Difference Between Turbocharger and Supercharger [PDF]


In this article we will explore the difference between Turbocharger and Supercharger. Both are forced induction systems. They compress atmospheric air and deliver it to the engine cylinder, enabling twice the amount of fuel for combustion and doubling the engine’s power. Despite their similar functions, this article aims to clarify any confusion and highlight the disparities between turbochargers and superchargers.

Note: At the bottom of every article the PDF link is attached make sure if you want you can easily download.

What is a Turbocharger?

A forced induction system, the turbocharger utilizes exhaust gas energy to compress atmospheric air for the engine cylinder. This compressed air doubles the fuel intake, resulting in double the power output during combustion. The turbocharger is not directly connected to the engine. It operates more effectively at high speeds. It can easily reach up to 150,000 rpm. However, it presents challenges such as difficult installation, a complex design, and lag issues caused by intermittent energy supply from the exhaust.

what is Turbocharger
Turbocharger diagram
difference between turbocharger and supercharger

What is a supercharger?

Another forced induction system, the supercharger, compresses air and delivers it directly to the engine cylinder. It is placed at the top of the engine. It effectively doubles the power of the engine. Superchargers feature a simple design and straightforward installation. It remains in contact with the crankshaft. They can operate easily at low RPMs. It has a spin speed of up to 50000 rpm. Additionally, superchargers are known for their reliability and minimal lag.

what is supercharger
supercharger diagram

Difference Between Turbochargers and Superchargers

It is directly driven by the engine through a belt drive.It is driven by the exhaust gas of an engine.
Supercharger generates more noise.It generates less noise because it uses exhaust gases.
The supercharger is more costly than a turbocharger.The turbocharger is less costly.
It is not essential to use inter-cooler in the supercharger.Because turbocharger work by exhaust gases so inter-cooler is essential.
It increases engine power by about 30-40%.It increases engine power by about 30-50%.
The supercharger uses the useful power of an engine to drive the compressor.The turbocharger uses the power of exhaust (waste power) gases to drive the compressor.
The supercharger is connected by the crankshaft, so it starts working instantly as the engine start.Turbocharger uses exhaust gases to operate, so it does not work until sufficient smoke is generated by the engine.
A supercharger is a unit that is bolted to the engine and connected with a belt drive between a crankshaft and the supercharger unit.A turbocharger is similar to a supercharger, except it has an exhaust housing instead of a belt drive, and runs by exhaust gasses.
Because it uses the useful power of the engine, it decreases the engine’s efficiency.Because it uses exhaust gases to drive the compressor, it results in increased efficiency.
The supercharger is difficult to adopt in the car because it occupies a large space.When we consider design, the turbocharger is compact and easily adapted to the cars.

Video on Supercharger VS Turbocharger

Credits: Khvicha Korashvili


In summary, while both superchargers and turbochargers enhance engine performance, their key distinctions lie in power delivery, efficiency, and installation requirements. Choosing the right option depends on your preferences.

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2 thoughts on “Difference Between Turbocharger and Supercharger [PDF]”

  1. Thanks
    I’m a mechanic and want to learn more in the same field mostly in modern vehicles but specifically about turbo engine, supercharger and intercooler engines.


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