If there is one development in marine engines that has contributed to improved efficiency more than any other it must surely be the turbocharger.
It is hard to imagine how restricted early marine engines would have been when it is considered that a modern engine without a functioning turbocharger would be limited to about 25-30% of its potential power output.
All internal combustion engines need a steady supply of air for ignition to take place inside the cylinder. Situated low down inside a ship which is relatively slow moving means that air can be in short supply. In the very early days of motorships a variety of means were employed to deliver air to the engine.
Collectively known as superchargers; pumps and blowers with an independent power supply or belt or mechanical take offs from the engine itself were all employed.
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