What does a Supercharger do?

A supercharger is an important component of an internal combustion engine and is equipped by default on most modern vehicles, especially those that are expected to drive under heavy loads or at high speeds. A supercharger is a way to make the internal combustion engine of a vehicle output more power during operation. This may make the engine more efficient, but it does not necessarily occur as it may simply output more power by burning and equally higher amount of fuel. Therefore, the primary use of superchargers is increasing the horsepower of an engine. An engine is able to operate beyond its normal capacity once a supercharger is attached and functional, allowing it to output more power, as if it were an engine designed for higher horsepower. Although most modern vehicles come equipped with a supercharger, aftermarket superchargers may be installed from services such as turbos Australia for more control over the operation or to tweak the performance of the engine as one desires. This article goes into detail over the function of a supercharger, its uses and how it compares to other similar products.

A combustion engine needs both fuel and oxygen to combust the fuel, which creates and explosion to move the piston. The motion of the engine is achieved by the motion of the piston created by this explosion. Therefore, to output more power, a bigger explosion is required. Superchargers help achieve this goal by pressurising the air to contain more oxygen per unit volume. This allows more air and therefore more oxygen into the combustion chamber which allows fuel to completely combust (increasing efficiency) or more fuel to combust. Both of these methods increase the total output power of the engine. However, the latter may also increase fuel consumption. This is also useful in high altitude situations, where the high is less dense naturally and contains less oxygen, which makes it an important component of airplane engines. On average supercharging increases the horsepower of an engine by about 40% and torque by about 30%.

Turbochargers are similar to superchargers in that they offer the same functionality and achieve it in almost the same ways but differ in their source of energy. Turbochargers are powered by the exhaust gases which drive a turbine whereas superchargers are powered directly by the crankshaft using a belt. Therefore, turbochargers have the advantage of less load on the engine, and they do not add any drag to the engine rotation. On the other hand, superchargers are more responsive and do not suffer from any lag (delay) of activation. Turbochargers require a gas build up before they are able to provide their output power whereas superchargers are ready on demand and function instantly. The additional drag on the engine is also one of the primary weaknesses of superchargers, as they consume up to 20% of an engine’s power output. Both methods of increasing horsepower may also damage the engine if its internals are not built to withstand prolonged exposure to larger explosions.

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