In a previous article, superchargers and turbochargers were discussed in detail (see link, below).
Superchargers vs. Turbochargers | Dodge Challenger Forum
Anyone who goes to the track, or watches the cable TV show, Street Outlaws, knows that many knowledgeable racers are going to prochargers. In fact, Ryan Martin, switched his Fireball Camaro from twin turbos to prochargers. Watch his interview at the 2:30 minute mark.
Prochargers, superchargers and turbochargers are all different technologies with the same aim- to force more air into the engine. This force-feeding of oxygen let the engine burn more fuel and jet more power, and is usually augmented with a high-flow exhaust system, as well.
To recap from the last article, a basic supercharger is called a Roots supercharger, because it is usually installed right where the intake manifold is. It uses spinning mesh lobes that throw air from one end to the other, and the pressure builds up inside the intake manifold, letting in a gush of air in bursts. Roots superchargers are what you see bulging out of the hoods of classic cars. The problem with a roots supercharger is the bulky size and the fact that they don’t feed extra air into the engine in a consistent stream.
Another kind of supercharger is a twin-screw one, that whirls and draws in the air in a corkscrew fashion. The air is compressed and then forced into the engine this way. Twin-screw supercharges aren’t all that bulky but are very loud, so they need sound suppression systems to function with finesse.
Superchargers, however, can be bulky and may require alterations to the hood of your car. Plus, the air it feeds into the engine is not a consistent stream and power may surge and lag accordingly.
Procharger is the brand name of a centrifugal supercharger that works differently than a basic supercharger and delivers a consistent stream of air to your vehicle.
Prochargers, use an impeller, a rotary device that sucks in the air by rotating at fast speeds. When the air reaches the center of the impeller, it gets distributed in an outward, cyclic manner by a strong centrifugal force where a diffuser turns the air into high pressure. This forces the air into the engine as a consistent stream rather than bursts, and end up providing not just more power, but also smoother power minus any lags or bursts.
Prochargers are smaller and lightweight and are attached to the engine, as opposed to the intake manifold, thereby taking far less space. But they can be more expensive than the basic superchargers and also have a distinctive rotary whine that can be heard over and above a revving engine.
Keep in mind that while a procharger may be more expensive than a supercharger at the outset, a supercharger may negatively affect fuel economy, unlike a procharger that does not burn through fuel as quickly.
Prochargers also do not take power beyond legal limits as superchargers can do. So, if you live in a state where extra horsepower is frowned at or even fined, a procharger may be a better option for you.
Also, remember that installing any time of a forced induction system will create more stress on the engine and higher engine heat. So, make sure your car is being serviced regularly, and the engine oil is kept topped up to ensure the longevity of both the charger and of course, your car.
ProChargers has also created a procharger model, the i-1, designed for stock and modified applications, that has an intelligent control system and an optical touch screen display. Drivers can switch between three factory-supplied performance modes, as well as a custom mode. Personalized display screens and data logging are also available.
Building on the benefits of centrifugal design, the i-1 delivers higher compressor efficiency than screw blowers (produces far more power per psi of boost than water-intercooled systems), utilizes air-to-air intercooling (most effective), avoids the heat transfer associated with engine top-mounting or an exhaust interface, produces immediate response even at low engine rpm) and allows for better reliability (supports up to 825 flywheel hp.).