Since the dawn of internal combustion engines, automobile engineers, and race fanatics have been trying to increase the power and torque with less consumption of fuel. To achieve more power you have to either increase engine size or capacity, but it will increase the overall cost of the vehicle.
As these engines generate power through burning fuel internally, intake of air becomes a significant factor. The more air or in particular oxygen is supplied to the engine, the more will be the power output without increasing engine size. So for this purpose supercharger and turbochargers are invented. Their purpose is same but these use totally different approach to achieve the goal.
These mechanical devices tend to increase the efficiency and performance of your vehicles. They serve the purpose of compressing air and send it to the cylinder, which produces more power and prevent wastage of fuel. Both supercharger and turbochargers work on the same principle of forced induction, but they use different mechanisms. Below is given a comparison between supercharger and turbocharger which will help you understand their working better.
Comparison between supercharger and turbocharger-
- Placement-Supercharger is placed on top of the engine and is directly connected to it with engine’s crankshaft with a belt. But turbocharger in comparison is not directly connected to the engine; instead, it is connected to the exhaust.
- Power Supply-Superchargers gets its power for operating the engine directly by the means of belt, gears or chains connected to engine’s crankshaft. Whereas turbocharger gets its power from the exhaust gases which runs the turbine and in turn spins the air compressor.
III. Efficiency-Superchargers use engine’s power for operation, so it leads to wastage of power. Turbochargers, on the other hand, use exhaust gases and fumes from the exhaust manifold, so, it prevents wastage of engine’s power.
- RPM-Turbine in turbochargers can have as much as 150,000 RPMs (rotation per minute) which is 30% more than normal engines. On another hand supercharger in comparison have the speed of 50,000 RPMs which is one-third of the turbocharger.
- Time for working-Supercharger can provide the boost at lower RPM and it immediately starts working when the engine. So a supercharger provides the instant power boost. But turbochargers run at higher RPMs and need time to work. There is a lag in the boost in the turbocharger.
- Reducing emissions- Turbocharger has smog alteration equipment which reduces harmful emissions whereas Supercharger does not have waste removal method so it emits smog.
VII. Installation and Maintenance – Supercharger is easier to install and maintain because of its simpler structure than turbochargers. Superchargers are more reliable than turbochargers.