Turbocharger – Supercharger – They both squeeze out more power.

So, todays engines need to be smaller, But, they also need the power, to do their job.

Consequently, there is a down side to both of them. So I guess there are tradeoffs. The most important one is, less engine vacuum. As a result, making many of your accessories, run on power.

So, turbocharger – supercharger, have been around for a long time and are here to stay.

What’s The Difference Between A Turbocharger And A Supercharger?

“Supercharger” is the generic term, for an air compressor. Used to increase the pressure or density of air, entering an engine. Providing more oxygen, with which to burn fuel. The earliest superchargers were all driven by, power taken from the crankshaft. A turbocharger is simply, a supercharger, that is powered instead, by a turbine in the exhaust stream. That name was, first shortened to turbocharger and then to turbo.

Which Is Better, Turbocharger – Supercharger?

Each can be used to increase power, fuel economy, or both, and each has pros and cons. Turbochargers, capitalize on some of the “free” energy; that would otherwise be, completely lost in the exhaust. Driving the turbine, does increase exhaust backpressure. Which exerts, some load on the engine. But, the net loss tends to be less, by comparison with the direct mechanical load, that driving a supercharger involves. But, superchargers can provide their boost, almost instantly, whereas turbochargers, typically suffer some response lag. While, the exhaust pressure required to spin the turbine builds.

Clearly a top-fuel dragster, trying to run the quarter in four seconds; has no time to waste, waiting for exhaust pressure to build. So, they all use superchargers.

While vehicles tasked with, boosting a company’s corporate average fuel economy (CAFE); can’t afford to squander, precious horsepower on blowers. So, they mostly use turbos. But, with the rise of, mild hybridization and 48-volt electrical systems; you can expect to see, greater use of superchargers; driven by, freely recuperated electricity stored during deceleration and braking.

How Do Turbocharger – Supercharger Save Fuel?

So, one of the ways this happens is, by reducing the pumping losses. As a result, of a big-displacement engine, running at five percent throttle or less; it must work hard to suck air past, a mostly closed throttle. That same amount of power, might require, a 20 percent throttle opening, on the smaller engine. Resulting in, less pumping work. Finally, this is why, many newer cars, don’t create enough vacuum to run many accessories.

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