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The Different Types of Turbochargers

The Different Types of Turbochargers

Want an extra boost of power for your vehicle? Consider a turbocharger. For a comprehensive list of the different types of turbochargers, how they work, and the characteristics of each, continue reading the material outlined below. In addition to differentiating between turbochargers, we will also examine some differences between the types.

First: What Is a Turbocharger?

Before we get started, let’s quickly go over what a turbocharger is and what it brings to your vehicle.

A turbocharger is a turbine-driven forced induction system. This system is fitted into a vehicle’s engine, where it is then designed to improve the overall performance and efficiency of it. It works by allowing the hot exhaust gases to spin the turbine, to then have that air sucked into the engine. This air is then compressed and is what gives the engine the extra boost of power and energy, because the air then goes into the combustion chamber.

While this is a complex process, it is something that is relatively common in everyday vehicles. It is also an element that is often added to a vehicle, if it doesn’t already have one.

Single (Single-Stage) Turbo

The single turbo turbocharger is one of the most common types of turbochargers. In addition to being one of, if not the most common type, it is also the simplest option among them all. Due to the fact that it is simple, it is also cheaper than the other turbocharger options. It is important to note that this is not the best option of turbocharger; however, it will get the job done for the amount of money that one pays for it.

With a single turbocharger, it is important to understand that it cannot be effective across the entire rev range. Understanding this allows for you to see that if this is the turbocharger that is chosen, then the boost will be narrow and lag might be an issue. This design allows for a boost to happen slower but makes it easier overall for high horsepower drag cars to hook up. If you are looking for a way to boost your vehicle’s power but not break your bank, then this is your answer.

Sequential (Two-Stage) Turbos

This turbocharger combines a small low-end turbo and a big high-end turbocharger. This is exactly how the sequential turbo is constructed. Two turbochargers, one small and one large, are added to the engine makeup. The small turbo allows for good torque and kicks in early, while the larger one offers a wide and flat torque curve. While this definitely has its positives, it is important to note that in the end, it is extremely heavy, complex, and expensive.

Electric Turbo

These are new and very recent additions to the turbocharger industry. This is very different from the other turbochargers discussed in this article. The electric compressor provides an instant boost to the engine, which eliminates the lag altogether. Though, with this come higher prices and more education that needs to be done considering how complex the turbo is. This turbocharger option also allows for the wasted energy to be recovered and used to create power.

VGT Turbo

The VGT is a variable geometry turbo, also referred to as the variable-nozzle turbine. This specific type of turbocharger is a common one for any diesel engines. This is because exhaust gases in diesel engines are lower so the vanes will not be damaged by the heat.

Not only is it complex, but it is also a lot higher in price than the other options. Specifically, this turbocharger results in a wider boost range and less lag because of its ability to alter its area-to-radius ratio so that it matches the engine. This design allows for the aspect ratio of the turbocharger to change when the conditions change.

Twin-Scroll Turbo

When looking at how the turbocharger works in relation to the engine, it is powered by gases that redirect the spin turbine blades and force air into the engine. These pulses that enter the turbo can easily overlap. This issue is exactly what resulted in the creation of this specific turbocharger. The twin-scroll turbo is designed by using a divided-inlet turbine and specific exhaust manifolds to allow the cylinders to work together. Cylinder 1, 2, and 3 share one scroll, while cylinders 4, 5, and 6 share another. Basically, what this specific design does is allow for less pulse overlap and less lag overall. This specific turbocharger is said to be much better in an abundance of ways than the single turbo.

Variable Twin-Scroll Turbo

Combining the two types of turbochargers above creates this specific turbocharger. These two were combined to create a good turbo response and low-end power. This turbo allows for good high-end performance for whatever vehicle it is installed into. The design allows for the exhaust airflow to be directed into just a single scroll. The design also allows for the amount of the valve to open, in addition to allowing for the gases to split if necessary.

Above is a comprehensive list of all of the different types of turbochargers. All of these types have different elements that change up the makeup of the turbocharger and its performance These turbochargers are complex, so if you need further information regarding a specific type, please do further research on it outside of this information provided.

If you happen to be in the market for a turbocharger to add to your vehicle, you have come to the right place. After understanding what it is your vehicle needs, you should be able to find the product on our online inventory located on our website. Take a look at our options today. We have everything, from refurbished turbochargers to brand-new MHI turbochargers.

Please note that if you are not equipped to complete this complex automotive project yourself, you should reach out to a professional. Adding any one of these turbochargers is not an easy automotive task or upgrade, so seeking out an expert is recommended. Mechanics are fully educated on how to install or replace all the turbochargers listed above. Buy the product, and let the professionals do the actual installation!

The Different Types of Turbochargers


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