Electric Supercharger

How many of you gearheads out there have heard that claim before? An electric supercharger sounds like a good idea; I mean what respectable speed demon doesn’t get giddy at the thought of supercharged power? Unfortunately, it seems there are differing opinions as to whether or not an electric supercharger is a gimmick used in scams or a legitimate example of automotive genius.

My Wife Says I’m Crazy Because I Want to Put Some Crazy Stupidcharger Gizmo in My Truck! That may not be what she said, but unless she’s the one with the truck, it’s probably what she meant. If you’re not into engines on a Zen level, the term electric supercharger probably sounds fast; but aside from that, what on earth does it do?

In a nutshell, it is a particular kind of supercharger that uses a forced air structured system – driven by electricity – that operates an axial flow fan by the means of an electric motor to pump up the intake air. You only get to see an electric supercharger in action at full throttle as during this time, the butterfly-valve of the throttle will be fully open and will not in any way blocks the engine’s intake. Thus, the density of the air increases as the pressure in the engine intake system increases, and marries the increase in fuel production to result in more horsepower to power your wheels.

There, now you are completely schooled on just exactly what an electric supercharger is and does. Right. I found that more confusing than just looking at the picture. Try this on for size - an electric supercharger is basically a fan powered by electricity that, in theory, blows more air than normal into the intake. Again, in theory, this makes the vehicle go faster. The problem being, or at least I’m told, is that this fan is actually blocking the intake. It sounds counterproductive to me.

Where fore Art Thou, oh Electric Supercharger? Racing motor sports claims to have “the original, patented, real deal since 1997”. Wow! Guess all those other guys out there are just selling tinker toys. The “e-Ram” claims not to restrict air flow, seemingly the major flaw in electric superchargers by having the equivalent of a three inch intake tube. By producing one PSI additional air pressure to the intake, increased air density is supplied to the engine. Reportedly, this encourages the car’s computer system to deliver more fuel in order to keep air-fuel ratios at optimum levels. Their website offers test results which, though I’d didn’t view them for myself; undoubtedly encourage belief in their product. General consensus seems to be that, as with so many things, there are both frauds and legitimate available. The amps used/drawn during operation seemed to be another area in which the electric supercharger came under fire. Sellers of these mechanisms insist that the additional load put on the alternator/battery to replace the amps used in acceleration is easily handled.

Electric superchargers, though less expensive than belt driven superchargers, seemingly malign their value due to the fact that the extra horsepower it provides in comparison to belt driven is as reduced as its price. I’m all for power, I drive a Harley, but nobody wants to be taken in by a scam involving useless equipment. If you choose to buy and install an electric supercharger, please make sure that the dealer from which you purchase is reputable. Spend a little time on research, the Internet is a great place for this, and determine (ahead of time) whether or not an electric supercharger is right for you.

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