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 Post subject: What is a Turbo?
PostPosted: September 28th, 2007, 9:36 am 
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Working Principle
A turbocharger consists of a turbine and a compressor linked by a shared axle. The turbine inlet receives exhaust gases from the engine exhaust manifold causing the turbine wheel to rotate. This rotation drives the compressor, compressing ambient air and delivering it to the air intake of the engine.
The objective of a turbocharger is the same as a normal supercharger; to improve upon the size-to-output efficiency of an engine by solving one of its cardinal limitations. A naturally aspirated automobile engine uses only the downward stroke of a piston to create an area of low pressure in order to draw air into the cylinder. Since the number of air and fuel molecules determine the potential energy available to force the piston down on the combustion stroke, and because of the relatively constant pressure of the atmosphere, there ultimately will be a limit to the amount of air and consequently fuel filling the combustion chamber. This ability to fill the cylinder with air is its volumetric efficiency. Since the turbocharger increases the pressure at the point where air is entering the cylinder, and the amount of air brought into the cylinder is largely a function of time and pressure, more air will be drawn in as the pressure increases. The additional air makes it possible to add more fuel, increasing the output of the engine. Also, the intake pressure can be controlled by a wastegate, which bleeds off excess boost from the turbocharger.
The application of a compressor to increase pressure at the point of cylinder air intake is often referred to as forced induction. Centrifugal superchargers operate in the same fashion as a turbo; however, the energy to spin the compressor is taken from the rotating output energy of the engine's crankshaft as opposed to exhaust gas. For this reason turbochargers are ideally more efficient, since their turbines are actually heat engines, converting some of the thermal energy from the exhaust gas that would otherwise be wasted, into useful work. Contrary to popular belief, this is not totally "free energy," as it always creates some amount of exhaust backpressure which the engine must overcome. Superchargers use output energy from an engine to achieve a net gain, which must be provided from some of the engine's total output; either directly or from a separate smaller engine, perhaps electrically driven from the main engine's generator.
The turbocharger was invented by Swiss engineer Alfred Buchi, who had been working on steam turbines. His patent for the internal combustion turbocharger was applied for in 1905. Diesel ships and locomotives with turbochargers began appearing in the 1920s.
Turbochargers were first used in production aircraft engines in the 1930s before World War II. The primary purpose behind most aircraft-based applications was to increase the altitude at which the airplane can fly, by compensating for the lower atmospheric pressure present at high altitude. Aircraft such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Supermarine Spitfire all used exhaust driven "turbo-superchargers" to increase high altitude engine power. It is important to note that the majority of turbosupercharged aircraft engines used both a gear-driven centrifugal type supercharger and a turbocharger.
Turbo-Diesel trucks were produced in Europe and America (notably by Cummins) after 1949. The turbocharger hit the automobile world in 1952 when Fred Agabashian qualified for pole position at the Indianapolis 500 and led for 100 miles before tire shards disabled the blower.

BMW led the resurgence of the automobile turbo with the 1973 2002 Turbo, with Porsche following with the 911 Turbo, introduced at the 1974 Paris Motor Show. Buick was the first GM division to bring back the turbo, in the 1978 Buick Regal, followed by the Mercedes-Benz 300D, Saab 99 in 1978. Japanese manufacturers followed suit, with Mitsubishi Lancer in 1978, Toyota Supra in 1980, Nissan 280ZX in 1981 and Mazda RX-7 in 1984.
The worlds first production turbodiesel automobile was also introduced in 1978 by Peugeot with the launch of the Peugeot 604 turbodiesel. Today, nearly all automotive diesels are turbocharged.
Alfa Romeo introduced the first mass-produced Italian turbocharged car, the Alfetta GTV 2000 Turbodelta in 1979. Pontiac also introduced a turbo in 1980 and Volvo Cars followed in 1981. Renault however gave another step and installed a turbocharger to the smallest and lightest car they had, the R5, making it the first Supermini automobile with a turbocharger in year 1980. This gave the car about 160bhp in street form and up to 300+ in race setup, an exorbitant power for a 1400cc motor. When combined with its incredible lightweight chassis, it could nip at the heels of the quick Italian sports car Ferrari 308.
In Formula One, in the so called "Turbo Era" of 1977 until 1989, engines with a capacity of 1500 cc could achieve anywhere from 1000 to 1500 hp (746 to 1119 kW) (Renault, Honda, BMW, Ferrari). Renault was the first manufacturer to apply turbo technology in the F1 field, in 1977. The project's high cost was compensated for by its performance, and led to other engine manufacturers following suit. The Turbo-charged engines took over the F1 field and ended the Ford Cosworth DFV era in the mid 1980s. However, the FIA decided that turbos were making the sport too dangerous and expensive, and from 1987 onwards, the maximum boost pressure was reduced before the technology was banned completely for 1989.
In Rallying, turbocharged engines of up to 2000cc have long been the preferred motive power for the Group A/World Rally Car (top level) competitors, due to the exceptional power-to-weight ratios (and enormous torque) attainable. This combines with the use of vehicles with relatively small bodyshells for manoeuvreability and handling. As turbo outputs rose to similar levels as the F1 category (see above), the FIA, rather than banning the technology, enforced a restricted turbo inlet diameter (currently 34mm), effectively "starving" the turbo of compressible air and making high boost pressures unfeasible. The success of small, turbocharged, four-wheel-drive vehicles in rally competition, beginning with the Audi Quattro, has led to exceptional road cars in the modern era such as the Lancia Delta Integrale, Toyota Celica GT-Four, Blue with yellow stickers and Gold Wheels Evo Wannabe and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions.
Boost refers to the increase in manifold pressure that is generated by the turbocharger in the intake path or specifically intake manifold that exceeds normal atmospheric pressure. This is also the level of boost as shown on a pressure gauge, usually in bar, psi or possibly kPa This is representative of the extra air pressure that is achieved over what would be achieved without the forced induction. Manifold pressure should not be confused with the amount, or "weight" of air that a turbo can flow.
By spinning at a relatively high speed the compressor turbine draws in a large volume of air and forces it into the engine. As the turbocharger's output flow volume exceeds the engine's volumetric flow, air pressure in the intake system begins to build, often called boost. The speed at which the assembly spins is proportional to the pressure of the compressed air and total mass of air flow being moved. Since a turbo can spin to RPMs far beyond what is needed, or of what it is safely capable of, the speed must be controlled. A wastegate is the most common mechanical speed control system, and is often further augmented by an electronic boost controller. The main function of a wastegate is to allow some of the exhaust to bypass the turbine when the set intake pressure is achieved. Most passenger car wastegates are integral to the turbocharger.
Anti-Surge/Dump/Blow Off Valves
Turbo charged engines operating at wide open throttle and high rpm require a large volume of air to flow between the turbo and the inlet of the engine. When the throttle is closed compressed air will flow to the throttle valve without an exit (i.e. the air has nowhere to go).
This causes a surge which can raise the pressure of the air to a level which can be destructive to the engine e.g. damage may occur to the throttle plate, induction pipes may burst. The surge will also decompress back across the turbo, as this is the only path with the air can take.
The reverse flow back across the turbo acts on the compressor wheel and causes the turbine shaft to reduce in speed quicker than it would naturally. When the throttle is opened again, the turbo will have to spin-up for longer to the required speed, as turbo speed is proportional to boost/volume flow. In order to prevent this from happening, a valve is fitted between the turbo and inlet which vents off the excess volume of air. These are known as anti-surge, dump or blow-off valves. They are normally operated by engine vacuum or by electronic control.
Using turbochargers to gain performance without a large gain in weight was very appealing to the Japanese factories in the 1980s. Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki chose the route of an inline four with a turbo unit.
-Please note some dates and facts are taken from wikipedia entries-


 Post subject: Re: What is a Turbo?
PostPosted: December 16th, 2007, 12:48 pm 
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Joined: September 30th, 2007, 8:36 pm
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Location: Dundee, scotland
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iv added a couple of other pics i had on the pc that show more info over the turbo system
iv uploaded them to the coltuk photobucket account


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