Monday, 28 January 2013

Simplified Explanations: Turbo and Superchargers

Welcome to the very first Simplified Explanation. So without any further ado let's get down to business. First on the agenda: Turbochargers and Superchargers

Firstly, what is a turbo, or a supercharger?
We put fuel in our cars to make the car "go" . The engine works because the fuel is burnt with oxygen from the air in the cylinders, to drive the pistons. This is a combustion reaction. Therefore, the more air there is, the more combustion is possible, and therefore better efficiency. And that is exactly what turbochargers and superchargers do; feed more air into the cylinders.


What is the difference between a turbo and a supercharger?
A supercharger is driven mechanically which means that they are driven directly from the engine.
A turbocharger is driven from the pressure of exhaust gases.

Which is better?
Well, since a supercharger is driven from the engine, it respon as soon as the accelerator is pressed, whereas since a turbocharger is driven from the exhaust pressure, it needs time to spin up to speed while the pressure builds.
Therefore you'd think that superchargers are better, BUT don't forget that they do take out some power from the engine, and just makes more power than they loose so they are effective. Turbos use energy that would otherwise go to waste.
So to sum up, Superchargers are in effect straight away but use power from the engine, and turbochargers suffer from turbo lag but use energy that would go to waste.

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