Increasing power of a vehicle is a common desire among car fans. A supercharger is one option, with several choices and availability according to the vehicle.
The supercharger is an air compressor which increases the density of the air and creates more oxygen, causing more fuel to burn, do more work and increasing power. With two types and several choices, the unit can add plenty of oomph to a vehicle.
With over one hundred and sixty years of history, there is plenty to learn about car superchargers.
3 Different Types of Superchargers
The Roots, the centrifugal and the twin-screw are the three types used for combustion engines. The difference is in how they move into the intake manifold.
The Roots was first designed in 1860 by Philander and Francis Roots. Originally meant to be used as a ventilator in mine shafts, Gottlieb Daimler included a Roots supercharger on a car engine in 1900.
Centrifugal superchargers are the most common and efficient of the three types. This type sits on the front of the engine because it is small and lightweight. It also creates a distinctive whining sound as the engine rev higher and may turn heads on the street.
The Twin-screw type compresses the air inside the rotor housing. More efficient than The Roots, but the most expensive of the three because of the precise nature of the manufacturing process.
Too Big Can Be As Bad As Too Small
If the supercharger is too small and it would have too little effect on the engine. Driving your vehicle faster may increase the compression but reliability becomes an issue.
Too big and the supercharger may create too much stress on the engine, or exceed the capacity of the fuel system, throwing off the fuel/air ratio.
Supercharger manufacturers have what is called an “effective compression ratio”, a practical tool to select the proper blower for the vehicle.
Superchargers Used on Airplanes
Added to piston engines of airplanes, they are built to withstand operating at higher altitudes to counterbalance the loss of air pressure and density as the plane rises. It creates a sea-level equivalent pressure so the engine can work at the same power at cruise altitude.
Great Way to Upgrade
Superchargers are a great way to add a 50% – 100% more power to a vehicle. Perfect for a vehicle that handles heavy loads, drag racing, or the thrill of possibility on a normal ride. Regardless if it’s in the air or on the road, superchargers are well worth the research.