A reader just sent me a link to what may be the single easiest and most entertaining way to learn how superchargers and turbochargers work. It’s a short and sweet webpage filled with crystal clear animations, pictures, descriptions and just general badass-ery. Check it out.
The webpage, entitled “Supercharger vs. Turbo,” starts with the supercharger animation below, which—on their site—you can rotate with your mouse for a closer look. The animation includes labels for various components, and down below are descriptions of those components.
While the supercharger uses a crankshaft-driven belt to rotate the compressor—which sucks air through the intake, pressurizes the intake manifold, and ultimately sends more air into the engine—a turbocharger uses exhaust energy to do the compressor-spinning. Here’s an animation of a turbo:
The page—put together by Tyroola, an Australian site that sells tires (or “tyres,” as they call them)— also shows variants of these two technologies. For example, check out the descriptions and images of three different turbocharger variants:
It’s a badass page, so go check it out and get enlightened on turbos and superchargers. Because hey, you have to talk about something at parties.