U.S. Department of Energy


Light-Weight Turbocharger Turbine Wheel Challenge

Submit your design concept for a light-weight turbocharger turbine wheel to increase manufacturing energy productivity in the US
Submission Deadline

Challenge Overview

*Prize eligibility limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents*


Many new engine concepts include a turbocharger to help increase thermal efficiency and increase power density (horse power/liter displacement). The turbine and compressor wheels in the turbocharger rotate at speeds over 100,000 revolutions per minute (rpm). The limitations of current turbine designs are largely driven by materials and manufacturing requirements. The mass of these rotating components in the turbocharger can have a negative impact on the efficiency and transient response of the turbocharger. 

The objective of this challenge is to design a light-weight turbocharger turbine wheel that can meet or exceed the performance of an Inconel automotive component at temperature and have the ability to be scaled up to larger turbocharger applications. In order to optimize the efficiency and transient response of these rotating components, the new design should take advantage of innovative manufacturing techniques (such as additive manufacturing) and new material concepts.

This challenge is part of the U.S. Department of Energy Manufacturing Innovator Challenge-- a series of challenges that focus on advances in additive manufacturing. The Manufacturing Innovator Challenge offers applicants an opportunity to submit innovative design concepts for additive manufacturing and other topics within several technology areas, including bioenergy, buildings, and vehicle technologies. Individual prizes ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 will be awarded to innovators with the best solutions for today's manufacturing challenges. You can view other challenges from the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge here.


Check out the 'Guidelines' tab to learn more about what is required for challenge submissions.


Challenge Timeline

Oct. 8, 2019, midnight PDT
Oct. 9, 2019, 2:40 p.m. PDT
Date Launched
Nov. 4, 2019, midnight PST
Submission Deadline
Aug. 5, 2020, 1:07 p.m. PDT
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