Whether you have a car or truck, the one thing you love to have at your disposal while driving down the highway is more power from your vehicle’s engine. To make this happen, many people decide to install a supercharger on their vehicle’s engine. Installed usually on the top or side of the engine, the supercharger creates a more efficient engine by increasing the amount of air supplied to the engine during its operation, which in turn leads to it being able to burn more fuel. By doing so, the engine can work harder, thus increasing the vehicle’s power. If you are ready to give your car or truck the additional power you’ve always wanted while enjoying a ride down the highway, here are three important facts to know about how superchargers work in vehicles.
Superchargers are Mechanically Powered
For many people, the terms supercharger and turbocharger are interchangeable, when in fact they are two completely different ways of powering a vehicle. When a vehicle is turbocharged, it is powered by an extremely large flow of exhaust gas that is effectively driving a turbine. But when a vehicle has a supercharger installed on its engine, the supercharger itself is powered by certain items directly connected to the engine’s crankshaft, such as a chain, gear, belt, or shaft. By having this capability, a supercharger can increase the engine’s intake of air by compressing air above the actual atmospheric pressure. However, since this does not create a vacuum, additional air is then forced into the engine, giving it an extra boost. In fact, many studies have shown that by installing a supercharger on a vehicle, it is possible to add an average of 46 percent more horsepower and 31 percent more torque.
Superchargers are Rated by Capacity per Revolution
To determine how powerful a supercharger will be in a vehicle, a ratings system is used that is based on the supercharger’s capacity per revolution. This is used with both positive displacement and dynamic compressors, which are the two main types of superchargers. While there are multiple similarities among these two types of superchargers, there is one fundamental difference that will often determine which type of supercharger you choose for your vehicle. With a positive displacement compressor, a constant level of increasing pressure is delivered no matter how fast or slow the engine is working. But with a dynamic compressor, no additional pressure is delivered at lower engine speeds. Instead, once a particular threshold speed is reached, pressure begins to increase with engine speed. However, with both types of compressors, it is also important to remember that while a set amount of air is released per revolution, the amount of leakage stays virtually constant at all speeds. More aspects of this feature associated with superchargers can be found here.
Superchargers Come in Different Sizes
Since a supercharger can be added to a regular car or truck that will be driven down the highway as well as a race car that will travel hundreds of miles per hour around a track, different sizes of superchargers are available depending on the vehicle and its function. In most cases, the smaller the supercharger, the less additional power it will deliver to the vehicle’s engine. However, an exception to this rule involves the Roots supercharger. With this type, which is very large and is positioned on the top of an engine, efficiency levels are very low due to the supercharger’s weight and the fact that it moves air in bursts rather than a smooth and continuous flow. Despite this, Roots superchargers are widely used on muscle cars and hot rods, partly due to their intimidating looks. As for vehicles more commonly found on the highway, the supercharger of choice is the Centrifugal supercharger. Smaller and more efficient than the Roots, it attaches to the front of an engine rather than its top and is very lightweight. Along with offering more power to a vehicle, it also is known for its distinctive whining sound as the engine is revving up, which many drivers like due to the attention it will get from those nearby before the vehicle accelerates.