Turbocharger and Supercharger and Naturally aspirated

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Hello, Guys, I am here with a topic on how engines breathe. There are 3 ways an engine breathes air, Turbochargers and Superchargers or Naturally aspirated.

Let’s understand Turbochargers and Superchargers or Naturally aspirated engine in detail with pros and cons.

Naturally Aspirated Engine

It is an internal combustion engine in which air intake depends solely on atmospheric pressure acting against a partial vacuum that occurs as the piston travels downwards toward the bottom dead centre during the intake stroke, and does not rely on forced induction using a turbo or supercharger. Many sports cars use naturally aspirated engines to avoid turbo lag. Using an air intake the air is flown into the engine. Most petrol cars are naturally aspirated, cause naturally aspirated diesel engines cannot generate a suitable power-to-ratio for the modern market. NA engines generally produce less power than turbocharged or supercharged engines of the same engine displacement and development level but tend to be cheaper to produce.

List of Awesome Sports Cars with Natural Aspirated Engines

  1. Lexus LFA – 552bhp — My favourite
  2. Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera – 562bhp
  3. Aston Martin Vantage GT12 – 595bhp
  4. Ferrari 458 Speciale – 597bhp
  5. Lamborghini Huracan – 602 hp
  6. Porsche Carrera GT – 604bhp
  7. McLaren F1 – 627bhp
  8. Dodge Viper ACR – 645bhp — My favourite
  9. Lamborghini Murcielago SV – 661bhp
  10. Ferrari Enzo – 651bhp
  11. Audi R8 – 540-hp

Advantages

  • Easier maintenance
  • Lower production and development costs
  • Higher reliability (less separate parts)
  • Direct throttle response (no turbo lag)

Disadvantages

  • Lower efficiency
  • Lower power-to-weight ratio
  • Small potential for tuning
  • Greater power loss at a higher elevation (lower air pressure) compared to forced induction counterparts

Turbocharged Engine

Turbochargers and Superchargers or Naturally aspirated engine

Turbocharged engines can develop a considerable amount of power using a small engine. Nowadays most diesel engines are turbocharged for better power-to-ratio, fuel efficiency, and better emission.

The turbocharged engine sucks in the exhaust gas produced by the engine in the turbine using the inlet port, the thermal energy is converted to kinetic energy which makes the turbine wheel spin and also the compressor wheel spins which is connected with the shaft to the turbine wheel at the same speed. The compressor wheel draws in air and compresses it, and then it passes through the outlet port, The compression causes the air to heat hence an intercooler is placed in the system to cool the air which passes through the outlet into the cylinder.

There are two valves, a wastegate valve and a blow-off valve. Wastegate lets out extra exhaust gas from entering the turbine which limits the rotational speed of the turbine wheel and prevents it from damage. The blow-off valve exits the excess pressured gas in the intake manifold when the intake valve is closed. Hence there is a hissing sound when you let go of the throttle. This process of getting the exhaust to spin the turbine causes turbo lag because you have to wait for the exhaust gas.

There are single turbo, twin-turbo which are becoming common nowadays, and there is also triple turbo in the BMW n57 engine, and Audi SQ7. Yeah, there are also quad-turbo in one and only car Bugatti Veyron and of course, its successor Bugatti Chiron also has 4 turbo and the predecessor Bugatti EB 110 has 4 turbos but only 12 cylinders, not 16 as compared to the other two models.

Advantages

  • Produces higher power output from a smaller engine
  • Better efficiency

Disadvantages

  • Turbo Lag
  • Higher maintenance
  • Overheating

Supercharged Engine

Turbochargers and Superchargers or Naturally aspirated engine

Superchargers are operated by engine belts, not unlike turbochargers which use exhaust gases, They provide more air to the engine which in turn generates more power by burning more fuel. The supercharger is more reliable, it produces power at low RPM, as it runs using an engine belt and uses some amount of engine power.

There are 3 types of supercharger

  1. Roots/Blower type Supercharger
  2. Centrifugal Supercharger
  3. Twin Screw Supercharger

Roots Supercharger

Roots Superchargers work

It is the first supercharger ever used which dates back to the 1880s. The roots supercharger has 2 counter-rotating twisted or straight-lobed rotors. These 2 rotors rotate quickly and pull the air from the top pass through the gaps of the rotors and push it out through the bottom into the intake manifold. The compression does not happen inside the supercharger, the intercooler is placed below the supercharger and then cooled air enters the combustion chamber.

Advantages:

  1. Good low RPM power.
  2. Reliable and fairly cheap.
  3. Like other Superchargers, it does not use engine oil.

Disadvantages:

  1. Creates a lot of Heat at higher boost levels.
  2. It uses engine power to run the supercharger if you use 20% of the engine power the supercharger will generate 40% power.
  3. As this supercharger is placed on top of the engine, the centre of gravity rises up.

Twin Screw Supercharger / Screw Compressor

Twin Screw Supercharger

A twin-screw supercharger operates by pulling air through a pair of meshing lobes from the back or front and forcing it out to the side. The air inside the twin-screw supercharger is trapped in pockets created by lobes. But unlike the root supercharger which pumps the air, the twin-screw supercharger compresses the air inside the housing. The compression happens as the air moves between the screws, but it does not create heat inside as the rotors don’t touch, only heat is the heat generated by the pressure. It creates power from low rpm to high rpm.

Advantages:

  1. Has a high thermal efficiency
  2. Low rpm and high rpm power without heat
  3. Do not use engine oil

Disadvantages:

  1. Not easily Intercooled
  2. Expensive because of the complex design
  3. It uses engine power to run the supercharger if you use 20% of the engine power the supercharger will generate 40% power.

Centrifugal Supercharger

Centrifugal Supercharger

It has an impeller just like a rotator which spins at high speed (50,000 to 60,000 rpm) and sucks the air into the compressor housing. Due to the centrifugal force, the air inside the impeller hub radiates outwards with low pressure and high speed. A diffuser that surrounds the impeller converts the high-speed, low-pressure air into low-speed and high-pressure air and the density of air increases. This creates more power burning more fuel with a higher level of combustion.

Centrifugal Superchargers are connected using rain gear which is connected to the larger gear which is directly connected to the crankshaft. This centrifugal supercharger has a gear ratio (4.4:1). Generally, with every crankshaft rotation, the impeller rotates around 4 times. It is a very efficient and the most commonly used supercharger. They are small, lightweight attached to the front of the engine and easy to install compared to root and twin screw superchargers, They produce less heat and an intercooler can be installed easily.

Advantages:

  1. Has a high thermal efficiency
  2. It is small and compact
  3. Produces less heat

Disadvantages:

  1. Not much power at low RPM
  2. Consumes Engine oil to lubricate the system.
  3. It uses engine power to run the supercharger if you use 20% of the engine power the supercharger will generate 40% power.

So what’s best for your car, Turbochargers and Superchargers or a Naturally aspirated engine, It depends on your requirements. Natural aspirated is my personal favourite but you must have a large displacement engine to have lots of power. The turbocharged engine can generate a lot of power with a small displacement engine also, but as it uses the exhaust gas there is a turbo lag with which you do not get power at low rpm. Then comes the supercharger they are the best because they generate power to all rpm, especially the Twin-screw.

Which one out of Turbochargers and Superchargers or a Naturally aspirated engine would you choose let us know.

About Post Author

Girish

Hello Guys I am a website developer by profession but is always keen on learning new things. I have been investing in Mutual funds, stock market for the past few years because of which I have gained good knowledge. I started my entrepreneur journey in 2019 which lead me to learn more things as I am moving forward. I always love to share whatever I learn. Always had a craze for cars from my childhood, which inspired me to start this website.
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Girish

Hello Guys I am a website developer by profession but is always keen on learning new things. I have been investing in Mutual funds, stock market for the past few years because of which I have gained good knowledge. I started my entrepreneur journey in 2019 which lead me to learn more things as I am moving forward. I always love to share whatever I learn. Always had a craze for cars from my childhood, which inspired me to start this website.

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