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V.M.MURUGESAN Faculty Department of Automobile Engineering PSG College of Technology Coimbatore

The turbocharger is a device which is used to take the energy of one fluid system and put it into another fluid system.

In the specific application of the automobile, turbochargers are used to

recover heat from engine exhaust gases, and use their energy to compress air to be taken into the engine.

Using a compressor, such as a turbocharger, to increase the air intake of

engines, and thus their power capabilities is called Forced Induction. Modern turbochargers come in a wide range of sizes custom tailored to

provide maximum efficiency in certain areas such as acceleration and

efficiency in smaller turbochargers, maximum power output (hp) in larger turbochargers.


Inside the turbine housing, which is usually made of steel or a

similar composite. Turbines are generally made of steel, however some low RPM turbochargers use ceramic turbines in an attempt to decrease the inertia weight of the turbine.

The Waste Gate : A pressure sensitive valve, and a boost

controller, an electric waste gate controller, the pressure in the turbocharger can be kept under control by allowing gases to bypass the turbines when pressures are to high, allowing the turbines to slow down to an acceptable speed.

The turbine is connected to a shaft with what are called thrust bearings.

Since turbines hit such high speeds, either fluid bearings, or extremely high
precision ball bearing must be used to ensure safety, performance and reliability.

The shaft connects the turbine wheel to the compressor wheel.

The compressor wheel is encased by the compressor housing, which like the turbine housing, is snail-like in shape.

Here it is connected to the compressor wheel is a device which sucks in

air and expels it into the compressor housing. It is located in the center of the housing, and for maximum intake, directly facing the air intake.

On the top of the compressor housing, or the end of its coil, is the
compressor outlet.


The energy converted in a turbocharged can raise the power output of a street legal automobile around 30%-40%. Possibly one of the best points of the turbocharger is the fact that the faster the engine works, the harder the turbocharger works, meaning that until the turbocharger hits its peak RPM, the turbocharger delivers an extremely self sufficient method of adding boost: added combustion pressure which raises the engines cylindrical pressure to one higher than that of normal atmospheric pressure.

The intense rise in pressure is what causes the sizeable rise in

engine power output observed when Forced Induction engines are compared to Naturally Aspired, non-turbocharged, engines.

How the Turbocharger Increases Automobile Engine Performance

To increase the power created in an engine, (1) Increase the rate at which air is burned and expelled. This can be done by raising an engines displacement (the volume of the engines total combustion space), which calls for bigger engines and more gasoline consumption, (2) By adding forced induction: the use of a compressor to create pressures in the engine cylinder higher than that of the atmosphere. The raise in pressure above atmospheric pressure is called the turbochargers boost, and is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI.

Turbine Lag
As the exhaust gases flow through the turbine housing, the turbine wheel is spun faster and faster.

The turbine also pushes the exhaust fumes out through the turbine
exhaust outlet, which connects to the automobiles exhaust system. Since the speed at which the turbine spins is directly proportional

to the pressure of the compressed air being made, it is important

that turbines reach large RPMs in a short period of time. The time it takes for the turbine to reach a speed which will create boost (the turbochargers boost threshold) is called the turbochargers lag.

Reducing Turbine Lag

Lag can be reduced in a few ways, the simplest being the

use of a smaller turbine.

Smaller specifications, means less inertia weight and








replacements for steel alloys for turbines such as

ceramics, which are extremely light, yet relatively fragile

and therefore not safe at extremely high RPMs.

What is Knocking?
Abnormal combustion, more commonly known as knock or detonation, has been the limiting factor in internal combustion engine power generation . Knocking (also called knock, detonation, spark knock, pinging or pinking) in spark-ignition internal combustion engines occurs when combustion of the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder starts off correctly in response to ignition by the spark plug, but one or more pockets of air/fuel mixture explode outside the envelope of the normal combustion front.

The fuel-air charge is meant to be ignited by the spark plug only, and at a
precise time in the piston's stroke cycle. The shock wave creates the characteristic metallic "pinging" sound, and

cylinder pressure increases dramatically.

The Waste Gate

Turbochargers are so powerful that they can actually raise temperatures enough to cause an engine destructing phenomenon called engine knock. This is where the temperature is so high in the combustion chamber that the intake gases ignite before the spark plug ignites, famous for the knocking sound it creates. To avoid this problem, the waste gate was developed; a device which allows exhaust gases to bypass the turbine if combustion pressure is getting to high. This is usually regulated with a boost controller, a device which allows the driver, or manufacturer, to control at exactly what pressure the waste gate opens.

The Shaft, Bearings, Lubrication System and Cooling System

In the center of the turbine wheel is a bearing casing

containing either fluid bearings or high precision ball

bearings. This casing is attached to the turbochargers shaft.Since turbines can reach RPMs of up to 200,000, these bearings must be extremely durable at high pressures, speeds, and temperatures. The Shaft connects to the compressor wheel which is in the compressor housing.

In between the turbine and compressor housings is the turbochargers lubrication and cooling system. This is supplied by oil and sometimes coolant inlets, which takes oil and coolant from the engines reservoirs and spreads them through the turbocharger through the shaft.

The Compressor
When the turbine rotates, and in turn rotates the shaft, the compressor wheel is rotated as well.

This wheel was designed to suck air in from the adjacent air
intake, and disperse it into the compressor housing where the air is compressed and directed towards the turbochargers air outtake. The compressor is very similar to the turbine, except the turbine takes heat to make kinetic energy, and the compressor uses that kinetic energy to compress external air into pressurized air which can be inducted into the engines air intake.

The Intercooler and Induction of Air

Air does not go directly back into the engine. It is sent through an intercooler.

The intercooler is placed in the front of the car where it is in

contact with fresh air. A fan inside the intercooler sucks the cool air in and disperses it over numerous pipelines containing the pressurized air, cooling it, making it denser and more potent.

Once the air has cooled down it is forced into the engines
combustion chamber, causing a much higher internal pressure than found in the atmosphere.

To increase the quantity of air aspired beyond what is taken in at full throttle and maximum engine speed. For this the air is taken into the cylinder after it is compressed by a blower or compressor and forced into

the engine cylinder.

The compressor is blown using power from the crankshaft, as stored in the flywheel. To pressurize the air, a supercharger must spin rapidly -more rapidly than the engine itself.

Making the drive gear larger than the compressor gear causes the compressor to spin faster. Superchargers can spin at speeds as high as 50,000 to

65,000 rpm.
Supercharging adds more horsepower and more torque. In high-altitude situations, where engine performance deteriorates because the air has low density and pressure, a supercharger delivers higher-pressure air to the engine so it

can operate optimally.

A supercharger is an air compressor used for forced induction of an internal combustion engine.

The greater mass flow-rate provides more oxygen to

support combustion than would be available in a naturally-aspirated engine, which allows more fuel to be burned and more work to be done per cycle, increasing the power output of the engine.

Power for the unit can come mechanically by a belt, gear,

shaft, or chain connected to the engine's crankshaft.

Types of supercharger
There are two main types of superchargers defined according to the method of compression:

(1) positive displacement

It delivers a fairly constant level of pressure increase at

all engine speeds (RPM).

Its importance decreases at higher speeds.Types of pumps used are Roots . Sliding vane, as the G-Lader Lysholm screw Scroll-type supercharger, also known

Dynamic compressors
It delivers increasing pressure with increasing engine speed. Dynamic compressors rely on accelerating the air to high speed and then exchanging that velocity for pressure by diffusing or slowing it down.

Major types of dynamic compressor are: Centrifugal Multi-stage axial-flow Pressure wave supercharger

Supercharger drive types

Superchargers are further defined according to

their method of drive (mechanical or turbine).


Belt (V-belt, Synchronous belt, Flat belt)

Direct drive

Gear drive
Chain drive

Supercharging versus turbocharging

Positive-displacement superchargers may absorb as much as a third of the total crankshaft power of the engine, and, in

many applications, are less efficient than turbochargers.

In applications for which engine response and power are more important than any other consideration, such as topfuel dragsters and vehicles used in tractor pulling

competitions, positive-displacement superchargers are very


Supercharging versus turbocharging

The thermal efficiency, or fraction of the fuel/air energy that is converted to output power, is less with a mechanically-driven

supercharger than with a turbocharger, because turbochargers

are using energy from the exhaust gases that would normally be wasted.

For this reason, both the economy and the power of a

turbocharged engine are usually better than with superchargers. The main advantage of an engine with a mechanically-driven supercharger is better throttle response, as well as the ability to reach full-boost pressure instantaneously.

Supercharging versus turbocharging

With the latest turbocharging technology, throttle response on turbocharged cars is nearly as good as with mechanicallypowered superchargers, but the existing lag time is still considered a major drawback, especially considering that the vast majority of mechanically-driven superchargers are now driven off

clutched pulleys, much like an air compressor.

Roots blowers tend to be 4050% efficient at high boost levels. Centrifugal superchargers are 7085% efficient.

Lysholm-style blowers can be nearly as efficient as their

centrifugal counterparts over a narrow range of load/speed/boost, for which the system must be specifically designed.