How does a Turbo work?

A Turbocharger, or as it is commonly known, a Turbo is a mean of force induction, as like a supercharger. In most cases, a turbo is shaped in the form of a snail, with ceramic turbine blades to make it create air pressure, sometimes called “boost”.

Turbos make engines more powerful and more efficient by forcing more air into the combustion chamber thus being able to burn more fuel, making the engine more powerful. As said, a turbo is basically a turbine, that is rotated by the exhaust gases, making it a restriction for the outgoing gases, in this case, its important to note that turbochargers can be compared to obstacles to the exhaust gases, and can negatively affect the sound of a car.

With that said, the turbocharger it self can be split in two different sections, the “turbine”, that takes exhaust gases coming forced from the combustion chamber. That force is used to rotate the ceramic blades, thus rotating a shaft, that is connected to the “compressor”, that uses cold air from the atmosphere and compresses it. After the compression, the cold air goes by an Intercooler, that cools down the air, making it more dense. The denser the air more air can get into the cylinder, producing bigger explosions, that leads to more horse power.

In this picture, the turbine section is the left half and the compressor is on the right side.

But fitting a turbo to an engine comes at a cost: the turbo boost is not immediate, as the turbine needs to gain pressure to rotate. There are many means o reducing the phenomenon known as turbo lag. An engine can use two turbos, one of a smaller size, to quickly gain boost and a bigger one, that comes in place when there is enough pressure to start spinning and gaining boost. Another way is to use the inertia of the moving parts, or even making the blades lighter so that not only the turbines but  also the compressor have less inertia, thus reducing the turbo lag.


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