A turbocharger is a supercharging system that uses a centrifugal turbine for starting a centrifugal compressor in order to compress gases. It increases the efficiency of an engine’s internal combustion and power output by forcing some extra air into the combustion chamber. This represents an improvement over naturally aspirated engines because a compressor is capable of adding more air (and proportionate more fuel) than atmospheric pressure into the combustion chamber. Turbochargers are usually used on alternative internal combustion engines, mostly on diesel engines. The reason they are mostly used on diesel engines is that before turbochargers this kind of engine was, besides heavy, expensive and noisy, not very powerful compared to gasoline engines. With the help of a turbocharger, their power increased by almost 30%.
Turbochargers were first used for airplanes: due to the high altitude, they started to lose power, and needed this kind of device for forcing the introduction of air with more pressure to the engines. Turbochargers began to be first used for automobiles during the 60’s.
Approximately 40% of current automobiles have a turbo engine, and the tendency is that this percentage will continue growing.