What is a turbocharged engine and how does it differ from atmospheric

Engine power is one of its main characteristics. The higher this indicator, the more vigorously the car will react to pressing the gas pedal. The ratio of the amount of horsepower and displacement varies depending on the design of the internal combustion engine and the presence of a turbine in it. In this article, we will look at turbocharged engines and talk about what they are and how they differ from classic atmospheric engines.

What does a turbocharged engine mean?

In terms of its internal structure, a turbocharged engine is practically no different from a classic atmospheric engine. And it got its name because of a special turbocharging system, which provides pressure build-up in the cylinders. It includes a turbocharger, a cooler or, as it is also called, an intercooler, as well as the turbine itself. This simple system uses the energy of the exhaust gases to force compressed air into the combustion chamber. For this, the turbine inlet pipe is connected to the exhaust manifold, from where the gases come, which spin the turbine and the compressor, which is located on the same shaft with the turbine and builds pressure in the cylinders.

The principle of operation of a turbocharged engine.

Thus, a larger volume of the air mixture enters the combustion chamber, allowing the fuel to burn in full and release more energy. To make this process even more efficient, the turbine is equipped with an intercooler that cools the ambient air, thereby reducing its volume and allowing more oxygen to be pumped into the engine in one stroke.

It is worth noting that turbocharged engines are available in both gasoline and diesel. Turbines in gasoline internal combustion engines experience significantly higher loads than turbines on diesel engines. Since the temperature of the exhaust gases in the gasoline unit is almost 1000 degrees, the impact on the turbine walls is greater. Despite the fact that the turbine housing is made of high-strength alloys, the service life of the product is very limited. In order to somehow extend it, engineers use a number of design features for a gasoline ICE turbine, for example, a changed angle of exhaust gas entry, which reduces the level of destructive effect on its walls.

Pros and cons of a turbocharged engine

A turbocharged engine has both many supporters and those who believe that such a system is extremely unreliable. Let's try to figure out what arguments in favor of each of the points of view exist.

First of all, the turbine attracts the attention of fans of fast driving, even with a relatively small volume of the internal combustion engine, it allows to achieve impressive acceleration dynamics. For example, a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine can produce about 200 hp, which already provides a good set of speed.

Another benefit that owners of turbocharged engines get is the reduction in fuel consumption per total horsepower. Since the combustion chamber is filled with a large volume of air, the efficiency of the combustion of the fuel mixture increases. It is very important to take into account that if we compare the indicators for fuel consumption, based solely on the volume of the power unit, then the turbocharged engine will, on the contrary, consume more fuel in comparison with the classic atmospheric unit.

The principle of operation of the turbocharger and turbine.

And what do those who oppose turbocharged engines say? They also have enough arguments:

  • Increased requirements for the quality of fuel and lubricants. You will have to refuel only at proven stations, and the replacement of expensive synthetic oil must be done on time (as a rule, once every 10,000 km) and in strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Long warm-up of the car in the cold season, and, consequently, increased fuel consumption in winter.
  • The resource of both the turbine and the engine itself in this case does not exceed 120-150 thousand kilometers. After that, the motor usually requires major repairs, and the turbine is completely changed to a new one. In both cases, this will lead to additional costs for the owner.

Thus, the operation of a turbocharged engine, although it gives its owner advantages in dynamics over atmospheric engines of similar volume, requires a much more careful and attentive attitude. Plus, the maintenance of a machine with a turbine will be more expensive due to the use of more expensive oil and a more frequent replacement interval.

See also : How differs a turbine from a compressor and which is better?.

What is the difference between a turbocharged engine and an atmospheric engine and what is better

In essence, the design of a turbocharged engine is completely identical to that of an atmospheric engine, as is the algorithm of functioning of both engines. The differences between them lie in the way the air is supplied to the combustion chamber. With a turbocharged engine, a special system that uses the energy of exhaust gases is engaged in this. In a classic atmospheric engine, air enters the combustion chamber under the influence of normal atmospheric pressure, as a result of which this ICE got its name.

It's impossible to say unequivocally which type of engine - turbocharged or naturally aspirated. Everyone decides for himself what is more important for him - dynamic characteristics or ease of maintenance and a longer service life. Of course, for a calm and even ride, a conventional aspirated engine looks preferable, but when you need to make a sharp maneuver on the road, for example, quickly overtake the car in front, the lack of horsepower can immediately make itself felt.

When choosing a car, it is better to immediately decide what you want from it and what sacrifices you are willing to make. The high cost of maintenance and the need to overhaul the motor already at 150 thousand can scare a novice car enthusiast, on the other hand, the opportunity to get 200 hp under the hood. with a volume of only 1.8 liters, they also look very attractive. Therefore, when choosing a turbocharged engine, be prepared that you will have to invest much more in it than in an atmospheric one, especially if the car is not new and the previous owner was negligent in its maintenance.

See also : What is a compressor in a car and how does it work.

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