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    Turbo vs. Supercharger


    Countries/State : Sabah
    Age : 39
    location : Kota Kinabalu-Putatan
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    30102008 Turbo vs. Supercharger

    Post by blugu

    Turbo vs. Supercharger
    4/3/2002 11:31:00 PM

    It's one of the most common questions we are asked - the answer to which is almost impossible to find
    "What is better - a supercharger or a turbo?"

    We only wish the answer were that simple, but unfortunately it is not. The simple answer is:
    "It depends."
    But don't worry, we'll go into more depth than that here. Both superchargers and turbos have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Selecting the right kind of forced induction for your vehicle will depend upon your particular vehicle, your driving habits, your power preferences, and your needs.

    Clearing Up Confusion
    According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, a supercharger is defined as:
    "a device (as a blower or compressor) for pressurizing the cabin of an airplane or for increasing the volume air charge of an internal combustion engine over that which would normally be drawn in through the pumping action of the pistons".
    A turbocharger is defined as:
    "a centrifugal blower driven by exhaust gas turbines and used to supercharge an engine".

    According to Webster's, a turbocharger is included in the definition for superchargers - it is in fact a very specific type of supercharger - one that is driven by exhaust gasses. Other superchargers that do not fall into this category - the kind that we are all used to hearing about - are normally driven directly from the engine's crankshaft via a crank pulley. So in reality, it is not fair to compare all superchargers to turbochargers, because all turbochargers are also superchargers. For the purpose of this discussion, however, a supercharger will be considered all superchargers that are are not driven directly by the engine, while turbochargers will be considered all superchargers that are driven by engine exhaust gasses.

    Both superchargers and turbochargers are forced induction systems and thus have the same objective - to compress air and force more air molecules into the engine's combustion chambers than would normally be allowed at atmospheric pressure here on Earth (14.7 psi at sea level). The benefit of forcing more air molecules into the combustion chambers is that it allows your engine to burn more fuel per power stroke. With an internal combustion engine, burning more fuel means that you convert more fuel into energy and power. For this reason, supercharged and turbocharged engines normally produce 40% to 100% more power (depending on the amount of boost - check out our horespower calculator) than normally aspirated engines.

    How They Work
    A supercharger is mounted to the engine and is driven by a pulley that is inline with the crank (or accessory) belt. Air is drawn into the supercharger and compressed by either an impeller (centrifugal-style supercharger), twin rotating screws (screw-type supercharger), or counter-rotating rotors (roots-type supercharger). The air is then discharged into the engine's intake. Faster crank speed (more engine rpm) spins the supercharger faster and allows the supercharger to produce more boost (normally 6 to 9 psi for a street vehicle). Typical peak operating speeds for a supercharger are around 15,000 rpm (screw-type and roots style superchargers) and 40,000 rpm (centrifugal-style superchargers).

    A turbocharger operates in much the same way as a centrifugal (internal impeller) supercharger, except it is not driven by pulleys and belts attached to the engine's crank. A turbo is instead driven by exhaust gasses that have been expelled by the engine and are travelling through the exhaust manifold. The exhaust gas flows through one half of the turbocharger's turbine, which drives the impeller that compresses the air. Typical operating speeds of a turbocharger are between 75,000 and 150,000 rpm.

    Head to Head Comparison
    Now it's time to evaluate the turbocharger versus the supercharger according to several important factors.

    The cost of supercharger and a turbocharger systems for the same engine are approximately the same, so cost is generally not a factor.

    This is perhaps the biggest advantage that the supercharger enjoys over the tubo. Because a turbocharger is driven by exhaust gasses, the turbocharger's turbine must first spool up before it even begins to turn the compressor's impeller. This results in lag time which is the time needed for the turbine to reach its full throttle from an intermediate rotational speed state. During this lag time, the turbocharger is creating little to no boost, which means little to no power gains during this time. Smaller turbos spool up quicker, which eliminates some of this lag. Turbochargers thus utilize a wastegate, which allows the use of a smaller turbocharger to reduce lag while preventing it from spinning too quickly at high engine speeds. The wastegate is a valve that allows the exhaust to bypass the turbine blades. The wastegate senses boost pressure, and if it gets too high, it could be an indicator that the turbine is spinning too quickly, so the wastegate bypasses some of the exhaust around the turbine blades, allowing the blades to slow down..
    A Supercharger, on the other hand, is connected directly to the crank, so there is no "lag". Superchargers are able to produce boost at a very low rpm, especially screw-type and roots type blowers.

    This is the turbo's biggest advantage. The turbocharger is generally more economical to operate as it as it is driven primarily by potential energy in the exhaust gasses that would otherwise be lost out the exhaust, whereas a supercharger draws power from the crank, which can be used to turn the wheels. The turbocharger's impeller is also powered only under boost conditions, so there is less parasitic drag while the impeller is not spinning. The turbocharger, however, is not free of inefficiency as it does create additional exhaust backpressure and exhaust flow interruption.

    Because the turbocharger is mounted to the exhaust manifold (which is very hot), turbocharger boost is subject to additional heating via the turbo's hot casing. Because hot air expands (the opposite goal of a turbo or supercharger), an intercooler becomes necessary on almost all turbocharged applications to cool the air charge before it is released into the engine. This increases the complexity of the installation. A centrifugal supercharger on the other hand creates a cooler air discharge, so an intercooler is often not necessary at boost levels below 10psi. That said, some superchargers (especially roots-type superchargers) create hotter discharge temperatures, which also make an intecooler necessary even on fairly low-boost applications.

    Because a turbocharger first spools up before the boost is delivered to the engine, there is a surge of power that is delivered immediately when the wastegate opens (around 3000 rpm). This surge can be damaging to the engine and drivetrain, and can make the vehicle difficult to drive or lose traction.

    Back Pressure
    Because the supercharger eliminates the need to deal with the exhaust gas interruption created by inserting a turbocharger turbine into the exhaust flow, the supercharger creates no additional exhaust backpressure. The amount of power that is lost by a turbo's turbine reduces it's overall efficiency.


    The turbocharger is generally quiter than the supercharger. Because the turbo's turbine is in the exhaust, the turbo can substantially reduce exhaust noise, making the engine run quieter. Some centrifugal superchargers are known to be noisy and whistley which, annoys some drivers (we, however, love it!)


    In general, superchargers enjoy a substantial reliability advantage over the turbocharger. When a a turbo is shut off (i.e. when the engine is turned off), residual oil inside the turbo's bearings can be baked by stored engine heat. This, combined with the turbo's extremely high rpms (up to 150,000rpm) can cause problems with the turbo's internal bearings and can shorten the life of the turbocharger. In addition, many turbos require aftermarket exhaust manifolds, which are often far less reliable than stock manifolds.

    Ease of Installation
    Superchargers are substantially easier to install than a turbos because they have far fewer components and simpler devices. Turbos are complex and require manifold and exhaust modifications, intercoolers, extra oil lines, etc. - most of which is not needed with most superchargers. A novice home mechanic can easily install most supercharger systems, while a turbo installation should be left to a turbo expert.

    Maximum Power Output
    Turbos are known for their unique ability to spin to incredibly high rpms and make outrages peak boost figures (25psi ). While operating a turbocharger at very high levels of boost requires major modifications to the rest of the engine, the turbo is capable of producing more peak power than superchargers.

    Turbochargers, because they are so complex and rely on exhaust pressure, are notoriously difficult to tune. Superchargers, on the other hand, require few fuel and ignition upgrades and normally require little or no engine tuning.

    While the supercharger is generally considered to be a better method of forced induction for most street and race vehicles, the turbo will always have its place in a more specialized market. Superchargers generally provide a much broader powerband that most drivers are looking for with no "turbo lag". In addition, they are much easier to install and tune, making them more practical for a home or novice mechanic.

    We hope you have found this discussion informative and unbiased. Sometimes when we explain this to our customers, they say that we are biased towards superchargers because that is all we carry. We remind those customers that a turbo is a kind of supercharger and that we truly hope to carry turbochargers someday. The reason we do not currently sell any turbochargers is because we have not yet found a turbo system that is suitable for mail-order / e-commerce sale. We are not prepared to sell a turbo system that is difficult to install and requires the attention of a professional engine tuner or mechanic. If any turbocharger manufacturer makes such a system, please send us the details as we would love to carry such a product.

    Sources :
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    Post on 7/6/2010, 12:12 pm by naz27

    ouh gtu ka??
    mau bljr2 dlu ne ..
    mna la tau tepasng sprchrge kt krta kn..
    engtkn sprchrge jimat myk..
    rpany x..

    Post on 1/8/2010, 8:18 am by rosslie

    Q.which type of supercharger is really match for satria n proton engine. i meant., consumer does not hv to make a lot of modification such as to think much about the device stand or where to install the new pulley for the supercharger and it is much easier. As i know well the electric supercharger is the best way to solve all the problem..but i prefer to install the type that using pulley and belting. Sape2 yg ada pengalaman tu kongsi2 la sikit. Don't care how much cost it is...mahal asal bahagia..

    Post on 9/8/2010, 12:57 pm by Zay@5169

    bagi saya pula....turbo n supercharger pun lbh kurang juga bro yg pntg setting n driver 2 mau kamikaze pnya org.......2 pndpt saya jak....
    klu silap plz prbtlkn yea.......

    Post on 2/9/2010, 5:41 am by akubudak

    yala. tu dua2 ada klebihan. cth yg ringkas. katun initial D yg memg kamurang pasti penah tgk bg yg minat kereta la. ae 86 tok hai vs ae 86 turbo , power dua2 kereta memang ada, its depend ngan driver la.

    Post on 16/9/2010, 12:00 pm by jax2too

    boleh tak viva tambah turbo?? dimana nak buat?? dan dekat berapa bajet?? thanks bro!!

    Post on 16/9/2010, 12:46 pm by jezzboyz

    sedap supercharge jauh dari turbo atau turbo charge.. hehe..... wat main drift sedap turbo nih.... nak spin tayar sedap.... hehe..

    Post on 17/9/2010, 3:14 pm by hustle

    jax2too wrote:boleh tak viva tambah turbo?? dimana nak buat?? dan dekat berapa bajet?? thanks bro!!
    mo bolt on tobo??
    bgs pkr pnjg geng...
    byk mw bng duit & ksn -ve...
    g bek ko cr enjin avy tobo...

    Post on 18/9/2010, 4:49 am by jezzboyz

    hustle wrote:
    jax2too wrote:boleh tak viva tambah turbo?? dimana nak buat?? dan dekat berapa bajet?? thanks bro!!
    mo bolt on tobo??
    bgs pkr pnjg geng...
    byk mw bng duit & ksn -ve...
    g bek ko cr enjin avy tobo...

    betul2.. macm kancil juga kan..
    kancil baik pakai yang l2 punye.....
    amik sbijik enjin terus....

    Post on 18/9/2010, 2:55 pm by jax2too

    aiyo ama.. kena tunggu duit pencen lah ni.... hehehe trimassssss... doakanlah doraemon hadiahkan ku sebijik loh~~~~~

    Post on 18/9/2010, 3:26 pm by Kornurts

    hustle wrote:
    jax2too wrote:boleh tak viva tambah turbo?? dimana nak buat?? dan dekat berapa bajet?? thanks bro!!
    mo bolt on tobo??
    bgs pkr pnjg geng...
    byk mw bng duit & ksn -ve...
    g bek ko cr enjin avy tobo...

    bro.,enjin avy tobo muat ka klu msuk p kncil..?

    Post on 19/9/2010, 8:09 am by jezzboyz

    Kornurts wrote:
    hustle wrote:
    jax2too wrote:boleh tak viva tambah turbo?? dimana nak buat?? dan dekat berapa bajet?? thanks bro!!
    mo bolt on tobo??
    bgs pkr pnjg geng...
    byk mw bng duit & ksn -ve...
    g bek ko cr enjin avy tobo...

    bro.,enjin avy tobo muat ka klu msuk p kncil..?

    waaa... lagi laju kala dapat masuk nih...

    Post on 19/9/2010, 2:22 pm by Kornurts

    msti la lju bro..hahaha..p x tau boleh muat ka msuk kncil..sbb viva pn 660cc jg kn cm kncil 2.,msthil jg x muat.. Suspect

    Post on 20/9/2010, 4:34 am by jezzboyz

    Kornurts wrote:msti la lju bro..hahaha..p x tau boleh muat ka msuk kncil..sbb viva pn 660cc jg kn cm kncil 2.,msthil jg x muat.. Suspect

    bodi n enjin nampak cam same jea.. tapak same xtaw tuh.. kena otai yang jawab nih...

    Post on 20/9/2010, 4:33 pm by Kornurts

    bro tmpang tny..klu gabung turbo dgn supercas boleh ke?da ada org bt? What a Face

    Post on 21/9/2010, 8:21 am by jezzboyz

    Kornurts wrote:bro tmpang tny..klu gabung turbo dgn supercas boleh ke?da ada org bt? What a Face

    a'a la.. da x orang buat??

    lagi satu.. ade x oran buat twin turbo bergabung ngn twin super charge turbo.. hihihi.. lagi power...

    Post on 21/9/2010, 4:30 pm by Kornurts

    lg 1 nak tnya ne bro..klu pkai twin carb ok ka klu msuk trbo bolt on?sbb byk org ckp klu trbo msuk ejin pkai carb x kuat.,jd klu twin carb amcm? Suspect

    Post on 22/9/2010, 4:41 am by jezzboyz

    owhhh.. twin karburator pon da juga ke?? xpernah dengar tuhh.... hehe.

    Post on 22/9/2010, 8:00 pm by Kornurts

    ada bro..aku prnh kuat mkn myk la dgr klu pkai brg 2..hehehe.. cheers

    Post on 24/10/2010, 8:24 am by jezzboyz

    supercharge terbaikk... hehe..

    Post on 24/10/2010, 11:43 am by keba

    twin carb ade..
    fairlady z 2nd edition kot kalau x silap..
    pakai enjin L2800 twin turbo..
    twin carb n twin tu zmn 80an la..
    skang ni solex pn ade yg twin carb

    Post on 25/10/2010, 5:23 am by jezzboyz

    twin carb?? gilerr. macam muto polis.. polis pakai 4 carb... hahahaa... power2.. memang pickup gilerrr..

    Post on 30/10/2010, 2:50 am by keba

    4 carb tu kuda putih baru kan?

    Post on 30/10/2010, 6:07 am by jezzboyz

    kuda lame pon pakai 4 dah. mase skool rendah ag pakai 4 karb., mungkin skan inh kuda dah pakai EFI dah...

    Post on 9/11/2010, 8:13 pm by MyDeCeMb3r_09

    vr4 rs jga la mantap....sya suka ini..hahaha...

    Post on 11/11/2010, 8:42 am by XS Enginnering

    turbo is the best..ada bunyi kecing kecing..heheh

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