Turbocharger Fundamentals

An exhaust gas turbocharger is essentially an air pump that utilizes the engine’s exhaust gas energy to drive a turbine wheel. The turbine wheel comes attached to a shaft, the shaft is coupled to a compressor wheel and the two wheels function in unison. Functionality is simple, the exiting exhaust gas energy induces the turbine wheel, as the turbine rotates so does the compressor wheel. Both the turbine wheel and compressor wheel have an inducer and exducer. The compressor wheel inducer and exducer function in the same manor as the turbine but in reverse order. The compressor wheel inducer takes in ambient air and the exducer pressurizes that air and forces it into the engine.

Forced air induction creates heat which lowers power and efficiency. To reduce temperatures the charge air is passed through a charge-air cooler or intercoole. The intercooler is typically mounted on a vehicle in the front near the radiator where it cools the air charge allowing for higher output and overall efficiency. and gains even higher density before entering the engine.


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