Turbocharger | Supercharger : Explained

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What are Turbochargers and Superchargers ?

These are forced induction devices that increase the rate of combustion in an internal combustion engine. These devices can force more air into the combustion chamber resulting in more air and fuel mixture than atmospheric pressure. This results in better efficiency and more power output from the engine.

How does a Turbocharger work ?

Turbocharger uses exhaust gas from combustion chamber to turn the turbine wheel which then turns compressor wheel and more air is compressed and fed into the engine.

 

This process of compression increases the temperature of the air, forcing this air into the engine can reduce efficiency and cause knocking. In order to cool this air, an inter-cooler is introduced , which will cool the air  and provide volumetric efficiency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does a Supercharger work ?

Supercharger consumes some power from the engine to run it, so the gross power output is much higher than the net output because the supercharger can consume upto 20 to 25 % of engines output to run itself.(percentage vary from different engine and supercharger designs )

Superchargers are connected by an engine belt,the power from engine belt is transferred to the drive gear which rotates compressor gear,which then draws in air to discharge into the intake manifold.

 As the air is compressed,it gets hotter which means it loses its density and cannot expand as much during explosion, hence inter-coolers are introduced to cool the air, there are two types of inter-coolers,air to air or air to water.
They work like a radiator, with cooler air or water sent through a system of pipes or tubes. As the hotter air exiting the supercharger comes in contact with the cooler air or water it cools down, hence reducing the temp and increasing the density of the air for better explosion when sent into the engine.

Conclusion

Turbochargers are more efficient in general because they run on waste energy from the engine. They have a higher top end power than naturally aspirated engines, have a better fuel economy But there is Turbo lag  -turbochargers, especially large turbochargers, take time to spool up and provide useful boost.

Superchargers can deliver instant power without any lag because being driven by the engine, they have good low RPM power compared to turbochargers but they are not very efficient as they use engines power to produce more power.

 

 

 

 

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