The Importance Of Turbocharger in A Car

People are always in search for something better, more efficient, and cheaper. That’s why innovations won’t end. In the car industry, for example, companies have built faster models, and still aim to make them even faster. This lead to the invention of turbocharger, which offers to faster engine that uses less fuel. In other words, it gives the car the boost it needs. But what exactly is a turbocharger and why is it important?

What’s a turbocharger?

turbocharger

Photo source: http://www.proctorcars.com/turbochargers-vs-superchargers-whats-the-difference/

Engines produce power usually by burning fuel in cylinders. The air that enters the cylinders mixes with the fuel and ends up burning, which makes a tiny explosion, out the piston. This then turns gears and shafts that allow the wheels to spin. When the piston tries to push back inside, it pumps waste air out of the cylinder in the form of exhaust. The idea of the car’s engine is that the more cylinders you have, the more fuel your car can burn, and consequently, the faster the car can go. However, with turbochargers, you not only use the fuel to produce power, you can also recycle the exhaust and get it to make the car even much faster. It forces some more air into the cylinders so they can burn fuel faster by seconds.

What makes turbocharger really click is that it’s cheap, simple, easy to use, and the perfect power kit you can have for your engine.

Who first made the turbocharger?

Alfred J. Büchi, an engineer in the Gebrüder Sulzer Engine Company is responsible for making the concept of turbochargers. His original design shows an exhaust-driven shaft that can power a compressor, which in turn forced more air into the cylinders. He had turbochargers patented in 1905 and continued to make it even better.

What makes it important?

While it started as something experimental, the turbocharger has now become an essential toolkit for a car engine. Aside from making the car go faster, it also reduces the fuel demand, which means that you can save money. Morevover, it raises the oxygen level that makes it possible to have a temporary increase in the delivery of fuel. However, the most important contribution of turbocharger, is perhaps its ability to reuse exhaust. This means lessens air pollution and minimizes waste of energy. In general, turbocharger is cheap, environmental-friendly, and really functional.

How does a turbocharger work?

The turbocharger’s concept is that the a red fan let the exhaust drive the turbine. Connect this to the compressor through a blue fan and it’ll push air into the engine. To illustrate how it works clearly, here is a step-by-step guide

  1. Air, preferably cool, will enter the engine and will head towards the car’s compressor.
  2. The fan attached to the compressor will suck this air in.
  3. Then, the compressor itself will squeeze and heat up the incoming air and blow it out.
  4. The hot and compressed air produced in the compressor will pass through the heat exchanger.
  5. The exchanger will cool the air down.
  6. The compressed and cool air will now enter the cylinder through one of the valves. This is used by the cylinder burn fuel faster.
  7. So the cylinder is now burning more fuel. While doing so, it also produces even more energy and at a faster rate.
  8. The cylinder sends more power to the wheels through the gears, shafts, and the piston.
  9. The waste gas produced from the cylinder exits through an exhaust outlet.
  10. A turbine fan sucks the air and rotates it at high speed.
  11. There will be a spinning turbine on the same shaft as the car’s compressor. As a result, as the turbine is spinning, so as the compressor.
  12. The exhaust gas will leave the car will lessen wasted energy than it would normally have without the turbocharger.

What are its advantages and disadvantages?

Turbochargers can go with either diesel-run or gasoline-run engines and almost to all kinds of cars. The greatest advantage of a turbocharger is obviously the greater power it produces using only the same size of engine. However, turbochargers rely heavily on fuel. Since it makes more power swiftly, it also burns fuel quickly. The amount of power produced requires the same amount of energy per second. Hence, it does not really make your car that much fuel-efficient than one running without a turbocharger. It just creates an illusion that it does (which can be easily explained).

Though a car with a turbocharger can still consume the same amount of fuel as a car without it, it makes the engine lighter and smaller which can somewhat contribute to the car’s fuel economy.

With all these benefits, you might wonder why not all car engines are turbocharged. This is due to several reasons. First is that early versions of the turbocahrge did not live up to its promise of fuel economy and manufacturers made sure to exaggerate on that part. Second is the problems with the turbocharger’s reliability. Basically, turbochargers are making a car engine’s design even more complicated. With complexity comes the greater risk  of encountering engine problems. There have been issues related to suffering from high temperature and pressure, which eventually leads the car parts to fail faster than they normally would. It also adds to the things you need to maintain.

If you tally buying and maintaining a turbocharger, it can be quite costly. This not to mention that turbochargers lifespan is not that long, either. Lastly, driving with turbochargers proved to be quite different. You will usually feel a turbo lag or a significant delay every time you put your foot down on the accelerator. Therefore, driving with one can be quite tricky so you must have a few tries with it before you can master driving around with a turbocharger.

While turbochargers, like other innovations, offer quite a lot of advantages, you must still be careful to weigh out the consequences. If you think you or your car is not fit to have one, then reconsider your purchase. Remember that just because the majority is getting one does not mean you should, too. Consult an expert if it’ll make feel more at ease.

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