A few days ago, I asked a begging question in my mind about the turbo and the superchargers which one each of us would prefer in our engines. Some environmentalist went straight away with the superchargers and the engineers who love their powers went with the turbochargers.
Today, I would like to analyze why the engineers went ahead with the turbochargers and the environmentalists with the superchargers. And why we speed lovers would like what is known as the twin charging.
The turbocharger analysis
twin turbochargedd engine: image from wikipedia under CC license 3.0
The argument came up with @temitayo-pelumi in the comment section when I asked him why he would love the turbochargers over the superchargers he responded brilliantly about how he would not love to have any drag on his engine but would rather tap from the waste and make use of the use that in his engine cylinders in the fresh air.
I understood clearly what he meant by that from an engineer’s perspective but lovers of nature and environmentalists such as @gentleshaid went straight for the superchargers which I understood clearly from his view.
Then an argument came up about how superchargers are more environmentally friendly than the turbochargers.
my supercharger and turbocharger analysis
During the ignition of the turbocharged engines, there is a time frame or a number of piston revolutions that must have happened before you have the exhaust. ( of course, they say there is no smoke without fire) this is the same in the engine, fire first before smoke at the exhaust manifold.
This little revolution that has occurred will at least would have over 50 revolutions per minute (correct me if I am wrong) imagine these smoke that would have been released into the environment if you don’t have catalytic converter but of course this energy would have been wasted because it would not rotate your turbocharger which would not send in air to the engine cylinders. Whereas the supercharger is instant even while testing the ignition your supercharger is rotating.
From this, there is something I want to point out here from this analysis and this simply means that your superchargers can work with every form of revolution either you are on the highway (high revolution/speed) or just cruising through your street (low evolution/speed) or doing what Nigerians call car warming (where you ignite the engine without putting it to work).. While you turbocharger comes or performs best while one is on the highway (high revolution/speed) the same could be compared to revving your car engine.
At the end somebody asked this fantastic question probably he was confused which one he wanted in his vehicle he asked if it was possible to have both the super and turbocharger in his engine. And the answer to this question brings me to my discussion today which is called twin charging.
Twin charged engines.
If you have watched fast and furious where you see highspeed vehicles which respond almost immediately especially in those heated races and you are feeling the thrill. Pretty cool right, most of these cars apply what is known as the twin charged engine.
The twin charged engine basically comprises of a large system which applies both the supercharger and turbocharger in
it's operation. You might be asking me how but that would be answered later while dissecting the twin charged engines.
The twin charged engines are powerful devices used in cars to boost or get a better performance of the car engine from the fuel consumed. They function just like the super and turbochargers, but the arrangement of this system is quite complicated, but their end game is that they all supply more air into the combustion chamber for better combustion of fuel.
They are quite expensive because they comprise of a super and turbocharger mechanism joined together to achieve the outcome so even at low speed, medium speed or high speed your car would always have enough air at high pressured environment also instant response when the accelerator or the gas is stepped on.
You can see why speed lovers always want this in their vehicles. Wouldn’t you want this also?
The working principle of the twin charger.
With the combination of the super and turbocharger to the intake manifold, it could be complicated in channeling the air of both chargers to the same manifold. But with this explanation, I believe we should be able to get how the operation of the twin charger does it work efficiently at different speeds.
Just like identical twins share things in common so also the turbo and supercharger in a twin charged engine share some devices in common such as the same engine, bypass valve, and the same intercooler.
In the case of ignition (i.e. first start of the engine) the bypass valve of the engine remains closed and allows only the supercharger which takes it power from the engine to draw in air through its turbine and it travels all the way down through the intercooler which cools the air and into the cylinder to supply adequate and a good air-fuel mixture for good combustion.
But in this case, the turbocharger is idle as the exhaust from a low-speed engine is quite small and would hardly rotate the turbocharger turbine meaningfully to give the engine any useful air so in this case, the turbocharger is not a functional part of the system.
The increase in speed or acceleration of your car leads to more burning of fuel which requires more air, in this case instead of your supercharger to bear the stress (just like Jesus carries the burden of all Christians. Lol) of supplying the engine only with air the bypass valve opens half way. By now the exhaust valve is producing enough to rotate the turbocharger which would of course at that time have its turbine wheel rotate at a meaning full speed to draw in air from its surroundings. This air along with the air from the supercharger combine and goes through the cooling process in the intercooler before being supplied to the engine cylinder.
This case is like having both operate with optimum abilities with no much stress on either and this happens to be achieved at medium speed in your vehicles. Well, I am not advising that the best way to use your car engine, but I am only pointing out the period when you are enjoying both of your chargers at the same time.
At maximum speed, something crucial happens and at this point, some electromagnetic clutch or sensor kicks in and disengages the supercharger and the bypass valve opens in such a way that the air trapped by the turbine wheel is allowed to pass through to the intercooler and from the intercooler to the combustion chamber.
The supercharger, in this case, is cut off and looks like it doesn’t exist at all but it is still there as soon as the speed of the car reduces the sensor connects the supercharger to immediately begin its function as it does in the medium speed of the engine.
What does this mean?
This means even as an environmentalist and an engineer you can safely stop the drag in your engine and still save the environment using the twin chargers. But guess what? Be ready to splash the cash for maintenance of both the turbo and superchargers in the twin charged engine.
The twin charged engine has bridged the gap between having to choose between any of the chargers and get great performance and instantaneous acceleration response from your vehicle and this explains why that small vehicle you see would attain a speed in such a small time compared to your car engine.
Lol, technically this is not the only reason but a part of it.
Conclusion and the begging question
Before the twin chargers, there must have been complaints about how to reduce drag and increase the response to speed when the accelerator is stepped on. The fastest response was in the twin chargers.
With the way, the turbochargers operate alongside the superchargers and now reading about the twin chargers which combines both devices in supplying adequate air for combustion in engine cylinders
So, when next you watch fast and furious and see Torero and his team in their fast cars, you should be able to at least point out the fact that the twin charging in one way or the other contributed to the fast nature of the cars.
Which would you want to have? Considering the cost and the disadvantages....
I hope to hear your voice while I keep enjoying the speed from the fast and furious movies.
See you next time till then, take good care of your selves but endeavor to share your views on each charger as I expect them.
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