Whipple Superchargers - How They Work
Whipple Superchargers are something relatively new compared to other types of supercharger. They work somewhat like a Roots blowers yet unlike a Roots type blower, air is compressed internally. The other type being centrifugal blowers. The difference between Whipple Superchargers is that they create almost instantaneous boost from idle. By the time your engine reaches between 2,000 to 2,400 rpm, the Whipple Supercharger is almost reaching full boost. For day to day automotive environment where a significant amount of time, the engine is at low revs and occasionally mid or high revs comes into play, there is nothing that can beat Whipple Supercharges.
Centrifugal superchargers on the other hand takes time to build up pressure and have a slight lag time while they "spool up." They usually don't come into boost until 2600 to 3000 rpm and they commonly do not reach full boost until maximum rpm. This means, centrifugal superchargers like Vortech, Paxton are more suited for higher rev, higher power applications. If you intend to race you car at the race track or at the drag strip, centrifugal superchargers will give you better performance compared to Whipple Superchargers.
How I got to know about Whipple Superchargers? Several years ago, when I was much younger and a little less wise, I've just borrowed my older brother's supped up GM for a drive around the neighborhood when I pulled up next to a same model GM. Naturally I challenged the guy for a drag race down the quite suburban street. Other than a bolt on centrifugal supercharger and uprated fuel system, my brother's car is all normal from the outside. I thought I'd surely leave the guy at the lights with nothing but a glimpse of my tail lights and smell of burning rubber.
But alas it is not to be. When the split second came to gas the car, I had jumped him. I thought that was it. I'm going to win. Instead I was the one being smoked. Less than 2 seconds later, He caught up and began to pass me. Bummer. And shortly after that, I can only see the tailight of HIS car. I thought I had him. Later, the guy slowed down to rub salt into my wounded pride. Honked at me tried to pulled away again. This time, because we are already at cruising speedI managed to keep up. At least getting some semblence of my hurt ego.
It was later when I mentioned this to my brother (he was not a happy camper when he found out I was out drag racing his "precious" baby) he scolded me for being such a nitwit. It was then I found out the other GM belong to his friend and it had a Whipple supercharger. My brother explained the difference and told me why he never tried to drag race his friend because the Whipple supercharger will always beat a centrifugal supercharger at low revs.
So that's the story about the Whipple and centrifugal.
- Whipple Superchargers
Whipple Supercharger description