Turbogenerator Integrated Gas Energy Recovery System (TIGERS), VIPER sub project

Context of Transport Climate Action

Global environmental concerns and consumer requirements are promoting the development of future vehicle power-train technologies that offer significant reductions in fuel consumption and emissions. Hybrid electric, all-electric and alternative fuel system vehicles (e.g. Hydrogen fuel cells, etc) are being developed to address this issue; however given that proven global crude oil reserves are ~150 billion tonnes and annual production is ~4 billion tonnes, oil will probably remain the dominant source of power for road transport for the next 25-30 years. ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles are becoming more efficient and there are still considerable improvements in fuel-consumption and emissions that can be achieved by exploiting advanced techniques such as thermal energy recovery. Approximately 35% of the thermal energy produced by the ICE is lost as exhaust gases – TIGERS (Turbogenerator Integrated Gas Energy Recovery System ) is designed to capture and transfer a percentage of this energy to an electrical storage device for optimized use.


TIGERS is an exhaust turbine driven, liquid cooled, switched reluctance generator which is designed to recover energy which would be otherwise wasted down the exhaust pipe and transfer it into useful electrical energy which can be used to aid powertrain efficiency. The TIGERS unit is designed for use on any ICE (internal combustion engine). The design of the turbine wheel will vary depending on the application; while the system uses integrated electronics to control when generation occurs to avoid adverse effects on the engines performance or fuel consumption. ‘Sealed for life’ bearings mean that there is no complicated oil feed system required, allowing for ease of retrofit and installation; while the switch reluctance technology ensures maximum efficiency. A long-term aim of the TIGERS unit is to be able to replace the mechanical alternator, which draws power from the engine crank.

TIGERS is currently being developed for 12, 24 and 48 volt architecture to match the requirements of developing technologies. TIGERS-V was developed in line with the joint consortium VIPER project, aiming to achieve 900W continuous and 2Kw Transient at 12 volts to achieve a 1% reduction on the NEDC when fitted to a 2.0l GTDI Jaguar XF.


The TIGERS project is implemented and funded by customer interest, development projects and government grants. The VIPER project was a collaborative project lead by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) involving: FORD, Ingenieursgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr (IAV), Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) BP, Nottingham University and Imperial College. The project was part funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) – the objective was to develop and produce hardware to fit to a demonstration concept vehicle yielding CO2 reduction , which could be applicable to all ICE vehicles. The project focused on the thermal management of all of the vehicle powertrain systems to reach and maintain optimal thermal operating conditions as quickly as possible. TIGERS was one of two thermal energy recovery technologies using exhaust gasses the other being JLR’s Thermal Electric Generation system.


Figure 1 – VIPER development vehicle

TIGERS is a system which sits in the exhaust flow from any IC engine; exhaust gases are directed to either TIGERS or the bypass system by an electronic valve operated by TIGERS’ integrated system control. Figure 2 shows the TIGERS-V fitted to a Jaguar XF vehicle with electronically actuated valves.

Figure 2 – TIGERS-V fitted to development vehicle


Waste to Watts – TIGERS-V has been proven to be able to harvest 500W continuous generation (figure 3) with a coolant temperature of up to 105°C and 2KW peak (transient) generation at 12V, dependant on application. During real world driving conditions the electricity consumption of a vehicle is at average 750 W. This electricity is being produced by the alternator which is using power of the internal combustion engine. Given that 500W is produced by the turbogenerator this means that the alternator only has to produce 250W. This means a substantial reduction of the power to be delivered by the alternator and consequently it means a reduction of the power to be delivered by the internal combustion engine and thus it means fuel savings and CO2 reductions. See reference: Technical Guidelines for the preparation of applications for the approval of innovative technologies.

Potential for scaling up

TIGERS has shown potential in early proof of concept tests within various projects such as VIPER. Further development of the technology is still underway under the ADEPT project (Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain) lead by Ricardo.

The funding for the development of TIGERS comes from investors, government grants and joint projects driving for a cleaner future. Innovate UK is one example of funding opportunities for cleaner technology as shown by their support in the ADEPT project. See the references of Ricardo.

Although TIGERS is still in the proof of concept and development stages, potential for scaling up the technology lies with interest in the technology and ultimately the continual push for lower CO2 emissions and higher efficiency from ICE vehicles.

Selected references

CPT. (2014). TIGERS. Available: http://www.cpowert.com/Products/TIGERS.

Haughton, A. and Dickinson, A., “Development of an Exhaust Driven Turbine-Generator Integrated Gas Energy Recovery System (TIGERS®),” SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-1873, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-1873. (http://papers.sae.org/2014-01-1873/)

Gateway to Research. (2015). VIPER – Vehicle Integrated Powertrain Energy Recovery. Available: http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/project/F6E85693-D390-4B91-8D30-F4ACC1ADC70F.

News Press. (2010). Exhaust Energy Recovery in Next Technology Step in Development of Micro-Hybrid Vehicles. Available: http://www.newspress.co.uk/public/ViewPressRelease.aspx?pr=24559. Last accessed 28th Oct 2015.

Ricardo. (2013). Ricardo-led ‘ADEPT’ project aims to deliver breakthrough in diesel fuel efficiency. Available: http://www.ricardo.com/en-GB/News–Media/Press-releases/News-releases1/2013/Ricardo-led-ADEPT-project-aims-to-deliver-breakthrough-in-diesel-fuel-efficiency/. Last accessed 30th Oct 2015.

Ricardo. (2014). ADEPT 48V ‘intelligent electrification’ diesel c be revealed by Ricardo at LCV 2014. Available: http://www.ricardo.com/en-GB/News–Media/Press-releases/News-releases1/2014/ADEPT-48V-intelligent-electrification-diesel-car-to-be-revealed-by-Ricardo-at-LCV-2014/ . Last accessed 30th Oct 2015.

Technical Guidelines for the preparation of applications for the approval of innovative technologies pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 and Regulation (EU) No 510/2011

Revision: October 2015 (see page 75)



West Midlands, UK


2004(TIGERS), 2 010 (VIPER project)


Ongoing (TIGERS), 2013 (ADEPT project)


Global, Adaptation, Passenger, Freight, Technology


Controlled Power Technology Ltd, (Jaguar Land Rover - VIPER project)


Andy Dickinson: andy.dickinson@cpowert.com

“TIGERS was installed and operated on a current premium class vehicle. The control system for TIGERS was optimized to only harvest energy from the exhaust when it was effectively free to do so. A meter was installed inside the vehicle which illuminated when energy was being recovered. During controlled test conditions there was very little energy being recovered; however under normal driving the energy recovered meter was illuminated most of the time. This demonstrated the true benefits to the vehicle user that can be realized from such a system”. Andy Dickinson, Senior Manager