What is forced induction?
Forced induction is the name given to products that can improve the performance of an engine by improving the flow of combustible fuel to the engine. The most common and widely known example of a forced induction system in a car or other vehicle is the turbocharger and a similar device known as a “supercharger.”
Forced induction devices supply more air-fuel mixture to the combustion chamber than would be possible using only natural aspiration methods, that is, a traditional carburetor-based system. This increased flow of air, mixed in the correct proportion with the fuel, provides a significant power boost to the vehicle. This performance improvement is widely used because it increases the power of the vehicle, but does not significantly increase the weight of the vehicle, as would be the case if a larger engine were installed in the vehicle to increase power. horsepower.
How does a forced induction system work?
To explain the principle of forced induction we will use the example of a turbocharger because this is the most widely used form of forced induction in relation to motor vehicles. Turbochargers are frequently used in gasoline vehicle engines, but are often available for diesel engines as well.
The goal of a forced induction device is to increase engine power without unduly increasing weight. The metric that is measured is the “power / weight ratio”. It is generally possible to install a larger engine in a vehicle to increase the available power, but doing so will also increase the weight of the vehicle and the power-to-weight ratio will be adversely affected by such a modification. This is also a much more expensive option in most cases compared to installing a turbocharger in the vehicle. It is also not possible to install larger engines in most vehicles without a major overhaul of the chassis and other components, so this is generally not a realistic option unless the vehicle is designed from the ground up to offer different size options from the ground up. motor.
The main purpose of a turbocharger is to increase the flow of air to the engine. It does this by compressing the air and literally “forcing” it into the engine’s fuel combustion system. When the additional supply of air is mixed with the correct amount of combustible fuel, the engine receives what it needs to produce more power.
Turbochargers are very smart in this regard, as they are designed to use engine exhaust, a waste product, to turn the turbine in the turbocharger. The benefits of this are obvious in the sense that a waste product, which would normally be vented to the atmosphere, is being used to improve engine and vehicle performance.
Once the turbocharger turbine is turning at the correct speed (up to 150,000 rpm), it can drive the air pump to compress the air and bring it to the engine where it is mixed with the combustible fuel in the correct ratio. Forced induction systems like this can increase a motor’s power by up to 50% if configured correctly. It’s not hard to see why they are so popular, as turbochargers can often be retrofitted to engines that weren’t factory fitted, thus giving older, less powerful vehicles new life without the need to replace them.
The increase in power provided by a forced induction system such as a turbocharger is not just a matter of increasing power and therefore engine speed. There are also other very good reasons, besides speed, for installing a forced induction system like a turbocharger. The most common of these reasons is to deliver more power to the engine so that it can perform certain tasks. This is often the case with ATVs. Off-road vehicle drivers tend not to be overly concerned about speed as such, but they need power to traverse rough terrain, climb steep grades, or tow other vehicles or machinery, and a turbocharger provides the extra power to do those tasks at a reasonable price. cost.
Another example of where a turbocharger can help is when vehicles are driven at high altitudes. As you rise above sea level, the oxygen content of the air decreases, a problem all too familiar to climbers and others …