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Home > V-TV
How The Turbo Unit Works
The Compressor Side


To keep it brief and simple, a turbo unit compresses the intake of the engine by means of a fan. Essentially, the fan pulls in air on one side and then it pushes it out the other (see diagram A, here it's referred to as the compressor wheel). A fan performs the function of moving air however we are still left with the task of compressing the air. In order to compress the air we must then contain it within an enclosed space (this is the compressor housing). Once the intake is compressed it gets sent out to the engine. This process of compression is what's technically referred to as boost. When one is   running more boost this person is essentially running more compressed air out of his turbo unit. This is usually related to the size of the unit itself. However, certain factors can limit the degree to which boost varies with the size of the unit. As this gets too technical within the scope of the article, I will leave it to a later discussion.

The Turbine Side

So far we understand how the compressor side allows for more air to flow into the engine, but we must now understand what it is that makes the compressor wheel turn fast enough to create the boost in the first place. In turn, we are brought into the turbine side. A turbine is a term used to describe a fan like object that gets propelled by the flow of air, water or steam. In a hydroelectric power plant, the Turbine is propelled by the flow of water which then turns a generator. Within the scope of the turbo charger, the turbine is propelled by the flow of exhaust gases that come out of the engine. So the more exhaust that flows out of the engine, the faster the turbine will turn. Again, like the intake side, pressure can only be created if the flow of air is kept within an enclosed space for this reason, we have the turbine housing.