WHAT IS A SU­PER­CHARGER?

Fast Ford - - Escort S2 Rst -

Su­per­charg­ers are ac­tu­ally eas­ier to un­der­stand than tur­bocharg­ers, but given the pop­u­lar­ity of tur­bocharged cars in the UK peo­ple are of­ten more fa­mil­iar with tur­bos than they are with su­per­charg­ers. So, think­ing of it like a turbo, a su­per­charger ba­si­cally does the same thing, but rather than be­ing pow­ered by ex­haust gases spin­ning a tur­bine, a su­per­charger is pow­ered di­rectly from the en­gine’s crank­shaft, usu­ally via a drive belt.

There are three main types of su­per­charger; Roots-type, cen­trifu­gal, and twin screw. All work in a slightly dif­fer­ent way, but ul­ti­mately they all do the same thing – com­press the in­take air and force it into the en­gine at a higher pres­sure. And be­cause the speed at which the su­per­charger op­er­ates is di­rectly linked to the en­gine rpm (re­mem­ber the su­per­charger is driven by the crank­shaft) there is no need for com­pli­cated boost con­trol. In­stead en­gine rpm and sim­ple gear­ing can con­trol ev­ery­thing. Sim­ply by us­ing smaller or larger di­am­e­ter pul­leys you can cause the su­per­charger speed to in­crease or de­crease ac­cord­ingly.

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