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Superchargers

Superchargers

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Published by Sanket Balapurkar

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Published by: Sanket Balapurkar on Jun 25, 2010
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10/08/2012

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Supercharger1
Supercharger
Supercharger on AMC V8 engine for dragstrip racing
A
supercharger
is an air compressor used for forcedinduction of an internal combustion engine . Thegreater mass flow-rate provides more oxygen tosupport combustion than would be available in anaturally-aspirated engine, which allows more fuel tobe provided and more work to be done per cycle,increasing the power output of the engine.A supercharger can be powered mechanically by a belt,gear, shaft, or chain connected to the engine'scrankshaft. It can also be powered by an exhaust gasturbine. Any turbine-driven supercharger is aturbocharger.The term
supercharger 
usually refers to any pump thatforces air into an engine, but, in common usage, it specifically refers to pumps that are driven mechanically by theengine, as opposed to
turbochargers
which are always turbine-driven by the pressure of the exhaust gases.
History
In 1860, brothers Philander and Francis Marion Roots of Connersville, Indiana, patented the design for an air mover,for use in blast furnaces and other industrial applications. By the late 1800s, it had made its way to Germany, wherean engineer called Krigar invented an air pump that utilized twin rotating shafts that compressed air.The combination of the pair of inventions resulted in a third, with the first functional supercharger attributed toGerman engineer Gottlieb Daimler, who received a German patent for supercharging an internal combustion enginein 1885. Louis Renault patented a centrifugal supercharger in France in 1902. An early supercharged race car wasbuilt by Lee Chadwick of Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1908, which, it was reported, reached a speed of 100 miles perhour (160 km/h).
 
Supercharger2
Types of supercharger
There are two main types of supercharger defined according to the method of compression:positive displacement anddynamic compressors. The former deliver a fairly constant level of boost regardless of engine speed (RPM), whereasthe latter deliver increasing boost with increasing engine speed.
Positive displacement
An Eaton MP62 Roots-type supercharger isvisible at the front of this Ecotec LSJ engine in a2006 Saturn Ion Red Line.Lysholm screw rotors. Note the complex shape of each rotor which must run at high speed and withclose tolerances. This makes this type of supercharger quite expensive. (This unit has beenblued to show close contact areas.)
Positive-displacement pumps deliver a nearly-fixed volume of air perrevolution at all speeds (minus leakage, which is nearly constant at allspeeds for a given pressure and so its importance decreases at higherspeeds). The device divides the air mechanically into parcels fordelivery to the engine, mechanically moving the air into the engine bitby bit.Major types of positive-displacement pumps include:RootsLysholm screwSliding vaneScroll-type supercharger, also known as the G-LaderPiston as in Bourke engineWankel enginePositive-displacement pumps are further divided into internalcompression and external compression types.Roots superchargers are typically external compression only (althoughhigh-helix roots blowers attempt to emulate the internal compression of the Lysholm screw).External compression refers to pumps that transfer air at ambientpressure into the engine. If the engine is running under boostconditions, the pressure in the intake manifold is higher than thatcoming from the supercharger. That causes a backflow from theengine into the supercharger until the two reach equilibrium. It isthe backflow that actually compresses the incoming gas. This is ahighly inefficient process, and the main factor in the lack of efficiency of Roots superchargers when used at high boost levels.The lower the boost level the smaller is this loss, and Roots blowersare very efficient at moving air at low pressure differentials, whichis what they were first invented for (hence the original term "blower").All the other types have some degree of internal compression.Internal compression refers the compression of air within the supercharger itself, which, already at or close toboost level, can be delivered smoothly to the engine with little or no backflow. This is more efficient thanbackflow compression and allows higher efficiency to be achieved. Internal compression devices usually use afixed internal compression ratio. When the boost pressure is equal to the compression pressure of thesupercharger, the backflow is zero. If the boost pressure exceeds that compression pressure, backflow can stilloccur as in a roots blower. Internal compression blowers must be matched to the expected boost pressure in orderto achieve the higher efficiency they are capable of, otherwise they will suffer the same problems and lowefficiency of the roots blowers.
 
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
engine's
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
V71
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.

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