Automotive

Bosch WaterBoost injection opens door to better power and economy

Bosch WaterBoost injection ope...
Water mightn't be the most natural companion for combustion, but Bosch says there are big benefits to be drawn from introducing it into the mix
Water mightn't be the most natural companion for combustion, but Bosch says there are big benefits to be drawn from introducing it into the mix
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A look at how the Bosch system can improve performance 
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A look at how the Bosch system can improve performance 
Bosch says there are big efficiency improvements to come from water injected engines 
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Bosch says there are big efficiency improvements to come from water injected engines 
Water mightn't be the most natural companion for combustion, but Bosch says there are big benefits to be drawn from introducing it into the mix
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Water mightn't be the most natural companion for combustion, but Bosch says there are big benefits to be drawn from introducing it into the mix
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Water injection has recently found a home on the BMW M4 GTS, but the technology hasn't really drifted down to more mundane metal yet. Bosch wants to change that, offering up its water injection technology to other manufacturers with the promise of more power and better fuel efficiency from compact turbocharged engines.

The main benefit of water injection lies in lowering combustion temperatures within the engine. Current compact turbocharged motors are pushing their limits, both in terms of performance and fuel efficiency. Adding water to the air/fuel mixture lifts those boundaries by actively lowering the temperature within the combustion chamber, allowing a higher compression ratio without the risk of knock.

According to Bosch, running a higher compression ratio makes for improved performance and around 4 percent less CO2 under test conditions. In the real world, the company says fuel savings could be up to 13 percent.

Although there are big potential benefits, the water injection system is reasonably simple in its operation. Water is drawn from a small tank, and a fine mist is sprayed directly into the intake port, where it evaporates. Bosch says 5 liters (1.32 gal) of demineralized water is enough to last around 3000 km (1864 mi) of regular driving, and when it runs dry the car will carry on operating as normal.

Bosch says there are big efficiency improvements to come from water injected engines 
Bosch says there are big efficiency improvements to come from water injected engines 

In a prototype BMW system, the water tank was refilled by condensation from the air conditioning system, but Bosch hasn't mentioned any auto-refilling in its system. In the water-injected M4 GTS, the tank needs to be refilled manually by the driver.

Water injection isn't just about efficiency, there are also performance benefits. The BMW M4 GTS got a 59 kW (80 hp) power boost over the conventional M4, some of which came thanks to the water-injection system. Bosch says manufacturers can expect a 5 percent boost in horsepower without any increase in displacement.

Bosch says it's the only company out there with water injection technology, and is now offering it up to the world's manufacturers. Check out the company's explainer on water injection in the video below.

Source: Bosch

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20 comments
Kaido Tiigisoon
Has anyone in Bosh paid attention to a small nuance called freezing?
Future3000
Best part of this video: 13 % less specific fuel consumption, but no word how much the specific fuel consumption is. 245 - 275 g/kwh gasoline is modern standard. Waterinjection is well known since WW2. In 1930 Junkers flying diesel engine had 191 g/kwh... modern diesel cars bestpoint is 205 g/kwh... yeah, what a nice progress in 80 years! It's time to change!
VirtualGathis
This is why I don't ever take the major auto manufacturers seriously whent hey say a technology won't/can't work. Water injection has been around since at least WWII. They used it on fighters to boost take off HP so they could make short take offs and carrier launches.
We've known about it for over 50 years, it's been used, tested and proven, yet no one has implemented it until now.
Bosch way to go on rediscovering a 50 year old technology and making it seem "new".
Bob
I remember in the 1950s my grandfather had water injection on his car. It was a big gallon glass jar filled with water on the firewall with a line to the carburetor.
LowFlyerXX
Same comment as Future3000 - I remember some of the Dodge motorhomes big block - water injected! It's true, they grab onto something old, and make it sound like a "revolution".. hhhmmm...
Mzungu_Mkubwa
So, how about splitting the water first into H and O, then injecting THAT into the combustion chamber? Oops, can't do that! You just went too far, & stepped on the toes of the MiB's in charge, putting their gigantic profits at risk! Watch your back!
@Kaido, that was my first thot: "They'd better put a heat on their little water tank for those living north of the Masie-Dixie line..." ☺
clay
This high tech water-injection is great for production engines but... it is anything but new. Water injection has been around for decades. I used water injection on my drag racing GTO back in the 80's.. I was able to dial in more timing advance without pre-detonation and consistently picked up 3/10's of a second in the 1/4 mile. I admit it was a "electronically" (not digital/computer) controlled. I imagine the level of control with which systems can monitor and manipulate these days will greatly benefit this method of combustion control.
VincentWolf
Why not just do away with the combustion engine and use an electrical power train instead. Works wonders for Tesla!
MMccollum
Water injection is NOT new!!!! We have ad on kits here in america but is a water/methanol injection. Lots of power and helps keep engine clean(think steam cleaning). This is safer than nitrous is on the engine.
Mike Vidal
Water Injection of gasoline engines has been around since WW2. Used extensively in large radial engines to boost power during takeoff. Nothing really new here.