Using forced induction to get more power out of an engine can be done in several different ways. One of those ways is using a centrifugal-style supercharger, using power from the engine to push more air into the cylinders. But how exactly does a centrifugal supercharger work?
A centrifugal supercharger looks a lot like a turbocharger on the compressor side, and that's no coincidence. Much like a turbo, it uses an impeller to compress intake air and force it into the engine. But rather than use exhaust gases to get the impeller spinning, it uses a pulley connected to a belt driven by the engine.
How does a centrifugal design differ from a roots- or screw-type supercharger in performance? Well, since the centrifugal's compressor rotation relies on the engine's speed, it won't be pushing as much air in at low RPMs as it will at high RPMs. So the faster your engine is spinning, the more air will reach the cylinders. Therefore, a centrifugally supercharged engine will make the most power at its highest RPM.
That's just a limited description of how centrifugal superchargers work. Jason Fenske of put together a detailed video showing us how the system functions, and what's needed to put one on your car. Watch it here.