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How does a supercharger work?

A supercharger is a device that is used to increase pressure that is supplied to an inner combustion engine so as to increase power. They are usually found in the engines of vehicles. It is a mechanically powered by a gear/ belt- drive from the crankshaft of the engine. There are three kinds of superchargers; roots supercharger, twin-screw supercharger and the centrifugal supercharger. The difference between the superchargers is how air moves through the different chambers of the engine.

What need to know to understand how a supercharger works

Nonetheless, no matter what method is used to supply air to the engine, the principle behind the working of a supercharger is simple. Combustion of gasoline in the cylinder causes the internal combustion engine to work, therefore, driving the piston. By pumping more air into surrounding of the engine, there is more oxygen. The increase in oxygen results in more fuel being burnt hence increasing the amount of power delivered by each work phase. In this article, we show you how superchargers work.

vortexsupercharger Roots supercharger- It uses a meshing lobe to draw air into the combustion engine. The spinning of the meshing lobes causes trapping of air in the pockets between the lobes. The air is carried between the fill side and a discharge side, and a lot of air gets into the intake manifold and pile up to generate positive pressure that increases power. Roots superchargers are typically large and sit on top of the engine. However, among the superchargers they are the least efficient because they add extra weight to the vehicle and cause air to move in separate bursts instead of in a continuous flow.

Twin screw supercharger- It also uses a meshing lobe that looks like a set of worm gears to draw in air. The air is trapped in pockets created by the rotor lobes and compresses the air inside the rotor housing. The rotors have conical tapers; that causes a decrease in the size of air pockets when air shift from the fill part of the discharge part of the supercharger. A reduction in the air pockets results into squeezing of air into a smaller space. The twin-screw superchargers are more efficient than roots supercharger but are more expensive as the screw-type rotors need more accuracy in the production process.

Centrifugal supercharger – It uses an impeller that draws air into small compressor housing. Air drawn from the center of the impeller is radiated outwards by centrifugal forces at a high speed but with low pressure. The diffuser that surrounds the impeller converts the high- speed and low-pressure air to low-speed high-pressure air. The speed of the air molecules reduces when they thump the vanes in the diffuser. The vanes in the diffuser lessen the velocity of the airflow and increases pressure. The centrifugal superchargers are the most efficient superchargers among the three and commonly used of all forced induction systems.