Turbonormalizing vs. Turbocharging

Turbonormalizing and turbocharging engines share many characteristics. They both compress outside ambient air to create engine power, they both use an exhaust driven turbine to power a centrifugal compressor at high speeds, and they can both use the same turbo components. When designing a turbonormalizing system, the manufacturer usually starts with a normally aspirated engine and begs the question: while making the fewest changes, how can I take this normally aspirated engine and make it operate at sea level power at altitudes greater than 18,000 feet? In reality, the turbocharging system was designed based on the same question. The answer, for both, is a list of eight additions to be made:

  • A new exhaust system to direct exhaust to the turbo housing.
  • One to two turbochargers.
  • A manual or automatic wastegate or some other method of controlling the speed of the turbocharger.
  • An intercooler is ideal, but not totally needed.
  • Fuel injectors that feature an air side referenced to the output of the turbocharger compressor.
  • Fuel pump and fuel metering changes that will allow the engine to work in high pressure and a wide range of operating conditions.
  • Enhancements to the cooling system (because the plane will be flying at higher altitudes where thinner air provides less cooling).
  • Mechanical support for the weight of the added turbochargers.

The difference between the two engine types is one other addition which appears only on turbonormalizing engines: a change to the piston geometry such that the compression ratio is reduced from ~8.5 to ~7.5. This minor alteration is the only meaningful difference between a Turbonormalizing and turbocharging engine. The lower compression ratio hurts the efficiency of the engine, but turbonormalizing engines make up for this loss by increasing manifold pressure to create the same amount of horsepower (285). Turbonormalizing and turbocharging engines are in wide use throughout the aviation industries. Despite their differing names, the two engines are quite similar and ultimately achieve the same thing - even if they do so in different ways.

For aviation parts of all types, look no further than ASAP Purchasing. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of parts pertaining to the aerospace, civil aviation, defense, industrial, and electronics markets. ASAP Purchasing is also the premier supplier of aviation, NSN, and electronic parts. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, call us at 1-714-705-4780 or email us at sales@asap-purchasing.com.

January 12, 2023
December 7, 2022

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