We take a look at the different Types of superchargers.
When we think of superchargers, a big scoop mounted on a chunk of metal coming out of an American Muscle car’s bonnet usually comes to mind. But there is a lot more to superchargers that just sticking out of bonnets. There are various types of superchargers.
A supercharger is an engine driven air pump, used to increase the pressure of the air going into the engine. It adds power without the dreaded “Turbo Lag”. but, with such a broad definition, we have to look individually at the different types of superchargers. We take a look at them, and their application.
The main types of supercharger:
The Roots Supercharger
This type of superchargers are what’s called a positive displacement pump, which, in a nutshell means it doesn’t let fluid through unless it’s moving. And a million engineers cringed at the inaccuracy of the definition. The Roots supercharger has two interlacing lobes, which trap air and force it out the other side. It’s mainly used for drag racing; it’s fitted on top of the engine.
The animation below shows the lobes in action.
The Twin Screw supercharger
Another positive displacement pump, this is shaped similarly to the Roots type, but instead has two interlacing spiral shapes, these so called screws trap air and transport it from one end to another. This kind of power adder is present in many vehicles, from diesel trucks to the aftermarket kits for a Mazda Miata.
The animation below shows how this works
The Centrifugal supercharger
Described by many as “half a turbo with a pulley bolted on” this type of supercharger uses a centrifugal compressor, similar to a turbocharger’s compressor wheel, it’s driven by a belt from a crankshaft pulley. Procharger is possibly the most well known brand of centrifugal superchargers. This kind of supercharger is mostly found in aftermarket kits for a myriad of cars, from track to drag strip, its versatility has made it successful.
The video below explains how this kind of supercharger works.
We have covered the basic types of supercharger, but performance technology is always evolving, so we can look forward to new developments like variable ratio superchargers, or twincharging. It seems horsepower is something we will always strive for.