Superchargers are the most effective and easiest means of increasing horsepower. But many people assume that supercharged vehicles are hard to drive daily. However, this is untrue as a supercharger is only a big air pump for offering a greater boost to an engine. Here are six things to know about superchargers.
1. They Heat the Intake Air
Air consists of molecules, just like everything else in the world. Molecules are always moving, faster when air is hot, slower when it is cool. When the molecules are packed close to each other, such as when a supercharger compresses air, the molecules begin bumping into one another, and their energy is transferred into heat. For this reason, the intake air’s temperature goes up via any compression form, whether turbocharging or supercharging. Numerous supercharger kit manufacturers have incorporated an intercooler into the design, for transferring the heat to the engine coolant or passing air.
2. An Excessively Big Super Charger is as Bad as an Excessively Small One
An excessively small supercharger has minimal impact on a big engine. You can heighten the created compression by increasing the driving speed, but it will not be reliable. On the other hand, an excessively large supercharger may overstress the engine by creating an extreme force on the piston’s top. It can also surpass the capacity of the system to deliver sufficient gas to maintain the correct air/fuel ratio, which results in destructive pre-ignition. Manufacturers of superchargers have come up with a very smart method of assisting clients to pick the right size blower, which they refer to as the effective compression ratio. It mixes the stock engine’s compression ratio with the air amount that can be compressed into the cylinder by any single supercharger. It is an ideal way to pick a blower that will offer the best mix of power and reliability.
3. They Stress Engines
Power is generated by the amount of pressure that is created on the piston’s top by the combustion charge. Every component of the engine has its design capacities, and it’s usually numerous times the forces that would be seen in a typical operation. But if you surpass the recommendations of the manufacturer, you risk bending a rod, snapping or bending the crankshaft, flattening the crank bearings and rod, and burning a piston. A good illustration is the Top Fuel dragsters, which are engines that operate on the edge. In case one of these engines lets go, the outcome is disastrous. The ideal way to avoid these problems is to talk about your objectives with the manufacturer of the supercharger and stick to their advice.
4. How They Make Power
Superchargers make power by filling the cylinder with air to allow for more fuel to burn. The most efficient air to fuel ratio is 14.7 to 1. To attain peak horsepower, you need to increase that ratio. The system of the fuel requires adjusting to allow the amount of gas getting into the cylinder to maintain the existing ratio, considering the larger amount of air the supercharger pumps in. When you get this right, more fuel will be burnt by the engine in the same combustion chamber to produce more power.
5. They Consume Power
Superchargers consume power but lose more power than turbochargers. However, the contention between the benefits of a supercharger compared to those of a turbocharger are subject to debate. For instance, a well-designed supercharger kit can be set up faster than any turbocharger. While the supercharger consumes some power, it boosts the power by a factor of 20 or more.
6. Electric Superchargers
Many manufacturers have thought of developing electric superchargers in the past, but there lacked supporting technology. Since a conventional 12-volt electrical system has insufficient power, there was a need for an alternative. The supercharger’s back was mounted with a special alternator, which operated as an electrical generator during the coasting of the engine. There was power transfer to a supercapacitor that then powered the electric centrifugal supercharger after the foot of the driver goes to the floor. There is still a need for the concept to be further developed to minimize recharge cycles, improve the performance of the supercapacitor, and boost the efficiency of the supercharger.