How Turbos Work
How do Turbo chargers work?
Do you want to get more power out of your engine?
One of the ways is to increase the amount of fuel and air in the engine. You do this by installing a turbo!
A turbo allow an engine to burn more fuel and air by compressing more air into the cylinders, therefore burning more fuel, and therefore creating a bigger explosion in the cylinder, increasing the horsepower!
The turbo charger is bolted onto the exhaust manifold of your engine. It sucks in air into the turbo and uses the engines own exhaust to spin the turbine inside it. It's connected to the compressor (found between the air filter and intake manifold). The compressor compresses the air going to the pistons.
The exhaust coming from the cylinders pass through the turbo, through the blades, causing the turbine to spin. The more exhaust going through the blades, the faster they spin. The blades can spin up to 150 000 rpm! Which is about 30 times faster than a normal engine revs.
The typical boost provided by a turbocharger is around 6 to 8 pounds per square inch (psi) petrol & 14 to 20 (psi) on modern diesels. Since normal atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi at sea level, you can see that you are getting about double the air into the engine. Therefore, you would expect to get 50 percent more power. It's not perfectly efficient, so you might get a 30- to 40-percent improvement instead.
One cause of this is because having a turbine in the exhaust flow increases the restriction in the exhaust. What this means is, that on the exhaust stroke, the engine has to push against a higher back-pressure. This subtracts a little bit of power from the cylinders that are firing at the same time.
For the turbo to handle 150 000rpm, the turbine shaft is supported with a fluid bearing. The fluid bearing supports the shaft on a thin layer of oil which is consistently pumped around the shaft. The oil cools the shaft and allows the turbo to spin with very little friction.