How Do Centrifugal Superchargers Work?

What are the pros and cons of centrifugal superchargers?

I bought a centrifugal supercharger for my Honda S2000! In this video we’ll discuss the purpose of superchargers, how centrifugal superchargers work, and the advantages and disadvantages of centrifugal style superchargers.

Centrifugal superchargers act very similarly to turbochargers, however they are driven by the engine rather than the exhaust. The impeller spins as a result of an engine belt spinning a pulley which is connected to the supercharger transmission, which multiplies the gear ratio between the engine and the impeller, allowing for more boost at each engine RPM.

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23 thoughts on “How Do Centrifugal Superchargers Work?

  1. Part of me didn't want to share this video because I know that going forward I'll have a lot of pressure to get this supercharger install done, and I know it's not going to be happening as soon as folks (including myself) would like. Part of me wanted to share this video so that I would get pressured into actually completing the supercharger install. Hope everyone's having a wonderful day! If you're into scrolling through photos, consider adding my photos to your endless list: https://www.instagram.com/engineeringexplained/

  2. Alberto Knox says:

    There are a couple variants on this setup that I've been curious to see, but haven't had the time in private life to chase.

    First is using a geared turbine supercharger driven by a brushless DC motor. Motors, controllers, and high capacity lithium batteries have become much more widely available. This setup, as in F1, would allow boost to be called up as needed rather than as available. Second is a refrigeration circuit as an intercooler. There are a couple ways to regulate a system like that but I simply do not know enough about combustion dynamics to say whether it would be worth the effort.

  3. S2kDude36 says:

    Specifically, which kit did you purchase?  Stage 1, 2, or 3?

  4. kellygnsd says:

    When you were talking about the centrifugal compressor output curve you showed that is was a linear type curve. Isn't the output characteristics of positive displacement pumps like roots or screw type compressors to linearly increase their output as rpm rises but for centrifugal pumps, aka turbos and centrifugal superchargers outputs increase is proportional to the square of the change in rpm. Your graph doesn't really represent that. Also all this is assuming there is no waste-gating or bypassing going on.

  5. Ben Zer says:

    What is boost? Does it have a unit like something similar to horsepower or what does it mean ?

  6. daduncker says:

    Why does he look like a college student and a college professor at the same time?

  7. Ryan Zinck says:

    Please talk about why you should or should not hit a rev limiter (will this damage the gears in supercharger???)

    Thanks for the videos

  8. Just have Chrisfix come over and put it in

  9. How much boost can a stock engine take? – Engine Masters, pretty much explains the last couple minutes of this video.

  10. bugjuicer says:

    Can imagine another 'pro' is that it'd be cooler because it's not EG powered, so no heat transfer there

  11. Kravity says:

    B I G G E R A I R

  12. Would love to pick up a RIPP SC for my Eclipse

  13. Parasitic load would INcrease fuel economy numbers, right? Because even tho you have more power at high revs, efficiency is lower. So you end up using more fuel for same distance.

  14. tankd0g says:

    Does that kit come with a fuel commander or some kind of flash for your ecu?

  15. tankd0g says:

    Do you think the inner-cooler will make as much of a difference on a supercharger as it does on a turbo since there's no hot side?

  16. naser eminem says:

    drivetrain power loss and can we fix it ???????????????

  17. Patrick C. says:

    I have a similar setup on my Subaru EJ253 (Raptor AU supercharger) – I love it. 200k miles and runs like a champ. Max boost @ max RPM makes it relatively easy power on the engine (high boost at low engine load). The low end torque is good– very noticeable right off the line. My HP curve is very linear but torque is like a shallow mountain or inverted shallow V.

  18. Syl033 says:

    Is there any wastegate?
    Because I don't quite understand how you release the boost you don't need when releasing the gas pedal. :O

  19. A while back, I read something online about the development of centrifugal superchargers that are driven by electric motors, versus being driven mechanically by the car's engine.

    Did you look into this technology, or is it still just in the development stage?

  20. 56Seeker says:

    I've three questions on this:

    Given this SC's projected curve, what's the advantage over a turbo?
    Will it need to relieve pressure on the over run as a turbo does?
    Seeing as this is, in effect, a belt driven turbo, I wonder if any one's made an exhaust driven rootes?

  21. mr2tuner86 says:

    the other cool thing is that you can build boost just from revving whereas with a turbo there has to be a load on the engine or an antilag system

  22. Peter Werle says:

    Would this be optimal for a mechanical diesel? Something where you'd want boost low down in the revs?

  23. Is there any reason to not just use the smallest pulley you can fit for max boost ?

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