Supercharging, Turbocharging, Turbo-Supercharging

Help me understand this, Oppo.

I’ve spent much of the morning reading about this topic as it pertains to aircraft engines, and I think I’m close to understanding the basic concepts of what the different terms mean. This is what I’ve got, and I’d appreciate some correction if I’m wrong.


Supercharging: This is a general term that refers to compressed air being forced into the engine to increase manifold pressure and improve performance at high altitude. Supercharging is achieved with a mechanical turbine that is driven by the engine itself.

Turbocharging: The turbocharger is basically a supercharger that is driven by engine exhaust gases rather than directly by the engine. Exhaust gases spin a turbine which takes outside air and compresses it. The air is then cooled by an intercooler before being forced into the engine. The main benefit is that you can use a waste gate to control the amount of supercharging that is taking place. The drawback is that it requires lots of ducting which takes up a lot of space.

Turbo-supercharging: Basically the same thing as turbocharging, but just a different name for the same process. It’s supercharging using a turbine. However, there may be a combination of turbocharging and mechanical supercharging going on at the same time.

I’m going to the grocery store, and will be back in an hour or so. Thanks in advance!

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