Supercharger3Positive-displacement superchargers are usually rated by their capacity per revolution. In the case of the Rootsblower, the GMC rating pattern is typical. The GMC types are rated according to how many two-stroke cylinders,and the size of those cylinders, it is designed to scavenge. GMC has made 2-71, 3-71, 4-71, and the famed 6-71blowers. For example, a 6-71 blower is designed to scavenge six cylinders of 71 cubic inches each and would beused on a two-stroke diesel of 426 cubic inches, which is designated a 6-71; the blower takes this same designation.However, because 6-71 is actually the
designation, the actual displacement is less than the simplemultiplication would suggest. A 6-71 actually pumps 339 cubic inches per revolution.Aftermarket derivatives continue the trend with 8-71 to current 14-71 blowers. From this, one can see that a 6-71 isroughly twice the size of a 3-71. GMC also made -53-cubic-inch series in 2-, 3-, 4-, 6-, and 8-53 sizes, as well as a
series for use on engines using a V configuration.
Roots Supercharger Efficiency Map
. Thisgeneralized Roots blower efficiency map showshow a Roots blower's efficiency varies with speedand boost.
Roots Efficiency map
For any given roots blower running under given conditions, a singlepoint will fall on the map. This point will rise with increasing boostand will move to the right with increasing blower speed. It can be seenthat, at moderate speed and low boost, the efficiency can be over 90%.This is the area in which Roots blowers were originally intended tooperate, and they are very good at it.Boost is given in terms of pressure ratio, which is the ratio of absoluteair pressure before the blower to the absolute air pressure aftercompression by the blower. If no boost is present, the pressure ratiowill be 1.0 (meaning 1:1), as the outlet pressure equals the inletpressure. Fifteen psi boost is marked for reference (slightly above apressure ratio of 2.0 compared to atmospheric pressure). At 15 psi(1.0 bar) boost, Roots blowers hover between 50% to 58%. Replacinga smaller blower with a larger blower moves the point to the left. Inmost cases, as the map shows, this will move it into higher efficiencyareas on the left as the smaller blower likely will have been running fast on the right of the chart. Usually, using alarger blower and running it slower to achieve the same boost will give an increase in compressor efficiency.The volumetric efficiency of the Roots-type blower is very good, usually staying above 90% at all but the lowestblower speeds. Because of this, even a blower running at low efficiency will still mechanically deliver the intendedvolume of air to the engine, but that air will be hotter. In drag racing applications where large volumes of fuel areinjected with that hot air, vaporizing the fuel absorbs the heat. This functions as a kind of liquid aftercooler systemand goes a long way to negating the inefficiency of the Roots design in that application.