Hello, Guys, I am here with a topic related to the cooling system but this time it’s about turbocharger and supercharger. What is an Intercooler? How they cool Turbochargers and superchargers? And What is Air to air & air to water intercooler
The intercooler is the heat exchanger that cools the air from the supercharger or turbocharger. I might have mentioned intercoolers when I explained what are turbochargers and superchargers. Intercoolers are the cooling system for turbochargers and supercharger.
They cool the air that passes from the turbocharger to the cylinders, as during the compression process the air gets quite heated up, so the air does not flow directly to the cylinders, it passes through the intercoolers and the air cools down. If the hot air went directly into the cylinder there will be a pre-combustion which can result in detonation, and also the hot air has less oxygen which will result in low power generation.
There are two types of intercoolers
Air to Air
Air to Air intercooler uses the atmospheric air to cool the air. The exchange of the heat occurs between the air outside with the air inside your intercooler. The efficiency depends on the air temperature outside, therefore the placement of these type of intercoolers are very important.
- Easy set up cause no power is required for the system to run.
- As it is an air to air system no liquids required so no leakage issues.
- Doesn’t suffer from heat-soak as long as the intercooler is seeing good airflow.
- Efficiency is only as good as the ambient air temperature.
- Efficiency is only as good as the amount of airflow the intercooler sees.
- Cannot be mounted anywhere, since it must be mounted in a location to see airflow.
Pricing for Air to Air set-ups can be seen below:
Air to Water
Air to Water intercooler uses water to exchange heat from the air. It requires a water pump that will pump water into the intercooler. As this water runs into the intercooler the heat from the air is absorbed by the water. It can be mounted anywhere.
- The size of the intercooler can be small and still it will have good efficiency.
- Efficiency can be exaggerated by using ice, or other chemicals.
- Can be mounted anywhere along the charge piping route.
- Requires a lot of other accessories to work.
- Cause of its complexity in nature, it naturally causes more opportunity for problems, like leaks.
- Can become heat soaked when used for long periods of hard-driving and become terribly inefficient.
Courtesy: Engineering Explained
Air to Air intercooler is best for the daily driven car. If you are drag racing Air to Water intercoolers will be more efficient. In the end, it’s all in the install and the ultimate goals and uses of the car.