I love engines and I feel that’s about time I wrote something about them. Most of us have already experienced one of the many beauties out there. Turbochargers or turbos in short derive their name from turbine. A turbine is a wheel; that turns. A turbocharger thus becomes; a wheel that turns to charge. They are; heavenly. 

There exists many a type of engines. How they differ is how they turn the fuel they guzzle into usable power output. The most common type is the internal combustion engine. In a nut shell; they burn the fuel ‘internally’ and are characterized by an exhaust pipe. It is the pipe that ejects smoke. Jet engines don’t have exhaust pipes and are thus not internal combustion. Cars, domestic generators, or such like with an exhaust are internal combustion engines.

Turbos come in at the exhaust. They use the energy from the waste smoke to force more air into the engine for more power. The concept is simple and green; use waste energy to make the engine more powerful. However; the root of the idea wasn’t so noble. Turbos were used to power jet airplanes during the world wars. Up there; the air is quite thin and engines become drastically inefficient. I know of inventions that caused more death than the little guy I am writing about; be cool.

A turbo works by taking in exhaust gases from an engine to force more air into the same engine for more power. More smoke for the turbo means more air for the engine. The part receiving the smoke in the turbo is the compressor. It is a wheel that turns when exhaust gases pass through it. It in turns drives a shaft. A shaft is a rod that also turns to transfer mechanical energy from one point to another. The shaft in turn powers the impeller. This is another wheel that compresses air forcing it into the engine. Turbo effect. 

Normally an engine would still run good without a turbocharger. A lot of engines don’t have them installed and still do stellar jobs at being engines. God bless them. What a turbo offers is more power for the same physical engine. Engines with turbos are on most cases smaller than naturally aspirated ones. A naturally aspirated engine will by design become more powerful if a turbo was installed. 

Using this analogy; it so follows that all internal combustion engines should have turbos installed by default from their makers. Then why are they all not? Reliability. Turbos induce more stresses on the engines raising the risk of failure. Also, having a turbo means that your car has more parts that require maintenance too. Same case with shortening your lifespan by living on a diet of drugs.

By current industry events; some are using electric energy to substitute for the short coming of the internal combustion engine. Some are using turbos for other forms of efficiency that don’t involve forcing more air into the engine like; using the turbo as the vehicles alternator (power production unit), or powering something I don’t know of yet.

When a wheel turns; the potentials it creates are enormous.