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How Do Centrifugal Superchargers Work?

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08:20   |   Jan 14, 2018

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How Do Centrifugal Superchargers Work?
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  • Hello everyone and welcome in this video
  • we are going to be talking about how centrifugal superchargers work and this in front of me is a
  • Vortec centrifugal supercharger it is out of a science of speed supercharger kit
  • Which I will be at some point in my life who knows when that will be installing in my s2000
  • and so in this video we're just gonna be talking about how these work and the idea of
  • A centrifugal supercharger is no different from any other
  • Supercharger and that the whole purpose is to put more air into your cylinders
  • So you pack in more air into the cylinders
  • During your intake stroke and by doing so you can inject more fuel and of course by burning more air and fuel you can make
  • more power
  • That's the basic idea of a turbocharger or supercharger
  • Any form of them packing more air make more power, and so how does it?
  • Do this well like other superchargers a centrifugal supercharger is engine driven
  • So you'll have this pulley here
  • Which will be driven by an engine belt that will attach to the supercharger and as it rotates it will force
  • The impeller of the supercharger to rotate, so we'll show that a little bit here, but essentially
  • There's a gear box in here so your engine's spinning it a certain rpm
  • And then there's a reduction gear in here so this spins
  • And then as this spins your impeller actually spins at a faster rate, so I'm spinning it very slowly
  • Back here, and as you can see that impeller is spinning, and it's spinning at a much quicker rate even though. It's barely spinning
  • Then I am spinning this back here as a result of that gear reduction so you can change a
  • Couple things you could change that gear reduction if you wanted this to spin faster. That's a design aspect
  • But from a consumer standpoint you can change the pulley that you use
  • so if you use a smaller pulley it means it's going to spin faster and
  • As a result this will spin faster through that gear reduction and so you can make more boost simply by changing this pulley
  • So this impeller sucks in air you'll have an air filter somewhere out there
  • It'll suck in air through that air filter into the impeller centrifugal force
  • I know it's not a real thing
  • But that how's this thing got its name sends that air outward into
  • The piping around the impeller and from there
  • It is sent to the engine so it can either go through an intercooler next or go directly to the engine
  • And so you'll have that added pressure and can be able to make more power now with this particular kit
  • It goes through and air to water intercooler
  • So it will come in one end of this go out the other and then you can see there are these two little hoses
  • Right here where it can come in and out these two ports, so it'll come in
  • You'll have coolant coming in one end and then out the other
  • You've got this electric pump, so this water pump will flow coolant in one end out the other this
  • will be
  • Mounted at the front of the vehicle
  • And so you'll have that coolant coming in it'll be hot from passing through this intercooler being heated by the air which is
  • Passing through it that'll come to the front of the car air will pass through and cool that coolant that coolant will then return back
  • To this air to water intercooler which is mounted within the engine bay cool off that air before it passes
  • into the intake manifold and into the vehicle now you'll notice that this looks very similar to a
  • turbocharger and that's because on the compressor side it is very similar to the compressor side of a
  • Turbocharger the biggest difference is the fact that this is driven by the engine
  • rather than driven from exhaust gasses now the difference between a centrifugal supercharger and
  • For example a twin screw or a root style supercharger is basically how it supplies air to the engine
  • So these are going to be more effective at higher rpm at lower rpm
  • they're not going to be as effective as something like a root style or a
  • twin-screw supercharger
  • These are more designed for that top-end the faster this spins
  • Which means the faster your engine is spinning because this is a result of how fast your engine is spinning
  • Multiplied by the gear ratio within it the faster this thing spins the more boost you make it's not consistent across the entire rpm range
  • similar to like a twin screw or root style supercharger
  • Which may have a more linear boost curve than this this boost curve will look seriously just kind of like a line
  • Increasing as your engine rpm goes up there might be a slight curve to it
  • But essentially you're gonna have that peak boost will be achieved at peak engine rpm
  • that's when this thing's going to be pulling the most air in and
  • similar to Honda S2000's
  • I mean that's kind of the style of the engine it has all its power all its torque above 6,000 rpm
  • So that's when this is going to be most effective
  • That's when that engines going to be most effective until it's gonna be a very noticeable difference in
  • Torque as you get into the higher rpm kind of maintaining the characteristics of this car's engine
  • So that you know low rpm not all that much power as you get up into the higher rpm
  • That's where you start to actually feel the torque from the engine.
  • So what are the advantages of a centrifugal style supercharger?
  • Well one of them is the fact that it has a low discharge temperature
  • So it pulls in air at one temperature and the temperature of that air going out isn't increased all that much still up
  • We're you know using an intercooler is a smart thing to do, but the thermal efficiency of centrifugal style
  • Superchargers is pretty good the other thing is from a packaging standpoint
  • These are generally going to be mounted in the front of the engine rather than on top like a root style or twin-screw supercharger
  • So you don't have to worry about you know the hood
  • getting
  • interfering with space and
  • Instead it's mounted in front of the engine and as so long as there's space in front of the engine to mount it you don't
  • Have to worry about manipulating the hood in any way so from a packaging standpoint they can be easy to install
  • They're also a design which allows for you to pretty easily set up
  • intercooling so rather than a root style or twin screw where it's mounted on top of the engine and then wants to flow into the
  • Engine it's difficult
  • It is done of course even with factory style superchargers
  • But it's more difficult to put in that air to water intercooler within that setup it has to be much more compact
  • It's not quite as flexible of a design whereas with a centrifugal setup
  • You can have that anywhere after this this doesn't have to feed directly to the engine so you're more flexible and setting up your intercooler
  • Setup, so what are the disadvantages of a centrifugal style
  • Supercharger? well the biggest one is that it doesn't have a great low-end torque, so unless this thing is spinning
  • You know 3,000 rpm and above
  • It's really not producing hardly any boost for your engine
  • So it's not doing a whole lot for you until it really starts to spin up now in engines like this
  • S2000 f20c which spins to 9,000 rpm
  • That's not a huge deal
  • The car is designed to be revved high and that's where this thing operates in its sweet spot
  • But it is important to note that you're not going to have that low-end grunt from installing a centrifugal supercharger
  • At the low end it'll operate very similar to stock, and then as you get into the higher rpm
  • You'll start to build boost another disadvantage of course adding a supercharger adds a parasitic load
  • So your fuel economy will go down as a result not only of producing far more power and using more fuel
  • But as a result of having a parasitic load
  • Asking your engine to drive this on top of anything else so it takes energy to spin this thing it takes energy to pull in
  • That air and that energy all comes from your engine
  • So you're going to get worse fuel economy of course when you're modifying your car
  • That's probably not the first thing you're thinking about when you're thinking about adding more power
  • And then finally of course if you add power to an engine that means you're putting more stress on that engine and very simply
  • There is a correlation between how much stress you put on the engine and how long that engine lasts
  • So if you ask your engine to make more horsepower
  • It can do that. You know will it do it reliably? that is questionable
  • And so you want to make sure you know that you have the internals to accompany what you're doing and you know regardless
  • Of how well-built it is the more power you put into an engine
  • generally speaking
  • The shorter duration that engine is going to last because you are stressing those internal
  • Components more so if you guys have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below. Thanks for watching

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What are the pros and cons of centrifugal superchargers?
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I bought a centrifugal supercharger for my Honda S2000! In this video we'll discuss the purpose of superchargers, how centrifugal superchargers work, and the advantages and disadvantages of centrifugal style superchargers.

Centrifugal superchargers act very similarly to turbochargers, however they are driven by the engine rather than the exhaust. The impeller spins as a result of an engine belt spinning a pulley which is connected to the supercharger transmission, which multiplies the gear ratio between the engine and the impeller, allowing for more boost at each engine RPM.

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