Since the first combustion engine vehicle was manufactured, designers and engineers have been looking for an effective way of increasing power. Building bigger engines seemed to be the only solution for quite some time until it was realized that as engines got bigger so did their size, cost and weight. This is why nowadays engineers and car designers are using a different kind of approach which consists in modifying an already manufactured engine in order to increase its overall output. Superchargers and turbochargers are two of the most popular devices used to increase engine efficiency but describing how each of them functions in detail requires that we provide the reader with enough information on how a naturally breathing engine works. We will actually be discussing the parts of the engine that relate to airflow: Air induction system, combustion chamber and exhaust system. The cylinders constitute the core of every engine. Inside the cylinders, pistons are allowed to move up and down (see fig.1). Finally, the crankshaft “translates reciprocal linear piston motion into rotation” (Wikipedia).
Internal combustion engines are the most commonly used in modern cars. As its name indicates, the engine’s function depends on a chemical reaction (the combustion) to generate power and to propel automobiles. In order to achieve combustion, we need to have air and fuel mixed together then injected into the cylinders. Then the whole mixture should be ignited to achieve combustion. The combustion takes place inside the cylinders (this is known as the combustion chamber). Valves (allows air to pass into the cylinders but not the other way around) placed on the engine above the cylinders allow a precise volume of air and fuel to mix inside the cylinder, thus building the exact pressure inside them and obtaining an optimal combustion. There are two kind of valves: one that is called the intake (it allow the fuel and air to enter inside the cylinder) and exhaust valves (it evacuate the residue of the combustion after it has finished thus emptying the cylinder and preparing them to receive the next intake of fuel and air). The combustion inside an engine may be broken down to four cycles (known as the four-stroke combustion cycle):
•The intake: here the valves fill the combustion chamber with fuel and air. The piston inside the cylinder moves down to create space and allow the different components of the combustion to mix.
•The piston moves back up...