The maximum altitude that a Ryanair plane is allowed to fly is approximately 42,000 feet (12,800 meters). At that elevation, the available air volume is significantly less than we have access to at sea level.
So, what exactly is the issue?
You can imagine the catastrophic results that would occur if the engine of an airplane did not receive sufficient oxygen to enable it to perform combustion and remain aloft.
The dramatic circumstance we find ourselves in is that while we are in the air, there is a significantly lower amount of oxygen than there is on the ground.
As a result, the engine suffocates because it does not receive the oxygen necessary to keep the aircraft going. What do we do? Find allies.
In the previous century, turbochargers were the ideal companion for aircraft engines that had to contend with operating at high altitudes.
Let’s examine the rationale behind their introduction in the 1970s and onwards in automobile manufacturing.
The turbocharger is a system for supercharging internal combustion engines.
These engines obtain mechanical energy from the chemical energy of a fuel that burns in a combustion chamber responsible for compressing the air it receives from the outside.
This engine gets mechanical energy from the chemical point of the fuel.
Therefore, a vehicle’s engine will produce more power if it takes in a greater air volume (oxygen).
And at the point where the engine is unable to give any more of itself to collect oxygen (its top), what is known as supercharging systems come into play: capable of compressing the air before introducing it into the cylinders, which makes it possible to introduce a greater quantity of oxygen into the combustion chamber and, as a result, the mixture of fuel and oxygen generates a more significant amount of power.
The one with the most users? The turbocharger.
As we can see, the equation for the turbocharger is very straightforward: It is not necessary to increase the engine’s displacement to generate more power and reduce its consumption if more air is allowed to enter the engine’s cylinders.
Because diesel engines typically function more effectively with an abundance of air, turbochargers have been routinely installed on these engines for some time.
In this context, it is essential to note that there is currently no atmospheric diesel engine, which means one that does not use turbocharging.
However, this does not imply that gasoline engines do not use turbocharging; in fact, using turbochargers in gasoline engines is becoming an increasingly common practice.
To put ourselves in the situation, we need to think about a regular engine that burns fuel using four combustion strokes.
Naturally, the air from the exterior arrives at the cylinders with the same pressure on the body (hence the name atmospheric engines).
However, as we have mentioned previously, there are certain circumstances in which the engine’s displacement may not be adequate for the volume of air required by the cylinders in more taxing cases.
Therefore, to avoid increasing the engine’s removal, the other option is to utilize a turbocharger to generate more power artificially.
The turbocharger has a straightforward method of operation, and this propulsion system is mounted within the exhaust system of the vehicle’s engine (between the manifold and the pipe).
The turbocharger is designed with two linked turbines, one for the exhaust and one for the intake, which rotate at the same speed through a shaft.
This allows the turbocharger to generate more power artificially.
These turbines are turned by the exhaust gases expelled by the four-stroke engines during the exhaust phase, as well as those brought in from the outside.
As a result of the fact that both turbines are connected to the same shaft and rotate at the same rate, the thermal energy is converted into kinetic energy, which in turn triggers the compressor to start working.
Although the two turbines rotate on the same shaft, they must be differentiated in the following way: the intake turbine draws in air from the surrounding environment; this air enters at a low pressure and high speed; consequently, there must be an increase in force so that the cylinders are filled (artificially).
However, how? The compressor is more commonly referred to as the Caracola due to its shape.
Therefore, while the exhaust gases have served to move the intake turbine back out through the exhaust turbine, the compressor is responsible for sucking new air from the filter to compress it and force its entry at a higher pressure in the cylinders through the intake valve.
This is done while the exhaust gases have served to move the intake turbine back out through the exhaust turbine.
Because of this reason, engines that use internal combustion and have turbochargers are referred to as turbocharged engines.
Now that we understand what a turbocharger is and how it operates, the next step is to learn which components are required to function at their optimum level.
Let’s head in that direction so we can gain a much deeper understanding of the behavior of the turbo as a result.
As the exhaust gases emerge hot, they turn the turbine the same way as the turbine located on the other side of the shaft (intake), which rotates in solidarity, pushing the air from the outside in.
The exhaust turbine is in contact with the exhaust gases from the combustion made by the engine (it is located in the channel of the air entering the machine).
This increases the pressure within the cylinders.
Wind turbines can be manufactured with various distinctive geometries to optimize the amount of oxygen pushed into the cylinders.
It is the component responsible for synchronizing the intake and exhaust turbines, which results in a fan effect directed toward the compressor.
The compressor is connected to the turbines through a coaxial shaft, which is responsible for transmitting the movement of the turbines.
Because of this, it is of the utmost importance that our engine oil adequately lubricates the post in our engine; otherwise, it will wear out very quickly due to the demand posed by the turbo.
The rotation of the turbines causes the air to be pushed into the compressor.
It is in the compressor that the magic happens: the air enters the compressor as a result of a fan effect, and once it is inside the compressor, the air speeds up because the duct is being made narrower (in the shape of a snail).
Once accelerated, the air will move to the intake manifold, which will be conducted towards the cylinders.
The wastegate valve is the component in charge of controlling the number of gases that leave the compressor and travel in the direction of the exhaust turbine, which is the same direction as the exhaust system of the vehicles.
Because it is responsible for regulating the pressure of the gases as they leave the engine through the exhaust system, it is one of the most important components found within the turbocharger.
This helps to ensure that the machine does not sustain any damage.
If there is excessive pressure, the wastegate or wastegate valve will be opened, and the gases will be released.
To put it more succinctly, if we did not have this “pressure release” system, we would be unable to increase the air-fuel mixture to obtain more engine power because doing so would cause the engine to become damaged.
To avoid a decrease in the performance of a turbocharger that the scorching air would cause that it would receive as a result of compression.
The intercooler is a component that can be found between the turbocharger and the engine intake.
It performs the function of a heat exchanger by using water or air to lower the temperature of the air produced by the compressor.
The intake valves work in this way to provide the cylinders with a perspective with temperature levels optimal for combustion.
Throughout this article, we have seen that the turbo’s purpose is to inject air into the cylinders at a pressure more significant than the pressure of the surrounding atmosphere.
This increases power without resorting to using engines with a more substantial displacement.
It artificially does this by following a process in which the exhaust gases expelled from the cylinders rotate two turbines (exhaust and intake) whose shaft is attached to a compressor.
This allows it to accomplish its goal. Both components, in this regard, rotate at the same rate, which is established by the exhaust gases emerging from the cylinder.
This means that while the exhaust gases that have moved the turbine are being evacuated, the compressor receives atmospheric air from the intake turbine.
This air is then compressed and forced to enter at a higher pressure in the cylinder, producing more power.
Because the air density is lower at higher altitudes and there is less oxygen, internal combustion engines equipped with turbochargers have an advantage over atmospheric engines in scorching climates and areas of high altitudes.
Do you understand why the aeronautical industry was the origin of the turbo now? The cylinders are filled with more oxygen when the intake air is compressed, regardless of how thin the air may be.
This results in an increase in power because the engine can burn a greater quantity of fuel, which is a power bonus that can be essential in various contexts.
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