A turbocharger increases an engine’s compression by blowing extra air into the combustion chamber. The higher air mass allows more injected fuel to be burned. This has two effects: An increase in engine efficiency and an increase of air mass. This improves the torque output. Diesel engines are ideal for turbocharging as their torque output is controlled with a forced flow of the air-fuel mixture.
How Does a Turbocharger Work?
Turbochargers function similarly to piston engines. An exhaust-powered turbine rotates an air compressor, which in turn increases airflow to the cylinders and burns additional fuel per second. This not only improves combustion efficiency, but also provides additional horsepower. The optimized fuel burning process ensures that as much energy as possible is extracted from the fuel as it burns.
The limit of an engine’s power is determined by the amount of fuel that can be burned in the motor, but the amount of fuel burned depends on the amount of air that can be forced into the engine. In a normal engine, air is the limiting factor—a 14.7-to-1 air-to-fuel ratio is required to provide enough oxygen to efficiently ignite and burn fuel. Turbochargers give an engine extra oxygen, resulting in higher performance.
As technology has advanced, turbochargers have evolved to include the following:
- Wastegate Turbochargers
- Turbocompounding Turbochargers
- Two-stage Turbochargers
- Variable Geometry Turbochargers
- Electronic Control Turbochargers
- Actuation, Sensor Turbochargers
- High-pressure Turbochargers
Many of these new technologies can increase engine horsepower by as much as 50% and increase the overall thermal efficiency of the engine from 42% to 46%. More energy is extracted from the fuel, creating a more powerful engine that is less expensive to operate and meets EPA standards.
What Are the Benefits of Turbochargers in Diesel Engines?
Turbochargers offer a number of benefits, including:
- Fuel efficiency: Diesel is 33% more fuel-efficient than gasoline, and turbochargers further increase diesel fuel efficiency.
- Improved performance: While ramping up horsepower, they lower emissions and improve altitude compensation. Turbocharging an engine increases the power output of a given engine weight.
- Higher torque output: The additional air inducted into the cylinder increases air density and pressure so more fuel is injected producing more torque, which creates more power. Low-speed torque is also improved.
- Better towing capabilities: The engine has greater towing capacities than regular diesel and gasoline engines. This makes a turbocharged engine the best choice for farm machinery and vehicles that must handle heavy loads and operate on off-road terrains.
- More environmentally friendly: Turbocharging allows auto manufacturers to reduce engine sizes while continuing to deliver power and performance. Smaller engines emit lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
What Does Central Diesel Offer You?
Central Diesel specializes in fuel injection, diesel engines, and turbochargers. Our cost-effective turbocharger repair services include complete factory replacements, cartridge replacements, and housing repairs and replacements. When the repair is done to factory specifications, our standard 14-month warranty features unlimited miles or hours as long as the unit is operated and maintained to factory specifications by the owner. We do not charge for estimates.
Central Diesel’s mission is to be a quality supplier of diesel engines, parts, and services that offer unsurpassed performance for our customers. We value 100% customer satisfaction.
Please contact us with questions or to request a quote.
View the PDF to learn more about Turbochargers and the Future Emission Requirements and Central Diesel’s cost-effective Turbocharger Repair Options:
Next Generation Turbochargers (PDF – 640KB)