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Difference between Supercharging and Turbocharging?

Question asked by Vinay Mishra in #Mechanical #Automobiles on Feb 2, 2020
Vinay Mishra
Vinay Mishra · Feb 2, 2020
Rank B2 - LEADER

Can you please describe the differences between supercharging and turbocharging of the IC engine. Which charging is more effective and efficient. Also, what are the advantages and disadvantages of supercharging and turbocharging? Which method of charging an IC engine(super or turbo) is more cost-effective?

Posted in: #Mechanical #Automobiles
Durgesh Srivastava
Durgesh Srivastava · Feb 2, 2020
Rank C1 - EXPERT

Supercharging -

  • It is directly connected to the engine through belt. 
  • It spins with a speed upto 50000 rpm. 
  • Superchargers can deliver their boost at lower rpm. 
  • The compressed air in supercharger has less temperature. 
  • It is more reliable.

Turbocharging - 

  • It is not directly connected to the engine. 
  • It spins with a speed upto 150000 rpm. 
  • Turbocharger delivers its boost better at high rpm. 
  • The compressed air in supercharger has less temperature. 
  • It is less reliable.
bill yorke
bill yorke · Feb 2, 2020
Rank C2 - EXPERT

check out these difference, I hope this could be helpful Differences between Superchargers vs Turbochargers 


Noothan Kumar
Noothan Kumar · Feb 22, 2020
Rank C1 - EXPERT

The explaination is a bit long so please bear with me for a while!

In a turbo charger there are two casings. One contains the turbine and the other contains the pump impeller. The the exhaust gases coming from the engine are fed to the turbime casing where the expand and cause the turbine to rotate at high Rpms. The trurbine is connected to the pump impeller in the other casing. As the turbine rotates the pump impeller also rotates. The pump impeller casing draws air from the air intake. So the exhaust gases help run the turbine which in turn rotates the pump impeller which sucks more air from the intake and gives it to the engine through the inlet valve.

Now turbo charging and supercharging are basically similar processes i.e. the push in more air for combustion. But their mechanisms are different.

As explained above the turbo charger draws the power to run the pump from exhaust gases. While the supercharger uses the engine power to run the pump. The pump rotor is connected (usually with the help of belt drive) to the crankshaft of the engine. So as the crankshaft rotates the pump runs.

Now it is clearly visible that the turbo charger is more efficient when compared to supercharger because a tubo charger uses exhaust gases while a supercharger draws power from the engine itself.

Now why do we use a super charger if the turbocharger is more efficient?

As the turbo charger draws power from exhaust gases. So unless the flow of exhaust gases is not strong enough the turbine will not rotate. This means that the turbo charger will only work if the engine is running at minimum threshold RPM, lets say 2000 rpm. When in a car the engine crosses 2000 rpm mark the turbo kicks in and you feel a sudden surge in power. So this whole time taken by the turbo charger to be active is called the Turbo Lag. Due to this lag the power comes at a later interval.

In order to counter this lag a super charger is used because it runs from the engine power and is able to provide more air as soon as the engine starts.

So in high performance engines where efficiency is not a concern and power is needed on demand (super cars and formula cars) a super charged engine is used while in other cases a turbo charged engine is used where efficiency is more important.

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