Bowman Power Group’s Electric Turbo Compounding (ETC) technology was built on the long-established engineering principles of turbo compounding and turbocharging…which have been around for longer than you might think. In this blog, we look at the history of turbo compounding.

Turbo compounding has been in use for 65 years, and has seen a range of different applications, including use in aircraft, motorsport engines, and heavy truck engines. Our ETC solution is the first of its kind, designed specifically for the power generation industry.

Turbo compounding; a brief history


  • 1948: The first order for turbo compounding was issued by the US Navy to Wright Aircraft Engine Company. The first aircraft engine to be tested with a power-recovery turbine was the Rolls-Royce Crecy.
  • 1950s: Innovations in the aerospace industry lead to turbo compounding being adopted in aircraft engines by Lockheed, Canadair, Martin and Fairchild plane makers.
  • 1980s: Cosworth Engines, based in the UK, develops turbo compounding technology primarily for motorsport F1 racing engines.
  • 1990s: Scania and Volvo incorporate turbo compounding into their engine designs for heavy diesel trucks, such as the Detroit Diesel DD15.
  • 2004: Bowman Power Group begins designing Electric Turbo Compounding (ETC) systems for the heavy truck industry with USDOE Funding.
  • 2009: Bowman Power Group switches to designing and manufacturing ETC for the power generation industry, releasing the first commercially viable ETC solution for stationary generator sets (gensets).
  • 2014: Formula 1 (F1) adopts ETC technology as part of new electric turbocharged engines; a new 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 formula that uses turbo-compounding.
  • 2015: Bowman Power Group achieves 10,000,000 running hours worldwide with over 600 ETC systems deployed worldwide.

The future of turbo compounding

With Bowman Power Group’s recent innovations in ETC technology for the power generation industry, as well as Formula 1’s adoption of the technology for motorsport, turbo compounding is seeing increased adoption for energy efficiency in a diverse range of environments.

Recently, the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, awarded funding of over £1m to support the development of marine-capable ETC systems through a collaborative project between Bowman Power Group, Rolls-Royce PLC, Lloyds Register and University College London. The project scope will see the companies develop and test a larger variant of Bowman’s proven energy efficiency technology for engines in the 2-4MW range.