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About Turbo-chargers

11/19/2012 6:26:02 PM | by Anonymous


Turbo-chargers, originally known as turbosupercharger, are devices found in cars which increase the power of an engine. The power is increased when there is more fuel added to the cylinder. This occurs when the turbo-charger compress the air allowing the engine to force more air into the cylinder which in turn adds fuel in it. The two main parts that make up the turbocharger are the compressor and the turbine. The compressor is responsible for the compression of air that enters the engine then the turbine will use this air to power the cylinder. It is normal to hear the word boost every time a turbo-charge is involved. This is because the intensity of a car’s boost is associated to the density of the intake air. When the air is compressed, its density increases which in turn improves the volumetric efficiency of an engine. Denser air means higher boost and vice versa. Boost is achieved when the kinetic energy drawn from the engine’s exhaust gases spins the turbine which will cause the compressor to spin thereafter. Turbo-chargers used to be a type of supercharger when all forced induction devices are still categorized under it. However, today, superchargers are only referred to mechanically driven such as the belt-driven supercharger and turbochargers are those driven by the exhaust gases present in a car. An engine that has a supercharger and turbocharger at the same time are called twin charger.


A car equipped with turbo-charger moves faster and more efficient compared to naturally aspirated engine which is why this equipment is normally associated to race cars or sports cars. The total weight of the car is one factor that drivers consider in order to win a race. In order for an engine to be powerful, the air intake and the amount of fuel to be burned has to increase. This can be achieved by adding cylinders or replacing them with a bigger one. These changes cannot be applied to all cars so the use of turbo-charger would be more practical. Turbo-charger has the ability of boosting the power output without the need of increasing the weight which made it very popular to car racers. Cars with normally aspirated engines operate differently from those with turbo chargers as the air that enters the system of the former is regulated. The air goes through an air filter then this air is monitored and regulated when it passed a meter. Since the air delivered to the combustion chambers of the engine is regulated, the fuel is controlled as well. Regulating the fuel will not provide the power an engine needs in order to win a race.


Another great advantage of turbo-charger is fuel efficiency. The use of turbo-charger allows waste energy to be recovered in the exhaust. The recovered waste energy is brought back to the engine intake increasing the density of air. This somehow can give an assurance that all fuel is used up before the exhaust process recurs.


In spite of the advantages mentioned, the use of turbo-chargers has its disadvantages as well. As explained above, replacing cylinders so an engine could provide more power is not feasible on all cars. However, turbo-chargers require a lower compression ratio which means engines intended for natural aspiration might not be able to handle turbo-chargers. Turbo-lag is another disadvantage of turbo-charger. The compressor relies on the performance of turbine which movement depends on the build up of exhaust gases. This means a car has to reach first a certain speed in order to pull the air needed for the turbo-charger to boost. Since the turbo-charger works with the exhaust, the air becomes very hot over time resulting to lower mass affecting the performance of combustion chamber. In order to prevent this to happen, an intercooler which is comparable to radiator has to be used.

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