocharging business. “With upgrades, customers have the option to make an investment that will translate into major fuel savings immediately and pay itself back within a very short time.”

Going beyond an exchange of one like product for another, an upgrade improves engine performance by matching the latest turbocharger technology with an engine in an iterative process that ensures an ideal fit. Significantly, an upgrade also makes an engine more fuel-efficient, saving at least 1% in fuel annually, and in some cases even up to 3%.

The modifications made in an upgrade also considerably reduce the exhaust gas temperature of the engine (-20-30 °C), thereby reducing the thermal load on the turbocharger and engine. Thermal load is the main factor affecting the deterioration of the engine. This lower thermal load translates into lower maintenance costs both in the short and long runs. Finally, the cost of the upgrade pays itself back in savings quickly – in less than two years given the right conditions and technical specifications.

“Of course, with every upgrade and every customer it’s different, but with the Brazil order, we anticipate that the investment in these upgrades will pay itself back on the fuel savings alone in less than three years. The new turbochargers are expected to run for about eight years. Upgrades offer a completely new combination of turbocharger and engine that is capable of achieving enough fuel savings to make a difference to the end user,” says Reinier Bakker, Senior Manager OEM Service Sales. “For our customer in Brazil, it’s a good value proposition for getting the most out of their equipment for the longest amount of time through an economical project.”

ABB Turbocharging and longstanding partner Wärtsilä have been working since early 2012 to create and pilot this service option.

“Developing upgrades required both Wärtsilä and ABB Turbocharging to combine their unique areas of expertise. We had to work together to make it happen,” concludes Bakker. “And resulting from that collaboration, we are able to offer a solution that will enable customers to use their resources more wisely, and for longer.”

ABB’s Turbocharging business unit ( is at the helm of the global industry in the manufacture and maintenance of turbochargers for 500 kW to 80+ MW diesel and gas engines. Our leading-edge technology and innovation enables our customers to perform better and produce fewer emissions, even in the toughest terrains. Approximately 200,000 ABB turbochargers are in operation across the globe on ships, power stations, gen-sets, diesel locomotives and large, off-highway vehicles.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.