It was the development of the pulse turbocharging system in the early 1930s (although patented by its inventor, Alfred Buchi, in 1925) that was the major breakthrough in the history of turbocharging. Although the constant pressure system is widely used on certain types of engine, the vast majority of turbocharged engines in Europe use the pulse system. However, the pulse system that has been successfully developed is not the true impulse arrangement described in section 6.2. In the practical pulse system an attempt is made to utilise the energy represented by both the ‘pulse’ and ‘constant pressure’ areas of figure 6.2. The objective is to make the maximum use of the high pressure and temperature which exist in the cylinder at the moment of exhaust valve or port opening, even at the expense of creating highly unsteady flow through the turbine. In most cases the benefit from increasing the available energy will more than offset the loss in turbine efficiency due to unsteady flow.
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