Today, car manufacturers offer vehicles with a turbocharged engine as car owners prefer a much faster and powerful ride. Turbo technology has been around since the 1990s when Alfred Büchi, a Swiss mechanical engineer, made the first patent for a turbocharger. His invention made him known for his contribution in the force induction field.
The first turbocharger applications were limited to enormous engines such as marine and aircraft engines. It was not long, however, before the turbos were equipped with trucks beginning the introduction of a turbocharged engine in the automotive industry. The Chevrolet Corvair Monza and the Oldsmobile Jetfire were the first turbo-powered passenger cars.
However, putting a turbocharger in mass-market automobile caused problems to arise. Turbo technology quickly disappeared in the market due to the high price, impracticality, and complexity of the turbo.
In the year 1970s, turbochargers were introduced to motorsports and Formula Racing One cars making turbocharged passenger car engine very popular. Since then, turbochargers have undergone multiple reinventions and improvement. There is no denying that turbo technology has come a long way and is still going through an innovative upgrade.
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A turbo works through forced induction, and aside from turbos, there is another device called supercharger that functions in the same way. Forced induction forces more air into the engine, allowing it to run more efficiently and make more power.
Turbochargers and Superchargers are both forced induction systems that are designed to push air into the engine’s cylinders. Some people regard them same the same, but their main difference lies with how each is powered. Unlike turbochargers that are powered by the mass-flow of exhaust gases driving a turbine, superchargers are powered mechanically by belt-or-chain drive form the engine’s crankshaft.
It is essential for a car owner to know how they differ to decide what is better for his or her vehicle. To learn more about the difference between turbocharger and supercharger, click this infographic from Pure Diesel Power.