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Thread: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

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    Sr Member Wild Weasel's Avatar
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    Default Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    Hey guys...

    Hopefully enough of you remember me here to not immediately jump to the conclusion that I'm a moron and let loose with the flame war.

    In the end, I think you'll all get a kick out of this and if it works, I'm sure there's a lot of people who drop by here who will be interested.

    We've all had a good laugh every time someone comes along trying to hawk some new electric turbo kit, and we've seen plenty of noobs burned at the stake for asking whether they should put one on their cars either on this forum or countless other ones.

    For years now, I've been the premier source on the Internet (Google it!) for information on why you should avoid this crap and how the scams work.

    Well... something might have changed! Or maybe not. To be fair, I don't know yet, but there's a guy working on a kit that actually seems promising and he's sending a unit out to me for testing. I'll be writing about it as I go through the steps, so drop by my site and have a gander if you're interested. Depending on the interest, I'll might transfer the updates to my blog to open up comments to the world.

    http://www.wildweasel.ca/HowTo/Auto/eTurbo.aspx

    Note that I'm going to be testing it on my Sunfire rather than the Mazdaspeed3 for a few reasons, firstly that if something goes horribly wrong it won't be much of a loss.

    So stay tuned. The end result is going to either be quite informative, or very amusing.

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    Member Shinglez's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    Brave soul for posting this. Good luck

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    Sr Member Wild Weasel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    heh. I've spent a whole lot of time ripping these things to shreds, so when someone comes along and says "Hey... wait... this is different... " what can I really do other than challenge them to put up or shut up? And when they step up to the plate... testing it out seems like the responsible thing to do.

    This could turn out to be a whole lot of comedy. But hey... what if it works?

    Sadly... if it works... I see one major side effect being that it will become that much harder to convince everyone these things are a scam... and for certain, 99.9% of them will STILL be scams. I can't for a second see how bringing a couple plausible solutions to market will limit the profit potential of selling a $10 fan for $200 and calling it a supercharger.

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    Sr Member Thrizzl3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    can't i just use a leaf blower? lol

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    Sr Member The Wolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    I'm interested.
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    This concept is interesting however to achieve the pressures and flow needed to make power with an electrically driven postive/negative displacement compressor will not be feasible on an automobile. This is due to alternator setup and packaging limits. All the best luck to you.
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    Jr Member Punkrockjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinglez View Post
    Brave soul for posting this. Good luck
    +1
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    Sr Member silverstarmazda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)



    Thrizzl3's leaf blowers at the end LOL

    its great that at least someone is pursuing something like this. and you never know. cars 10 years from now might all be electrically turbo charged lol. but i can imagine installing something like this onto a car that doesnt have the system is going to be too expensive for its own good. you also have to tune the computer and the engine to use that boost pressure to gain a good amount of power.

    kinda like "meth(ane)" injection... where a hose runs from the bottom of your seat to the intake. extra 50 hp after a burrito LOL
    Last edited by silverstarmazda; 04-02-2013 at 12:37 PM.

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    Sr Member Dave_The_BMXER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    I used to use your tutorials a lot haha.

    Thought you vanished.

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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    wow, lol
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    Used your tutorial for brakes, but I'd save your money if I were you, and not do this.
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    Sr Member Wild Weasel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by CelestSpeed3 View Post
    This concept is interesting however to achieve the pressures and flow needed to make power with an electrically driven postive/negative displacement compressor will not be feasible on an automobile. This is due to alternator setup and packaging limits. All the best luck to you.
    This has always been the argument against, but the tech is constantly improving. Now... again... I'm not shilling for this kit or even suggesting it works. I'm just doing an independent test to see what happens. All the bits and pieces seem to be in place. The only question is whether the motor has enough power to spin the turbo with enough speed and torque to create boost. I think it's gonna be driven by a pair of lithium batteries wired together to make 24 volts. I'll have more details when it shows up. It's not gonna be running off the supply from the alternator. I fully expect that if I can run it enough to drain the batteries, then it's effectively dead until they recharge. I'm told it's about a 7:1 ratio of running vs. charging.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverstarmazda View Post
    its great that at least someone is pursuing something like this. and you never know. cars 10 years from now might all be electrically turbo charged lol. but i can imagine installing something like this onto a car that doesnt have the system is going to be too expensive for its own good. you also have to tune the computer and the engine to use that boost pressure to gain a good amount of power.
    Just looking at that video, I can see that the pic of the "turbo" they show is the definition of all the scams out there. That's not (I hope) what this turns out to be. As for tuning and what not... you're absolutely right... but that needs to be done whether you're using an electric blower or any other type. At low levels of boost, you should be able to see noticeable gains without extra tuning though obviously you're going to be fairly limited.

    For my part, the car is already tuned for boost which makes it a great test platform. All I'm looking for from this is to find out whether it can create an appreciable amount of boost. By "appreciable" I think 4-5 lbs will suffice. Less than 2 and it's not worth the bother at all.

    The huge market of buyers for all the scams out there are people who don't want to spend much, don't have the knowledge or ability to do significant modifications, and are too cheap or poor to get a proper turbo or supercharger kit. I've been trying for years to prevent them from being scammed.

    If a kit were to be made that can actually fulfill the desires of this demographic... which is to have a noticeable gain in power from a fairly easy to install kit that's not terribly expensive, then people could have some fun with it and hopefully a lot of the scammers could be put out of business.

    Since it's going to be switch driven and only meant to kick in at WOT, I actually expect the gains to be more entertaining, though less actually useful, than a proper blower. I mean... a proper boost setup will build boost throughout the power band and should somewhat smoothly increase power all the way through. I kinda expect this to turn on at WOT and then give a bit of a kick for a moment until you run out of RPM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_The_BMXER View Post
    I used to use your tutorials a lot haha.

    Thought you vanished.
    I'm still alive!! I changed jobs a few years back and just never had the time anymore to devote to online forums... so I kinda did vanish. Still kickin' though and still driving the MS3!

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    Sr Member Wild Weasel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
    Used your tutorial for brakes, but I'd save your money if I were you, and not do this.
    Oh... make no mistake. I'm not spending a dime here. Over the years my website has become the de facto standard for debunking these things.

    In just about any online forum when some noob comes along and asks whether they should buy an electric turbo off eBay to get mad power, someone will almost certainly tell them not to waste their money and post a link to my website. I see them show up in my web logs all the time. It's everywhere.

    So naturally, every now and then, one of these clowns comes along to either try to shoot me down or try to convince me that THEIR scam is somehow different. Sometimes they email me and sometimes they just post in my guest book. Some are a lot nastier than others.

    The ones that aren't just bitter and angry about losing sales can sometimes be worth a discussion.

    In this case, the guy wasn't actually selling anything yet. He was just working on the idea that it could be made to work and wanted to know what I thought of what he was doing. As I usually do, I started peppering him with questions about all the things that are generally wrong with this stuff, but he'd thought of most of it and was working on solutions. He really seems to know what he's doing.

    Now... that's not to say that he's not just more clever than the average scammer, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. So after all this development, he's sending out the kit for me to have a completely independent look at what he's done.

    My plan was actually to do the tests first on my own and come to my own conclusions before making any mention of it one way or another on my website, but I asked him if he minded if I opened it up publicly and he was fine with that. So he's got enough confidence in his stuff to allow the rest of the world to follow along with my test. If the whole thing crashes and burns... then it is what it is, right?

    All it's costing me is the effort of doing the test and I think I owe that to him and anyone else who thinks they can produce something that works. If I'm the guy telling everyone not to buy these things, then it's only fair that I'm open to testing things that people say defy everything my website talks about.

    Of course, I WILL be putting a fire extinguisher in the car before I turn the thing on.

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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    The terms and theory behind "electric turbos" is a little bit more sound than a electric supercharger, and it's too bad that ppl naturally associate them with the scams.

    BMW, and you have highlighted this on your site, has been the biggest proponent of turbo-charging...offering turbo-charging on each and every one of their drivetrain. And fast forward to the present, the new M3 is expected to come with a third, electric-driven turbocharger to address lag [really? what lag? with current turbo's] at lower rpm's. This is reality and not some backyard dream.

    Having said that, adding an electric fan to the intake tract is akin to adding a "fuel" tornado...why not do both...

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    Sr Member Wild Weasel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    It's my understanding that the BMW "electric" turbo was actually a regular exhaust driven turbo but with an embedded electric motor to both pre-spool it and to scavenge energy back like a generator. I don't recall seeing any real conclusive article on their system though. Just rumours.

    Now... as for this new gizmo I'll be testing... it's definitely NOT an electric fan in the intake tract. I believe it's built from a disassembled turbo with the turbine assembly replaced by the electric motor. So in my mind, it's not a question of whether or not it's a compressor. It's a question of whether the electric motor can spin it fast enough and with enough force to produce boost.

    Then... if it can... I suppose the next question might be regarding how long it can last, both in duration of boost, and in lifetime of the motor. I don't think I'll really have any way of testing the latter unless it burns itself out right quickly.

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    Sr Member Dave_The_BMXER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    You know what. E Turbo guys email me all the time too. I just tend to ignore them, good on ya.

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    Sr Member silverstarmazda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    hell, if this kit is proven to increase power by 5-10hp. i would get it if the price is right. people buy intakes that costs hundreds of dollars on theyre N/A engines yet have no significant power output (even loss). i will admit, i am one of those suckers who bought a short ram intake for $200+.

    if the kit is high quality, proven power output, and they stand behind theyre products with support then i can imagine this guy making a LOT of money, patents, and possibly revolutionizing they way engines are equipped in the future. one step at a time, thats how big things became what they are today. the best we can do is help the guy in whatever information we can give as car enthusiasts instead of mocking and putting him down.

    most/all "scam" products out today are built with little to NO research, real world testing, scientific development. these products must go into strict testing and redesigning in order for them to work with the vehicle. even a cheap intake has some research behind it.

    things to consider: what happens with the pressure? will it cause leaks or increase blow by? will it deteriorate seals or cause fatigue? will it effect timing? will i need to change the fuel pump to increase pressure? will the manifold (metal or plastic) hold? can the engine withstand 4-5 lbs of pressure? what happens to manifold vacuum etc etc? will my emissions change? so many things to ask, and even the smallest thing can ruin an engine.

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    Moderator loki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    Good to see technical guys coming back to the forum

    Haven't checked out your website site, but thoroughly enjoyed your writing style in your posts in this thread

    Good luck with the testing!

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    Jr Member boo-ninja's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    I believe the new STI is rumoured to have an electric turbo. Interested to see how this turns out.
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    Sr Member Wild Weasel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by silverstarmazda View Post
    if the kit is high quality, proven power output, and they stand behind theyre products with support then i can imagine this guy making a LOT of money, patents, and possibly revolutionizing they way engines are equipped in the future. one step at a time, thats how big things became what they are today. the best we can do is help the guy in whatever information we can give as car enthusiasts instead of mocking and putting him down.
    This is how I'm approaching it. For all the scams out there, it's not the concept itself that's out in left field. It's always the implementation. My site talks about the Thomas Knight kit, which worked to create boost and increased power YEARS ago. I have no idea if that guy's even still in business, but it was proof that this could work. The issue was that it was terribly impractical. Fast forward to today, and it's possible that the technology has caught up with the concept to make it all viable. Maybe it has, and maybe it hasn't, but it's not gonna hurt me to give it a shot and report the results.

    The biggest problem in this arena is that people out there are preying on people who don't understand all the tech and theory involved and just want to add cheap power. They know that if you can get more air into the engine you can probably make more power, so people try to sell them stupid devices that appear to do just that. Of course, they don't work and are just there to take money from suckers. If someone actually comes along with something that works, they face a huge uphill battle just to convince people they're not running a fraud scheme. I figure the least I can do is offer to test it for them.

    I've been fighting the good fight for years now telling people about the scams and keeping them from wasting their money. It would be nice to actually be able to point them to something that would give them credible gains.

    As for all the issues you mentioned about the side effects of adding boost... well... those are all real issues though to be fair, at under 5 lbs of boost, they're not terribly serious ones. They're also issues that need to be addressed regardless of where the boost comes from. A working electric blower is not gonna be a magic bullet to oodles of power. I think it's just going to be an easier to install alternative to a conservative turbo or supercharger kit. In either case, if you push more air than the engine can handle, you're going to cause serious problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki View Post
    Good to see technical guys coming back to the forum

    Haven't checked out your website site, but thoroughly enjoyed your writing style in your posts in this thread

    Good luck with the testing!
    Incidentally, it looks like my website is down for the moment. I blame Rogers. Hmph!! I'll have it back up by late tonight or tomorrow.

    As for luck with the testing... to be sure, whether it works or not it's all the same to me. Hell, if it fails in spectacular fashion, it would at least make for a good story. But yeah... I'm rather hoping it works well. It's not like one of the scammers just sent me one of their POS kits to have a whirl with. This guy isn't selling anything yet that I'm aware of. He's just finishing up development so he's really got nothing to gain by having me test this if it doesn't work. I'm kinda rooting for him. And hey... he's Canadian.

    Quote Originally Posted by boo-ninja View Post
    I believe the new STI is rumoured to have an electric turbo. Interested to see how this turns out.
    My website talks a little about the rumoured one from BMW. I did a quick search to see if there was any new info beyond what I've posted, and there isn't. But lo and behold, it looks like Audi is working on one as well and it appears to be a straight-up electric blower rather than the sort of electrically assisted one BMW seems to have in the works. Of course, it seems to be meant only for low RPM to add a bit of pressure to the intake manifold before a proper turbo takes over to create real boost.

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    Sr Member silverstarmazda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    possible twin e-turbo? lol

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    Sr Member Wild Weasel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    My website is back up and running, so that's something.

    As for twin e-turbo... well... I know you're joking... but if this thing can produce 4 or 5 psi... then adding a second one may produce a few more since this should be an actual compressor rather than some stupid fan. Of course, compressing air that's already compressed should presumably take more energy and you have to expect the electric motor to run out of steam at some point. So there'd have to be diminishing returns and frankly... you'd really want the flexibility of a real turbo at that point right?

    I'd ask the guy to send me a 2nd one for shits and giggles to see what happens, but I don't think it would fit under the hood. I don't have a lot of space to work with there.

    I DID ask him what would happen if I were to just throw more voltage at the motor and he said he'd tried it during testing and ended up throwing an "implausible MAF" code or something. I doubt much power is to be gained from going into limp mode.

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    Sr Member silverstarmazda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    any possible way to make the e-turbo act like an actual turbo? as in it follows the rev range throughout instead of being switched on and off. but it would be kinda cool though to push a button on the steering wheel and get a sudden boost like F&F LOL

    hell while were at intake, why not exhaust? run that puppy inline with the exhaust to get rid of back pressure. any help we can get will probably add to some noticeable power free up.

    i can imagine this e-turbo kind of working like a ram air. equalizing and adding a slight air pressure to the intake cavity.

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    Sr Member Thrizzl3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by silverstarmazda View Post
    any possible way to make the e-turbo act like an actual turbo? as in it follows the rev range throughout instead of being switched on and off. but it would be kinda cool though to push a button on the steering wheel and get a sudden boost like F&F LOL
    no.

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    Sr Member Wild Weasel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Installing Electric Supercharger!! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by silverstarmazda View Post
    any possible way to make the e-turbo act like an actual turbo? as in it follows the rev range throughout instead of being switched on and off. but it would be kinda cool though to push a button on the steering wheel and get a sudden boost like F&F LOL
    I think what you mean is the full TPS range, not the rev range. This should work through the rev range so long as you've got the throttle mashed. It may not keep up at the very top, depending on the car, but it's not like it's just gonna kick in at 4k rpm or something. Funny you should mention the button though, as that's probably how my setup is gonna work.

    Now... for the TPS range... this really one of the downfalls of this sort of system. With a regular turbo or supercharger, you've got boost available almost all the time so the end result is that your engine will essentially act as though it were a bigger engine. This is why we're seeing more and more tiny 4-cylinder engines that behave as though they were a normal size or even a V6. With the boost active, even at part-throttle more air is getting in so you get more power at all times. With a switched electric blower, even if it works, you'll only see a boost at WOT so your peak power should be higher but otherwise the behaviour of the engine won't be any different.

    I had some conversations with the guy about how this could actually decrease fuel economy or rob power due to the restriction when it's not in use. Fuel economy shouldn't be any issue at all but it's true that it could rob a bit of power, but not enough to be noticeable. Basically, to make the same power you'll need a little more throttle to open up the TB a bit more. Fuel economy is really dependent on how much air is getting in though, so needing a little more throttle to get the same airflow to burn the same fuel shouldn't end up in any net difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverstarmazda View Post
    hell while were at intake, why not exhaust? run that puppy inline with the exhaust to get rid of back pressure. any help we can get will probably add to some noticeable power free up.
    This is the greatest idea I've heard in quite a while. I mean... it's ridiculous and won't work, but just imagine having your exhaust blowing like a leaf blower. How awesome would that be? Again... I know it's a joke... but to analyse it a little, there's all sorts of problems. At best, you'd be trying to create a vacuum to help evacuate the exhaust but lots of cars have overlap between the valves and depend on a bit of back pressure to work at all, much less work well. In those cases, you'd likely be sucking out part of your intake charge and foul up your cat in no time at all. Of course, you'd be able to put a spark plug in the tip and spew flames, which is of course AWESOME.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverstarmazda View Post
    i can imagine this e-turbo kind of working like a ram air. equalizing and adding a slight air pressure to the intake cavity.
    That's the premise behind all the scams out there. If that's all you're shooting for, then it's not worth the bother. That's why I'm setting the threshold for what I'll consider a "success" at around 4 psi.

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