Car Turbochargers Increase Power Output of The Engine

Posted on: 5 January 2018

Turbochargers have long been associated with race cars and other automobiles that are built for high performance. However, a turbocharger can also be used for many other types of vehicles.

This is because the device is able to boost the power output from an engine without adding a significant amount of weight, making the vehicle perform better and accelerate faster.

How the turbocharger works

In its simplest terms, a turbocharger is able to compress the amount of air that enters the engine. The compressed air takes up less space within the engine cylinders and more fuel can be added to boost performance. As a result, each cylinder produces more power with each blast of operation.

For the turbocharger to compress air in the first place, it needs to use the exhaust that is flowing from the engine. This flow is used to spin a turbine that is located within the turbocharger itself. The turbine of the turbocharger can spin up to 30 times faster than the turbine of a regular car engine. As a result, the faster rotating turbine is used to spin an air pump that is responsible for compressing the air in the engine.

The turbocharger is able to use the pressure from the exhaust manifold of the engine to power its internal turbine. It is therefore fitted onto the exhaust manifold, where the turbine is connected to the engine's compressor to take in the pressurized air. As air flows through the exhaust of the engine, it powers the blades of the turbocharger's turbine to rotate and compress the air that will lead into the vehicle engine's cylinders. 

Why turbochargers are useful

When you need to increase the amount of power in an engine, you can either add more air and fuel to allow for faster combustion, or you can add more/larger-sized cylinders that can hold more material. Such changes require expensive and permanent modifications to be made to the entire engine.

On the other hand, a turbocharger is a flexible and convenient way of boosting power output from an engine with immediate results. In fact, a typical turbocharger can boost power output by up to 30-40% for a typical car engine. The actual boost that is achieved can be as much as 50%, but inefficiencies in the energy transfer process from combustion reduce the efficiency by 10-20%. 

Overall, a turbocharger can provide significant boost to the engine whenever you step on the gas. You will definitely feel the pick in acceleration and faster speeds as a result. Speak with a qualified auto mechanic if you have more questions.