this diagram of a Jaguar 4.2L supercharged V8
engine the supercharger and it's pulley have
been highlighted in orange
supercharger (sometimes referred to as a blower) is a compressor
used to pump fresh air into the engine cylinders. Because
more air, therefore oxygen, is forced into the cylinders
this allows the engine to burn more fuel accordingly. The
increased amounts of fuel and air in the cylinders cause
a larger explosion in the cylinder when the spark plug is
fired, subsequently more power is produced
A supercharger is powered by a belt, or chain, connected
to the engine's crankshaft, just like many of the other
ancillaries like the alternator or air-conditioning pump.
In the process of powering a supercharger as much as a third
of the total crankshaft power of the engine can be used,
and in many applications superchargers are less efficient
than the closely related turbocharger.
However, because a turbocharger is powered by exhaust gases
they suffer from 'turbo lag', this is because the pressure
of the exhaust gas needs time to build up before spinning
the turbine. Superchargers do not suffer from this problem,
and in vehicles where power is more important than any other
factor (like fuel economy) superchargers are extremely common.
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