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Old 08-14-2004, 03:31 AM   #1
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Default Another post about electric superchargers

Okay, so I've read all the posts about electric superchargers and how much they suck, but I just want to bring it up one more time for myself. I know the little fans, and the "Tornado" suck. They make no sense in a real application. The little fans claim up to 3 psi sometimes, but I ran across the e-ram today. All it guarantees is 1 psi...........Just 1, come on, you can't argue with that. 1'* better than 0 in any case. I mean, you get what you pay for, and $300 for like 10-15 hp sounds about right. I've considered buying this and putting it on an MSD rpm controlled switch to only blow above 3000 rpms. As for the power consumption, I was considering buying a Rockford Fosgate 50 or 100 farad capacitor and maybe a second yellow top battery just to have anyway, and that would supply the power for short runs. Now as for the restriction when it'* not blowing, why not have it merely blow into the intake rather than replacing it? Now, my last question, one post mentioned that the fan only blows air, rather than supplying pressurized air. What if I basically built my own, or bought a small intercooler to run the air through before entering the intake, wouldn't that create a pressurized effect as well as protecting the engine if the blades were to break off? Please discuss, I'm not looking to heavily modify my engine, but I want to incorporate some cool ideas.
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Old 08-14-2004, 03:42 AM   #2
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Funny you should bring this up, I've actually been writing a little "things to avoid" 'book' of sorts...if you wanna call it that haha. Anyway here'* the unedited version dealing with these. I said UNEDITED so no making fun of grammar! hahah

Ahh electrical superchargers.....junk. These seem to have been a bigger hit in the past but I still hear people talking about them from time to time and of course they are still for sale. If you're wondering what I'm talking about you can check out http://www.electricsupercharger.com/ and see for yourself. Seems kind of neat huh? Complete junk.

Something you should always do when looking at a new performance part is to see if any of the "facts" seem a little fishy. If you get 3 or more things that catch your eye you may need to do more research. Let’* see a few things that caught my eye....

The first thing that should catch your eye is the claim of 1psi of boost. The amount of pressure any given device puts on an engine depends entirely on the engine size and setup. If you push x amount of air through a tiny intake you'll get more pressure (boost) than if the intake was larger. Because obviously every engine has a different size intake there is no way to accurately determine how much pressure you will get. The same thing applies to traditional superchargers. Think about one of those huge V8'* with the gigantic supercharger protruding out of the hood. Generally those superchargers only produce 6-8psi of boost on a street engine. If you could somehow put that supercharger on a Honda Civic it could produce 30+psi. It’* all a matter of air vs. space.

Maybe you're thinking that it was just their best run on their best setup. Ok I'm willing to accept that it was its best but what if that was on a motorcycle engine? In that case 1psi there might be 0.020 psi on Grand Prix…. I'm sure you get my point.

On the webpage you may also notice it claims to be safe for your electrical system because it pulls from your battery and not your alternator just like your starter motor. This should also ring a "hey what the heck?!" bell in your head. The starter doesn't pull from your alternator because when you use it the alternator is not spinning and thus not making any electricity. Once your engine is running every electrical part is essentially running from your alternator. In order to use this without pulling the electricity from your alternator the engine would have to be OFF! Kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it?

The other thing that catches my eye is in the top right corner where they claim:
"Up to 15 more horsepower" then below it:
"5% HP GAIN through the entire RPM range!"
Catch your eye a little? First it’* a defined number, 15hp, then its subjective, 5%. If I had a 1000hp engine would I get 15hp or 5%?

Lets just see what some people have dyno'd this $299 product at.

F-5 Performance dyno tests of their vehicle (A Sebring I believe) managed a 0.41hp gain on a stock setup. Even though this is a TINY gain it could also simply be explained away by the normal variance from run to run. It’* also generally accepted that 10hp is the threshold of what you can feel. That means if you hooked up about 24 of these you might be able to feel it.
A gentleman on www.MiataPower.net tested a '99 miata and got a 2hp DROP in performance. Interestingly enough he actually got less of a loss by turning it off.
There have also been several debates and dyno runs from different sources and every one of them has come back with minimal or no gains. If you want one of these for yourself but don't want to spend the huge money on it simply check out, http://www.boatersland.com/blowers.html and you can pick one up for about $20 minus the paint job. Hilarious huh?
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Old 08-14-2004, 04:21 AM   #3
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Consider these rebuttals.......

As far as the air vs. space point.....all the e-ram chargers are the same size, and go inline with the air intake, which is a set diameter, and would thus be the set measurement size.

I agree with the pulling from the battery and not the alternator portion.

HP vs. % is merely an advertising technique to catch you eye, yes. It is a marketing strategy, and is fairly accurate for their target audience. For instance, my engine, producing around 175 hp at the wheels could see gains from 0 to 8.75 hp during a typical run. To reach the "Up to 15 hp" that they claim, it would require an engine producing 300 hp, and no one with a 300 hp engine with half a brain would ever even consider buying an electric supercharger, because it'* too little too late, plus, and engine that powerful would likely be pulling more air than the e-ram could push, and would, in fact, hinder its performance. Therefore you could view a graph such as total engine power vs. power gain. It would give a nice little bell curve because it would be great on smaller engines, but become less effective as the engines became more powerful. The peak hp could then have been the run where they saw a 15 hp gain on say a 225 hp engine. It'* all about the target audience, and the real life application.....no one'* looking for any miracles here.

As far as the runs where the drops in hp were measured, this can easily be explained. It'* been well proven that when a large current is pulled from the alternator, it takes more power to turn it. Therefore, the e-ram turns on and boosts the hp only enough to compensate for the extra power it takes to turn the alternator, or perhaps less (explaining the hp drops). What I propose is using a very large capacitor (the 50 or 100 F Rockford cap), which would take the stress off of the alternator, and put it on the cap, allowing the alternator to spin freely, but providing that extra power for a short run. Yes, I know this gets expensive, but I'm looking at innovation, not true practicality.

Sooooooooooo, the way I see it is, there'* only one fishy thing. The reason I'm so deadset on arguing this point is that I really think there is more to this electric supercharger idea than people think. It'* all in how you set it up and how you make it work.

P.*.: I like debate, I'm not trying to **** anyone off, so if I'm wrong, let me know, I like to learn new things.
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Old 08-14-2004, 04:22 AM   #4
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Fans cannot create pressure in that manner. It'* not a compressor-type device. Even if it did, imagine your engine at 3000rpms. It'* using 3.8 liters of air each REVOLUTION. 50 revolutions per second. Think about how much air that is, and ask yourself if a teeny fan can do anything with that.

My supercharger is running at 8000 rpm'* when the engine is at 3000 rpms. It'* a compressor. And think about how big those rotors are.

That fan will be a restriction in your intake and will hurt performance. It will also draw extra power from your electrical system, robbing horsepower. The extra weight of the extra battery will be even worse.

If they worked, wouldn't the manufacturers use them? Or wouldn't the be sold by credible sources?
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Old 08-14-2004, 04:35 AM   #5
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Hey thats cool, I love to debate too. What I mentioned as an eye catcher was just that, not something to say "Hey they're bulls#it!" but something to make you think.
The sad part is I'm tired and don't feel like typing my own responses so I'll point you to something I read a long time ago:

http://home.att.net/~t.vago/howto/waste_money.html

That should put this to rest...

The only thing I've seen that has POTENTIAL is this:

http://www.boosthead.com/home.php

"There is only a specific amount of stored energy available from batteries. If you turned the ESC on and ran it to see what happened, the batteries would drain quickly. You would have boost for a minute or so, but then the batteries would be completely dead. The real question is, how long do you need to run? 10 to 15 second bursts is more than enough time for drag racing and responsible daily-drivers. "

Thats from 4 30lb batteries and some capacitors. Fun stuff but who knows.
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Old 08-14-2004, 07:05 AM   #6
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I will only add this... the boosthead electronic supercharger is the ONLY elec */c to date I've seen that acutally WORKS .... but look at the difference from the boosthead unit to the "e ram" ... the boosthead unit is basically 3 starter motors gear driven to an existing supercharger ... and even their "DIY" add your own wiring, batteries, and supercharger is $1200 US .... I could put a junkyard turbo on a car that works all the time for that money (this is with me fabricating alot .. I know)

also... think of the strain on the fuel/air ratio on a N/A motor that goes from vaccum to insta 6+psi ... that really can't be good for it... ppl will argue the power hit of a dry nitrous system... well... I would NEVER use or reccomend a dry nitrous kit to ANYONE... so my arguement stands

hell for half the cost of the base DIY boosthead kit you could just throw a basic wet nitrous kit on the car... sure you have to refill the tank... but how many ppl putting a "momentary" 6-8 psi electronic */c that can only run for 15 seconds at a time would really be on the nitrous that much???? this is one of the reasons I am considering a nitrous kit for my delta88... I keep normal daily drivabilty and my better gas mileage (when compared to adding a turbo kit) .. and the odd weekend I wanna go play at the drags... I flip a switch and go through a tank
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Old 08-15-2004, 01:52 AM   #7
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the boating ones MIGHT make a little difference, but you would need at least two i think. 250 CFM sound good?
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Old 08-15-2004, 06:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Fans cannot create pressure in that manner. It'* not a compressor-type device. Even if it did, imagine your engine at 3000rpms. It'* using 3.8 liters of air each REVOLUTION. 50 revolutions per second. Think about how much air that is, and ask yourself if a teeny fan can do anything with that.
ACTUALLY, it'* a 4 stroke motor (atleast mine is) so you're using up 3.8L every 2 revolutions.

It'* still a crazy amount of air, but it'* not that.
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Old 08-15-2004, 11:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonneMeMN
Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Fans cannot create pressure in that manner. It'* not a compressor-type device. Even if it did, imagine your engine at 3000rpms. It'* using 3.8 liters of air each REVOLUTION. 50 revolutions per second. Think about how much air that is, and ask yourself if a teeny fan can do anything with that.
ACTUALLY, it'* a 4 stroke motor (atleast mine is) so you're using up 3.8L every 2 revolutions.

It'* still a crazy amount of air, but it'* not that.
I know, I know. I was a bit tipsy. My calculator kept lying to me when I did the math, and none of my old numbers worked.
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Old 08-16-2004, 01:02 PM   #10
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Well.. I think if they made an electric turbine than it will work.. untill then.. I will stick witha true Supercharger belt driven kinda setup or like projectheavytouring says.. go Nitrous
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