A turbocharger can significantly boost an engine’s horsepower without significantly increasing its weight, which is the huge benefit that makes turbos so popular!
HOW DO THEY WORK?
Turbochargers are a type of forced induction system. They compress the air flowing into the engine. The advantage of compressing the air is that it lets the engine squeeze more air into a cylinder, and more air means that more fuel can be added. Therefore, you get more power from each explosion in each cylinder. A turbocharged engine produces more power overall than the same engine without the charging. This can significantly improve the power-to-weight ratio for the engine.
In order to achieve this boost, the turbocharger uses the exhaust flow from the engine to spin a turbine, which in turn spins an air pump.
Turbochargers allow an engine to burn more fuel and air by packing more into the existing cylinders. The typical boost provided by a turbocharger is 6 to 8 pounds per square inch (psi). Since normal atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi at sea level, you can see that you are getting about 50 percent more air into the engine.
DOES TURBOCHARGING WORK FOR DIESEL?
The common naturally aspirated diesel will always see benefit from turbocharging. This is due to the relatively in-efficient intake design of a diesel powered piston engine. As the air entering the engine is normally only drawn in through minor vacuum, the combustion chambers are never able to fill completely.
The addition of a turbocharger, provides positive cylinder filling, ensuring a sufficient amount of air is available to be burnt by the fuel. This means less fuel goes out the exhaust unburnt, making more power and immediate emissions reductions.