Super Charger vs Turbo Charger


Engines operate by building combustion, when air and fuel combine with high heat, an explosion is created within the engine delivering power and thrust.

Turbo chargers and super chargers are forced induction systems. They use compressors to propel compressed air into the engine. The compressed air allows extra oxygen to reach the engine which helps create an extra boost of leverage. Turbo chargers and super chargers are common in high performance cars and racing cars.

How Turbo Chargers and Super Chargers Work

Turbo chargers use the vehicle’s exhaust fumes to rotate it’s fans ( two fans): Compressor fan and turbine fan. Super chargers are directly powered by the engine. A belt pulley drives the gears that cause the compressor fan to rotate.

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Turbo charger

Picture courtesy of @boostlab on Ig


In this case, both can improve power and alleviate fuel economy. Turbo chargers capitalize on some of the free energy coming from the exhaust before it’s lost. Turbo chargers however suffer from some response lag as the exhaust pressure needed to spin the turbines builds. Super chargers provide their boost almost instantly because this system runs alongside with the motor.

The rise of 48 Volt electrical systems and hybridization has led to a greater use of supercharger driven systems. The operation is run by recuperated electricity stored during deceleration and braking. Cars such as the new Land Rover Defender and Mercedes Benz M 256 6- cylinder (GLE 450 and CLS 450) have such systems

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Super Charger engine

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Rate of Power

Fuel injection techniques are able to supply as much fuel as can be possibly burned varying with the amount of oxygen in the cylinder.

Compressing of infused air adds heat which along with the added pressure intensifies the likelihood of engine damaging pre-donation (ping). This can limit the amount of time fuel has to completely burn and hence destroys some of the power gain. A conventional expectation is that additional 50% air yields an average of up to 40% more power.

Most modern engines running on turbo chargers or super chargers have intercoolers to help emit excess heat.

Turbo chargers and super chargers recoup fuel predominantly during normal driving/ low-power cruising. They lessen pumping losses that may occur when a big-displacement engine is running .

Turbo charged EVO

Picture courtesy of gangstergearhead on Ig

Twin Turbos, bi-turbos, quad turbos and Vees

Twin turbos are two turbo charges working jointly either independently or in series. In series, a small sized turbo is paired to a larger one. The small one responds more quickly go reduce turbo lag and as the exhaust flow increases, the larger turbo begins supplying boost. Independent functioning twin turbos function normally. Bi turbos function the same was as twin turbos.

The quad turbo refers to four turbos. This employs two pairs of sequential turbo charges just as applied in the Bugatti Chiron W-16 engine.

Vee engines recline the turbos off the exhaust main folds on the outboard flank of the engine.

Super charger

Picture courtesy of @sxe10crew

Basic installations for super chargers and turbo chargers

There are after market kits for both charger systems. Turbo chargers must be incorporated into the exhaust and intake system concurrently with an intercooler. Super chargers need a crank pulley and strap, bracket, integration into the intake system and an intercooler.

Pros and Cons of Turbo chargers and Super chargers
Turbo chargers
  • Pros
  1. Takes up waste gaseous energy to run
  2. Delivers more horsepower at high speeds
  3. More energy efficient than super chargers
  • Cons
  1. Not reliable at low rpm
  2. Affected by heat equitable to the exhaust
  3. Require a coolant to work efficiently
Super chargers
  • Pros
  1. Wider rpm range compared to turbo chargers
  2. Fast horsepower boost
  • Cons
  1. Best suits large engines
  2. It draws excess engine power because it is connected to crankshaft
  3. Burn fuel faster

Photo courtesy of rory- forty four

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Computer Engineering Student
Entrepreneur and Free thinker.

Harrison Meshak
the authorHarrison Meshak
Computer Engineering Student Entrepreneur and Free thinker.

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