Electric Superchargers

 

Advantages and Disadvantages

By GA Projects

 

Theoretically speaking electrically powered superchargers should have enormous advantages over conventional types. They can deliver boost at any engine speed or load the designer wants, can be fitted wherever there is space, do not suffer from excessive heat build up and are mechanically efficient (low rotational mass and efficient motive power). Or at least that is how the theory goes, in practice electric supercharger designers have some enormous obstacles to overcome.

 

An electric supercharger (not ours)Mechanically driven superchargers typically require 10 to 15 kW (13 to 20 HP) to drive them. That would require an electric motor 10 times more powerful than a starter motor. Can you imagine the wiring and charging circuit required to service a motor that big? It has been done with the Thomas Knight system pictured left. Although an impressive engineering feat (using three electric motors) and almost certainly the most powerful electric supercharger available it is much more costly than others in this category and is technically challenging to install.

 

Ducted fan type electric supercharger

There are a number of alternatives many of which are based around centrifugal ventilation blowers or ducted fans as used in marine bilge fans and model aircraft. These fans generally lack a diffuser ring in the centrifugal blower or a stator in the ducted fan without which very little in the way of pressure can be generated. The principle difference between a fan and a supercharger is its ability to generate pressure. 

 

Compressor stage of turbochargerTechnically speaking superchargers using ducted fans and their like are axial compressors, they drive air along the line of their axis to generate flow momentum. Another type of compressor is the radial fan type. Turbocharger impellors (fans) are radial compressors, they draw air in along their axis then blast that air out radially (sideways) to achieve compression. Radial compressor characteristics are almost the opposite of axial compressors, they achieve pressure relatively easily but have a low volumetric efficiency. Turbo chargers have to rotate at fantastic speeds to be functional (typically 200,000 RPM or faster).

 

The GA Projects electric supercharger uses an axial impellor and a barrel type fan with diffuser to form a very efficient compromise between axial and radial compressors.

 

Electric superchargers have the advantage of a very lightweight (usually plastic) impellor unlike the massive compression elements of a mechanical compressor or the metal rotor of a turbocharger. Comparatively little energy is required to power an electric supercharger for any given amount of boost making them very efficient.

 

Electrically powered superchargers are unlikely to achieve the massive amounts of boost supplied by conventional types but have a viable application as a low cost intermediate performance enhancement. Their real advantage is that boost can be supplied at low engine speeds increasing power and torque in this range thus making the engine more flexible and responsive. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous article

Next article

Supercharger home page

GA Projects home page

Contact

Links

 

 

Easy projects for the home handyman

GA Projects specialise in designing low cost projects that any practical individual with basic handyman tools and ability can build. We avoid the need for special machinery or skills (e.g. welding) and ensure all our projects are made from readily available parts and materials. All projects are easy to build and are carefully scrutinised for quality and safety. We supply comprehensive, illustrated plans and construction manuals to guide you through every step of the way.

 

You can contact the GA Projects team at gapro@gaprojects.com

Or view the GA Projects home page to see our full product range, just CLICK HERE

 

 

 

LINKS

 

GA Projects links

Build a Solar Pool Heater for under $100 The project that got us started.

Kids Electric Go Kart This project is a synch for the home handyman or handywoman.

Discover electricity and basic electronics Comprehensive introduction to these subjects for just $6.99c

Build a Kids Ride On Army Tank Easy to build and cheap too, kids will love this one.

Build an entire Skate Park. Ramps, pipes, fun boxes and more

 

Recommended links to other companies.

 

 

At GA Projects we individually select each link (no automated link farms here). We are a family orientated company that will not link to inappropriate material or companies pedalling unsuitable products (porn, drugs, gambling etc.) Should any such links slip through our nets then please let us know so that the offending material can be deleted.

 

CLICK HERE to view links

 

Site Map

 

Home | Poolheater | Poolheater 2 | Go Kart | Understanding Electronics | Tank | Supercharger | Skate park | Links

 

Contact us at gapro@gaprojects.com