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Singapore Rotary Performance Parts Reviews ….. RE Amemiya | Autoexe | Knight Sports | Greddy |

Review: AVOID Cyclone, Turbonator, Surbo, etc

Turbulence of the air in the combustion chamber is vital to the operation of all modern petrol and diesel engines. The main effect of the turbulence is to speed up the burning of the fuel / air mixture, and manufacturers like Cylone, Surbo etc claim that their devices create more turbulence. But can a “bolt-on” device really increase the turbulence in the cylinder? The simple answer is no – the flow in the intake system is already highly turbulent at part load, with air speed past the throttle in the region of 200-300 metres/second. A device upstream of the throttle may make the air swirl there, but the swirl pattern will be destroyed as the flow squeezes past the throttle blade. Injection of “a small amount of turbulent air” into the inlet manifold, as some devices claim, will have even less effect. It is interesting that the makers of such devices state with confidence that the device increases turbulence, but do not have any direct measurements of turbulence to show that this actually is the case. How, then, do they know?But don’t just take my word for it – there have been many studies, both direct flow visualisation and computer simulations, showing turbulence in the intake system. For example, Rai Alsemgeest at Warwick University did a study of intake manifold flow for Jaguar; see his presentation for full details. Here’s his animation showing a section through the intake manifold, where different colours represent different air speeds – red being the fastest and blue the slowest. Air enters from the left of the picture; the white shape in the middle of the flow is the partially open throttle blade:

It’s very obvious how incredibly turbulent the air flow is. There’s no way that a swirling air flow pattern set up before the throttle could survive and affect the burn within the cylinder, nor that a small additional air flow into the mainfold from a “bolt-on device” could make any significant difference. At wide-open throttle the air flow is much smoother, but from a fuel economy perspective this is unimportant as the engine spends 99% of its time at part throttle.

  • Engines already have high levels of turbulence, and the physics is well understood
  • Adding more turbulence can give only a tiny fuel economy benefit – this is proved by experiment
  • Ignition must be adjusted to suit the faster burn, or the effect will be worse economy
  • Increased turbulence at full load will most likely damage the engine unless the ignition is retarded
  • Anything in the inlet manifold is extremely unlikely to affect in-cylinder air motion anyway
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September 12, 2006 - Posted by | Engine

29 Comments »

  1. You state “The main effect of the turbulence is to speed up the burning of the fuel / air mixture”

    I disagree with your statement above and explain why below.

    The goal is not to speed up the burn of air-fuel in the cylinder. The goal is to slow it down!

    Premium fuel actually burns SLOWER. Most people think premium gas burns faster. It doesn’t.

    Why have a slower burning gas – premium? Because the air-fuel mixture – when burning slower – burns for a longer amount of time – as the piston is moving down – and this provides the same power, but for a longer period of time pressing on the piston, from the given amount of fuel.

    ———–
    The goal of the vortex generators – Turbonator for example – is to put a spin on the air – smoothing out the swirling air air before the throttle plate. This will give more of the air a higher velocity. There will be fewer pockets of low pressure.

    As a result – the fuel will ‘atomize’ into smaller particles and mix better with the air.

    Like James Bond – shaken – not stirred. However you want the air stirred and adding fuel does a better job of mixing.

    —–

    Will the throttle plate remove the spin of air as you claim?
    No.The more the throttle is closed – the more spin will remain. Part throttle conditions are ideal for the spinning air – the air slices right through the throttle plate.

    At full throttle – now I can see the throttle plate taking some spin out of the air.

    — I’ve noticed that most people who are negative about the Turbonator – have no scientific reason or objective proof of it not working.

    — However, the thinking behind them is sound. I’m going to buy one and try.

    ———

    Comment by Gunnar | December 19, 2006 | Reply

  2. this makes me sick. octane has nothing to do with anything in this thread. as for turbonator it cant do anything more than a very small increase in anything.

    Comment by grumman | January 30, 2007 | Reply

  3. Beefy

    Comment by Gunney | April 14, 2007 | Reply

  4. Turbonator is a waste of cash. Putting a metal obstruction into your intake, doesn’t do a damn thing. In fact, it’ll make things worse. My friend tried one in his Honda Lx. A week later he took a sledgehammer to it.

    Personally, if your looking for more horses or power, for a few mesely hundred dollars, instead of thousands. All I did to my Civic Ex, was get a manifold-cold air intake/exhaust kit. New Ecu-Performance chip and a performance pulley kit, for starters.

    And believe me you’ll not only feel a difference in performance, you’ll be addicted! Saved me tons of cash, instead of getting a surpercharger too… and if your not putting the pedal to the floor all the time. The light weight pulley kit and performance air intake kit, does improve airflow big time and fuel economy. Do that to your ride, it will pay off!

    Comment by General B.F.G | April 14, 2007 | Reply

  5. Yes, I personally tried the turbonator with my BMW 523i and the result is worst. The HP couldn’t generate consistency, like driving a horse. Even BMW with a word “horse” in Chinese but i really don’t like it.

    Comment by Alvin | May 25, 2007 | Reply

  6. For a real boost just get a cold air intake. Theat will make your car or truck really take off!

    Comment by David | May 28, 2007 | Reply

  7. Im looking for something that imrpoves MPG. Not horsepower. Is there any products that succesfully do this? The vehicle Im trying to do this with is a 98 Jeep cherokee, not a sports car. Im looking for something that will increase MPG without reducing the engines power/acceleration. But Im not looking for something that increases power and acceleration (though, this is a bonus).

    Any ideas on what products increase gas milage would be awesome.

    Jon

    Comment by Jon | July 7, 2007 | Reply

  8. I like horseys!

    Comment by brad | July 16, 2007 | Reply

  9. Just today I got to pay $770 for the privilege of having one of these things removed from my engine (it was installed before I bought it — we didn’t know it was there) and the mass air flow sensor replaced because the turbonator thing ripped the screen off the sensor.

    Comment by Amy | July 18, 2007 | Reply

  10. Horseys taste goot

    Comment by Dink | August 27, 2007 | Reply

  11. Jon,

    If you get this, yes, go to http://www.airraid.com A throttle body spacer seems to work well. Ive got a 1997 4.0L Jeep, first I put on Air-Raid cold air intake module, a K&N filter, and then a few months later a throttle body spacer. It did two things, increased my MPGs and increased overall engine performance (I think it all ran me about $200), later I added Pace Setter Headers and they did a good job also, on both MPGs and overall performance.

    Bob

    Comment by Bob | September 6, 2007 | Reply

  12. And screw horsepower, I’m all for torque.

    Horsepower * 5252

    Torque = —————–

    RPM

    Comment by Bob | September 6, 2007 | Reply

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