┬┐Compressor or turbo? Advantages and disadvantages of the two most popular supercharging systems

That most current supercharged propellers used cars it is nothing new. Although most of them use turbochargers , other engines are supercharged by compressor . The question is, do you know the differences between either supercharging system? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What applications “fit” better? In this articles we will explain its operation, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, clear and simple. So Stay with us.

Without going into too much detail, what a supercharger system does is force a greater amount of air – as opposed to natural or naturally aspirated – into the engine of our car. Both the turbo compressor and have the same basic concept: to introduce more air into the engine, we can burn more gasoline and engine generates more power . However, while its operating principle is similar, each system has distinct characteristics. We will focus on turbos and compressors.

mechanical compressor supercharging

A suitable compressor may increase the power and the torque of a motor as much as 50%.

The compressor receives outside air and forces increased pressure inside the engine by rotor system . The main difference is that the turbo compressors are by a pulley connected to the engine crankshaft , so that the higher the engine speed, higher power delivery. The compressors are being used in automotive nearly a century ago, although they were invented to aviation in mind and used effectively in fighters before the era of jet fighter engines.

hellcat-v8 There are various types of mechanical compressors with substantial differences , but the basic operation is similar scheme. However, the advantages and disadvantages are similar.


  • generates more power from idle . At higher revs, higher boost pressure and more power. This is because the amount of air passing through the compressor is fixed rpm.
  • is a cheap solution to increase engine power. A larger motor starting, higher power. That is why they are so common and effective in huge American V8 engines.
  • No lag in the power input. It’s like an atmospheric abound in cylinders and power. Has no delay turbochargers, which feed exhaust gas.
  • offers a significant increase in torque at low revs . It is very usable and comfortable in the day, and that does not vary the engine character. makes it more convincing, no more explosive
  • Simplicity . It is a simple, easy to install and sturdy, does not usually need to intercooler and two of the three most common types of compressor does not require internal lubrication.

portada_dodge-challenger-hellcat-16 Disadvantages

  • is inefficient nature. It draws power from the engine to create more power. Power won together lose efficiency by this parasitic power loss. Certain loss.
  • is heavy . A compressor can weigh quite large, and usually mounted on the motor or between the cylinder banks. Worsens the center of gravity.
  • compromises the reliability engine. If internal engine components, cooling systems and the block are not prepared for the increased power and temperature, compromise its reliability. This is also a problem shared with turbochargers.


Today almost all engines are turbocharged.

Operation roughly a turbo is as follows. We turbine shaped like a snail, connected to the engine exhaust manifold . Exhaust gas to the turbine spinning, also attached to the air intake. The intake air is compressed and introduced under pressure to the engine combustion chambers. This allows you to burn more fuel and generate more power. The first turbocharged car was a Chevrolet Corsair mid-60s, and again is a military aviation technology origin.

turbo-7 Advantages

  • gain power . It is a very quick way to get great power increases of up to 100% in general commercial applications. Not to mention sports or preparations.
  • Efficiency . It feeds on the exhaust, which would also lose. The fact of using this energy to compress the intake air increases the efficiency of the system.
  • Lower fuel consumption thanks to downsizing . It allows use of small displacement engines and great specific powers. At low load and at idle we reduce consumption very significantly.
  • Compact and lightweight . A turbocharging system is lightweight and takes up little space. Allows the use of smaller displacement engines, smaller and lighter. A compressor is much heavier.

turbo-6 Disadvantages

  • Lag . Turbos operated exhaust gases and must rotate at a certain speed to generate power. A delay between you step on the accelerator and the turbo “pushes” occurs. A higher turbo lag greater.
  • optimum power band . Although many turbo engines are very progressive, the turbos are designed to provide power at a given regime. At very low speed and very high speed it is where most falter. In high-power engines, the abruptness of the turbo inlet can catch us off guard.
  • Are oil lubricated . Using the same engine oil, specifically. We take care of the turbo, it is a very expensive and can fail prematurely if we do not follow certain recommendations piece.
  • generate hot . To compress both intake gases, the use of an intercooler is usually necessary to cool the intake air. In high power applications, they can quickly raise the temperature of the engine, and reinforced components requiring cooling premier.

turbo-3 In very general terms and without excessive technical complexity , these are the advantages and disadvantages of the two major turbocharging systems. Today turbo engines are much more abundant than the compressor motors, especially for their benefits when consumption and efficiency, thanks to downsizing. But do not forget that some manufacturers such as Volkswagen have where turbo engines and compressors combined , known as 1.4 TSI twincharger, which is no longer produced.

is not an exhaustive list of advantages and disadvantages, but I hope you have clearly illustrated the advantages and disadvantages of each of the systems.

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