December 29, 2006, Newsletter Issue #44: MMMmmmmm. . . Power Adders

Tip of the Week

The four-stroke internal combustion engine, at it's heart, is a big air pump. On the intake cycle, the downward moving piston sucks fuel, and oxygen-rich air in to the cylinder, ready to fuel the next combustion cycle.

If we introduce more oxygen to the equation, and proportionally more fuel via the intake system, a funny thing happens. MORE POWER.

There are three commonly accepted ways to achieve this: Turbocharging, Supercharging, and Nitrous Oxide Injection.

Turbos and superchargers physically compress the incoming air, thereby presenting a greater amount of Oxygen. Turbs accomplish this via an exhaust-gas driven turbine, while Superchargers are either belt or gear driven.

Nitrous injection relies on chemistry to get the job done. When subjected to heat, Nitrous Oxide splits, releasing straight oxygen into the combustion chamber. More 02 = More Power.

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