Electric supercharger

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An electric supercharger is a specific type of supercharger that uses an electrically powered forced-air system that contains an electric motor to pressurize the intake air. By pressurizing the air available to the engine intake system, the air becomes more dense, and is matched with more fuel, producing the increased horsepower to the wheels.[better source needed][1]

Power supply for electric superchargers[edit]

An electric supercharger, if supplied by common stock electric accumulators, runs independent of the engine to which it provides its boost. However, electrical energy consumed is often higher than what a production-line generator (e.g. alternator) of the engine can supply. Larger alternators are therefore fitted to recharge accumulators during the engine run.


The efficiency of an electric supercharger is curbed by several energy conversion losses (alternator for charging), damp energy while charging the accumulators and the compressor providing boost. The losses are in general higher than direct kinematic linkage of intake air compressor to engine crankshaft. If the vehicle implements kinetic energy recovery, then the battery can be charged on otherwise wasted energy.

Electric assisted turbochargers[edit]

Electric assisted turbochargers are turbochargers employing a coaxial electric motor to overcome the time lag of the exhaust gas driven turbine. The electric motor supports the exhaust gas driven turbine at low-end revolutions to compress enough air into engine's intake, while it can be configured as an alternator to extract energy from the exhaust gas driven turbine at high-end revs, which would otherwise need be bypassed via wastegate and eventually replacing the current mechanically driven alternator.[2] Special consideration need be given to the coaxial electric motor operating in proximity of a hot turbine at very high rotational speed (up to 100000 rpm).

Aftermarket Electric superchargers[edit]

Several companies produce low-cost aftermarket "electric superchargers" (essentially a tube with a fan powered by the car's electrical system, connected to the car's air intake) with claims of boosts to engine power output. However, such devices fail to live up to their claimed benefits either by not increasing power input or by actually reducing the output.[3] This is due to air drawn in by the fan not being compressed.


  1. ^ "Thomas Knight Turbo-electric Supercharger". Turbo Magazine. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  2. ^ "Turbo Revolution". Autospeed. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "Understand Why Electric Superchargers are Scams". Wild Weasel's Automotive HowTo Repository. Retrieved 4 June 2012.