There are commonly three types of internal combustion engine. There is the normally aspirated engine, and the turbocharged and supercharged engines. Turbocharging and supercharging engines has been well learned, and well practised for a long time.
A supercharger is a pump which forces air in to the cylinders at higher than atmospheric pressure, enabling more fuel to be burned and more power to be produced.
The difference between supercharging and turbocharging is essentially in how the extra air is sourced and forced into the combustion chamber as part of the fuel mix for the ignition process.
A super-charger engine needs to source some of the engine’s power in order to create an overall increase in engine power-output. The engine-driven compressor is used to force fuel mixture into the cylinders at above atmospheric pressure.
A turbocharger, on the other hand, is a device which uses pressure obtained from the exhaust gases to make a supercharger force more air into the cylinders.
As you may already have known or figured out, turbocharging uses pressure from the exhaust gases, and therefore when quick acceleration is needed, a slight delay is experienced before a power surge is felt. In an engine that is supercharged only, although the unit uses some of the engine’s power before creating it, acceleration and power is smooth and instantaneous.
The striving for more engine power has ensured that turbocharging and supercharging has become well developed in automotive-engineering and automotive-mechanics circles.
The end result of having a super charger? A great “yee-hah!” experience. Put a “smile on the dial” and check out a supercharged motorcar for yourself!We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is a Supercharger?’!
Back to Car Glossary