how superchargers work

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Living With Classics -

1 Roots-type su­per­charger

The vanes of the Root­stype su­per­charger ro­tors look like two meshed clover­leaves in cross­sec­tion. In ac­tu­al­ity, these meshed vanes may be sev­eral inches long, de­pend­ing on ap­pli­ca­tion. Air is in­duced at the top, squeezed by the ro­tors and ex­pelled into the com­bus­tion cham­ber, prefer­ably via an in­ter­cooler.

2 Screw-type su­per­charger

The prin­ci­ple of the screw­type su­per­charger is much the same as the Roots ver­sion, but in this case the two ro­tors fea­ture closely mesh­ing screw pro­files, in a ta­pered he­lix fash­ion. The tightly squeezed – and there­fore com­pressed – air is dis­charged in the same man­ner as the Roots-type.

3 Cen­trifu­gal su­per­charger

The cen­trifu­gal su­per­charger is very dif­fer­ent in op­er­a­tion to the Roots- and screw-type of su­per­charger. It is, how­ever, a fa­mil­iar-look­ing item, as it is es­sen­tially the out­put half of a tur­bocharger, but in this case, with the im­peller driven by a belt or gear. Air en­ters at the cen­tre of the im­peller and is spun out­wards. It is then slowed by the dif­fuser and ex­its, either via an in­ter­cooler, or straight into the in­let man­i­fold.

3 1 Pas­sage of air through a roots su­Per­charger dif­fuser vanes im­Peller 2 fill side dis­charge side

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