Vehicle: Car: Engine: Supercharger
Electric Supercharger   (+2, -5)  [vote for, against]
Gather parts from your garage and add 30hp!

Wouldn't it be great to flick a switch in your car while driving and gain 30+ HP instantly. You could even rig it to run at WOT. The idea is this: build a rotary compressor powered by a DC motor that would force more air into your cars engine. They have these all over e bay and there are company’s that sell complete kits. They all suck. They produce 2 lbs of boost. If you could determine the right numbers you could, theoretically, fabricate an electric-powered supercharger. The “numbers” would be the voltage (& amp load), the gear ratio between the motor and the impellor, and the required CFM of the engine you’re improving. The motor could be powered and/or over-powered with battery banks of more than 12v. Imagine powering a 12v motor with 36v intermittently. This would NOT be a system that would stay on, rather an intermittent system that pushes 4 lbs of boost or more. This would require custom fabrication of an impellor, compressor shell, plumbing, and wiring. This is a brief synopsis; I have prototypes, but have a need for materials.
-- evilpenguin, May 15 2007

Thomas Knight Electric Supercharger http://www.turbomag...ctric_supercharger/
Just a little bit more than 2lbs boost [acurafan07, May 15 2007]

I'm thinking it's funding for more prototype you want, rather than fishbones.
-- DrCurry, May 15 2007

Yet another "take an existing invention and make it more powerful, so it doesn't suck so much" idea, without understanding of why these things aren't out there already.

This wouldn't require custom anything. It would just require the proper off-the-shelf centrifugal compressor and DC motor, and a suitably powerful alternator to provide the power in the first place.

It takes power to make boost. If you're pulling this power from batteries, that's just extra weight you need to carry around. Same goes for the bigger alternator. The reason that there aren't already powerful electric superchargers available is that it is more efficient, cheaper, and lighter to drive them directly. If you want it to provide boost only on demand, you stick a solenoid clutch in one of the pulleys.
-- Freefall, May 15 2007

Well and truly baked. I turbocharged my 1959 Ford Zodiac by putting a centrifugal fan in the air filter housing (and reversing the arrangement so it was pumping into the carb, not out of it!) - that was in 1968. All very Heath-Robinson, but it worked. No noticeable difference at high revs, but a very noticeable boost at low revs. More proof of principle than anything really useful, though.

Power not drawn from batteries: all from the dynamo (no alternator in those days, oh no).
-- Cosh i Pi, May 15 2007

QUOTE - Yet another "take an existing invention and make it more powerful, so it doesn't suck so much" idea, without understanding of why these things aren't out there already - Freefall

There are DIY plans available for electric superchargers? Where? Thats what this is all about. Custom fabracaion to avoid the inital cost of a REAL turbo/super charger. "Gather parts from your garage" was my lead-in. This post is aimed twords making HP without spending $. Its possible.
-- evilpenguin, May 15 2007

You'll have better results opening your exhaust and intake paths, without adding a bunch of plumbing and wiring under the hood. You might spend a few bucks, but you can probably net an easy 10-20 hp before you spend the first $200.

On top of that, doing a little work on the breathing adds power across the rev band all the time, not just at WOT.
-- elhigh, May 15 2007

//They all suck. They produce 2 lbs of boost.// Ah a common generalization. Maybe most suck, but Thomas Knight electric superchargers have a maximum of 15+lbs. Besides, this entire idea has no new concepts and electric superchargers are widely known to exist.
-- acurafan07, May 15 2007

Acurafan, thank you. I have found Thomas Knights website and have tons of respect for his design. This post is to brew up ideas for how to accomplish the same thing using parts you already have, laying around the garage. Gosh, is everybody so quick to critize rather than READ the post? I definatly said that this is a DIY idea, not a product you can order off a website........
-- evilpenguin, May 15 2007

From your post:
// This would require custom fabrication of an impellor, compressor shell, plumbing, and wiring. This is a brief synopsis; I have prototypes, but have a need for materials.

From your annotation:
// This post is to brew up ideas for how to accomplish the same thing using parts you already have, laying around the garage.

I'm confused. How does custom-fabricating something out of materials you don't have yet constitute "using parts you already have"?
-- jutta, May 15 2007

jutta: I think he means he wants to construct it out of parts *you* already have...
-- DrCurry, May 15 2007

I think DIY falls under consumer advice. Since apparently the only original part of this idea is the (questionable) DIY part, I don't think this really belongs here.
-- 5th Earth, May 15 2007

I made my own impeller out of sheet aluminium, all pop rivetted together. About 5 lb of boost at 1200 rpm, nothing measurable at 4000 rpm (but at least no reduction in pressure caused by the presence of the fan!).
-- Cosh i Pi, May 16 2007

5lbs at 1200 RPM? If it's an automatic, the car must launch quite well off idle!
-- acurafan07, May 16 2007

It was, and it did. It was the only really noticeable difference it made.

After I'd had the machine just over a year, I sold it to the teenage son of the scrap dealer who originally sold me most of the parts. He wrote it off ramming a railway bridge; nearly wrote himself off, too, but fortunately not quite. That was 1969 - no idea what's happened to him since.
-- Cosh i Pi, May 17 2007

this sounds really good. you dont block the exhaust path and u are not using the air coming in to power the fan. and it is more powerfull than the regular one. the more the merrier. awesome inovation
-- #1gknus, Jul 19 2007

I only know of two household objects that move and compress air: compressors and vacuum cleaners. Leaf blowers are simply the other end of the vacuum. Driving a standard garage compressor off the engine or axle using a centrifugal clutch would accumulate a high volume of high pressure air for occassional boost requirements. The household vacuum (or shop grade wet vac) would have to be converted to DC ( or use an inverter - $$) and may not produce enough volume or pressure. Thomas Knight's solution is the best electric supercharger I have seen so far.
-- Jman454bbc, Mar 18 2008

I swear, If halfbaked inventors understood the concept of energy conservation, there would be less posts on this web-site than votes Ted Nugget would get for President of PETA. O.k., let me make sure I understand your Idea ...

You want to take the mechanical energy from the engine, and transform it to electrical energy through the alternator, then take the electrical engery and transform it into mechanical energy in an electric motor just to: compress air.

as apposed to taking mechanical energy from the engine to: compress air.

-- MikeD, Mar 19 2008


But I admire your arrogance

This is a setup driven by extra batteries, not connected to the vehicles electrical system. This intended for short bursts of power. Cheaper and safer that turbo or super charging.
-- evilpenguin, Mar 20 2008

Ted Nugget?

Makes me want to go to MacDonalds and order some Chicken McNugents.
-- globaltourniquet, Mar 20 2008

Well, I guess bad admiration is better than no admiration at all ... **Did not read/pay-attention to the battery bank**

McNugents. lol Clever.

Still say electric superchargers suck.
-- MikeD, Mar 21 2008

Electric Superchargers don't just suck, they also blow.

The drive mechanism is very expensive for engine driven superchagers, followed by the manifold adaptation as opposed to a mildly pressurized intake path. It's a good point about converting energy multiple times to ultimately achieve more air flow into the engine, but most other methods have been exhausted and we are discussing something in between ram air hoods and roots-style, belt-driven superchargers. Are you advocating there is "no middle ground" as in "everything that can be invented has been invented?"

Something to provide a healthy *burst* of horsepower intermittently and still allows the engine to function effectively and efficiently in cruise mode is our goal. E-85 loves compression so this is of special interest to alternative fuel projects. Lightweight aluminum engines will theoretically last a lot longer with intermittent boost rather than constant obviating the need to beef up crankshafts, rods, pistons, cylinder heads, etc. Prototypes are seldom the most efficient design, but we have to start somewhere.
-- Jman454bbc, Mar 24 2008

I annotated before I understood. Partly due to the fact that I once expressed the intent to try such a thing while working at AUtozone, then recieved a thoroughly confidence shattering beratement of my idea (much to the tune of what I had doled out) by very knowledgable people with very valid points.

It might not have been right, but damn that shoe felt good.

By the way, I still say electric superchargers suck.
-- MikeD, Mar 24 2008

I hear ya', we've all had that experience. I once asked my Dad why couldn't electromagnets be used to propel a train. He said all the magnets he knew of sucked and could never do it; it would cost too much to power the magnets, etc. That was 40 years ago.

So what would you recommend for varied applications (little if any economy of scale to leverage unlike small block Chevy, Ford, Mopar, etc. blowers)? The drive system is the $ drain when using a wide variety of engines. I submit that is why you don't see many blower drive kits for smaller bikes, go-karts, generators, etc. Not that I am looking to supercharge these types of engine applications, but you get the point I believe. The electric aspect makes this truly universal with minimal adaptation required.

Also, E-85 performs better with extreme compression ratios (not diesel ratios...) unusable with gasoline. So I run E-85 in a high-compression, lightweight engine and I can engage pressurized aspiration when required leveraging more of the methanol's stored energy potential. True, a clutch-driven blower like Mad Max had has way more cool factor, but I have heard GMC 4-71 performance REALLY SUCKS when the belt gets thrown... to the point of being undriveable, so the rotors must keep turning... somehow.

So how about a viscous coupling that allows drive ratios between 10 and 100% using a variable voltage... slippage equals massive heat quickly... no good... planetary gear drive equals massive $$$... SCR-controlled electric motors... hmmm.

btw: I worked at Charlie's Hi-LO Auto Supply stores in the late 80s and early 90s. They are now known as O'Reillys.
-- Jman454bbc, Mar 24 2008

After the realization that an electric supercharger wouldn't really provide the gains I was looking for, I had tossed around the Idea of a small-engine powered blower but never really thought it out much. Redundant to have two engines? Maybe? Would it work? Dunno, and really don't care. Plenty of combinations out there that can be done with *relatively* small expediture. Maybe I've turned into a pragmatist, maybe I'm just making more money now, so I have no motivation to concoct low-budget power adders.

and, since I'm getting drawn back into this ...

//but Thomas Knight electric superchargers have a maximum of 15+lbs// Independant study? or are these figures being touted by the manufacturer?

Daniel S. Stein M.D. says ExtenZe will increase both size and girth at but I have my doubts.
-- MikeD, Mar 24 2008

"Plenty of combinations out there that can be done with *relatively* small expediture"

What would you suggest as an example of an inexpensive combination for Lycoming O-290: Bore: 4.875 in (124 mm) Stroke: 3.875 in (98 mm) Displacement: 289 cu in (4.7 L) Power: 125-135 hp (93-101 kW) @ 2,450-2,600 rpm

I would think a belt-driven Vortec or similar? A Whipplecharger? Those are several thousand dollars and produce tremendous boost levels to be sure. But this engine isn't designed for 7K rpm and that would add significant per model cost even with economies of scale.

The application calls for a significant increase in compression to use E-85 so that will be in the static compression ratio. Another design criteria is to allow emergency operation on pump gas (digital fuel injection, dual profile) so the boost would be verboten with gasoline. Even with the E-85 or methanol the boost is only used intermittently... ~10% duty cycle for power bursts. Like nitrous, but less resource intensive to, and more predictable for, the end-user.

A related idea performance-wise is the SmartCar with a Hyabusa engine on YouTube. I make more $ than I used to as well and my 88 GMC is blown and injected, but that isn't the project we're discussing.
-- Jman454bbc, Mar 24 2008

I should have emphasized my main point a little more.

//really don't care//
-- MikeD, Mar 25 2008

random, halfbakery