When determining how you want to add horsepower to your motor using forced induction, there are many things to consider, primarily, how you are going to add that power? Turbo or supercharger?
Difference Between Supercharger and Turbocharger
With that being said, what exactly is the difference between a turbocharger and a supercharger? A turbocharger is an air compressor driven by an exhaust gas turbine, while a supercharger is an air compressor driven by the crankshaft of an engine, usually connected with a belt. Essentially the difference is in the way that each one is driven. A supercharger requires engine power to run, while a turbocharger runs off waste energy and heat created by the engine. Because a turbo is run off waste gases and heat, it makes them more efficient, which is why we love our turbos!
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Turbocharger Advantages and Disadvantages
- High potential: Significant increase in horsepower.
- Power vs size: Allows for smaller engine displacements to produce much more power relative to their size.
- Can Lead To Better Fuel Economy: When NOT in boost, turbocharged engines incur no pumping losses. Turbochargers add boost with load, so instead of shifting to a lower gear (and thus increasing RPM) boost (and therefore torque) is produced leading to less net fuel consumed.
- Higher efficiency: Turbochargers run off energy that is typically lost in naturally-aspirated and supercharged engines (exhaust gases), thus the recovery of this energy improves the overall efficiency of the engine
Things to Consider
- Oil requirement: Turbochargers need provisions to use engine oil. This needs to be properly designed into the system
- Packaging: Turbo systems require thoughtful layout in increasingly cramped engine bays. To avoid thermal overload systems must be carefully constructed to deal with the extra heat.
- Turbo lag: Turbochargers, especially large turbochargers, take time to spool up and provide useful boost which can cause inconsistencies in your power at lower RPM’s. High-end turbocharging systems minimize lag with properly designed manifolds and appropriately sized turbochargers.
- Power surge: In some turbocharger applications, especially with larger turbos, reaching the boost threshold can provide an almost instantaneous surge in power, which can compromise tire traction or cause some instability with your tuning!
- Boost threshold: Traditional turbochargers are often sized for a certain RPM range where the exhaust gas flow is adequate to provide additional boost for the engine, so they typically do not operate across as wide an RPM range as superchargers.
Some things to Consider about Superchargers
- Quick Power: Adding a supercharger to any engine is a quick solution to boosting power.
- But: Superchargers are run off an engine belt connected to the crankshaft, so you’re essentially using power to make power. Because of this, superchargers are significantly less efficient than turbochargers.
- More Power At Lower RPM’s: good power at low RPM (Below 3,000 RPM) in comparison with turbochargers.
- Instantaneous Power: the biggest advantage superchargers have over turbochargers is that they do not have any lag. Power delivery is instantaneous because the supercharger is driven by the engine’s crankshaft.
- ChWhat Makes Our Turbo Kits So Special?eaper: The average cost of adding a supercharger is cheaper than adding a turbocharger.
- But: Many components, such as longtube headers, must be added at additional expense for a supercharger to even approach the same level of power per PSI as turbocharger.
With all this in mind, how do you choose the right type of system for your vehicle to achieve the type of performance you want? In our opinion, the amount of power and efficiency generated by a turbocharger offers results that simply can’t be ignored! It may require a little more time and money, but the results in the end will speak for themselves!
If you want to learn more about the difference between turbo and super, or how your vehicle can benefit from the sheer quality of Armageddon Turbo Systems’ engineering, give us a call today!