What Is The Use Of Intercooler In Diesel Engine?

As previously stated, there are some minor variances in the words used in various applications. The following are the definitions for each term:

What’s a Charge Air Cooler?

A charge air cooler cools the air between the turbo and the intake manifold of an engine. Turbo coolers, intercoolers, and aftercoolers are all referred to as turbo coolers.

Charge air coolers and turbo coolers are the same thing. Which one you use is entirely a question of personal preference. In some applications, intercoolers and aftercoolers differ slightly from charge air coolers, but in the commercial vehicle industry, they’re all the same.

What’s a Diesel Intercooler?

In a multi-turbo arrangement, an intercooler cools the air between the turbos, hence the word “inter.” If an engine has three turbos, for example (though this is uncommon), an intercooler could be used between each of them.

Of course, in commercial vehicle applications, using an intercooler between turbos is uncommon. This configuration is common in industrial and aviation applications. When a mechanic working on a commercial vehicle refers to a diesel intercooler, they are referring to a charge air cooler.

What’s an Aftercooler?

The ultimate heat exchanger in a series of industrial and aviation engine applications with several turbos, each with its own intercooler, is known as the aftercooler—hence the word “after.”

The aftercooler, like the intercooler, is just another term for a charge air cooler.

What is the purpose of an intercooler on a diesel engine?

In turbocharged systems, the intercooler considerably improves the combustion process, resulting in increased engine output. The intercooler’s primary function is to lower the temperature of hot air compressed by the turbocharger before it reaches the combustion chamber of the engine.

What happens if intercooler fails?

If the intercooler breaks, the engine will not get enough cool, dense air, resulting in incomplete combustion and unburned fuel exhaustion. Failure to replace the intercooler can have a direct impact on horsepower, fuel economy, and emissions.

Does an intercooler increase horsepower?

An intercooler is a device that cools the air that is pumped into a car’s engine. Because the act of compressing air in turbochargers or superchargers causes the air going for the engine to heat up, it’s mostly used in turbocharged or supercharged autos.

The intercooler minimizes the chance of detonation in the engine by assisting in the cooling of compressed air as it goes to the engine. It also generates a richer air-to-fuel mix in the engine’s cylinders by making compressed air denser when it enters the intake manifold. As a result, power output is boosted.

So, yeah, the question is answered! The use of an intercooler aids in the growth of horsepower. If your car’s engine is naturally aspirated, though, an intercooler isn’t necessary. This is because the air delivered to such an engine from the radiator and cooling system ducts is already at a low temperature. The output of an aspirated engine will be unaffected by the addition of an intercooler.

Let’s have a look at the many types of intercoolers that you could use to modify your engine.

What are the benefits of an intercooler?

The entire system is exposed to debris because FMIC systems require an open bumper design for best operation. Because of this concern about reliability, some engineers choose for different mount sites. Depending on the engine’s heat dissipation needs, FMICs can be placed in front of or behind the radiator.

Intercoolers play an important role in managing internal temperatures in turbocharged engines, as well as allowing more air to be allowed to the engine. The specific power of an engine is boosted when it is installed with a turbo (as it is with any form of supercharging), resulting in higher combustion and exhaust temperatures. The exhaust gases going through the turbocharger’s turbine section are generally approximately 450 °C (840 °F), but they can reach 1000 °C (1830 °F) in exceptional conditions. This heat flows through the turbocharger unit and helps to warm the air being squeezed in the turbo’s compressor section. If this hot air is not cooled, it enters the engine, raising internal temperatures even more. This causes a build-up of heat that will eventually cool down, but at temperatures that are higher than the engine’s design limits—’hot spots’ on the piston crown or exhaust valve might cause warping or cracking of these components. Pre-ignition or detonation will be more likely if the air charge temperature is too high. Detonation creates destructive pressure spikes in the cylinders of the engine, which can swiftly damage it. These effects are particularly noticeable in modified or tuned engines with extremely high specific power outputs. An effective intercooler removes heat from the induction system’s air, reducing cyclic heat build-up via the turbocharger and allowing for larger power outputs without harm.

The intake air heats up owing to turbocharger compression, and heat is added due to compressor inefficiencies (adiabatic efficiency). The greater cause of the rise in air temperature in an air charge is this. Forced induction produces more power because there is more air available to burn more fuel in each cylinder. For a given fuel’s octane rating, this may necessitate a lower compression ratio to allow for a wider range of ignition timing advance before detonation. A lower compression ratio, on the other hand, reduces combustion efficiency and increases power consumption.

Some high-performance tuning firms take temperature readings before and after the intercooler to guarantee that the output temperature is as near to ambient as possible (without the use of additional cooling; water/liquid gas spray kits).

Do intercoolers need coolant?

An example of a heat exchanger that cools the coolant used in an air-to-water intercooler is seen in the figure above. In these systems, a liquid, such as an antifreeze/water mixture, circulates through one set of tubes in the real intercooler while intake air passes through another. As a result, heat is exchanged between the coolant and the intake air in the intercooler at the metal interface.

According to theory, because water has four times the heat-absorbing capacity of air, air-to-water intercoolers should be four times more effective in removing heat from hot intake air, however this is rarely, if ever, the case. However, while air-to-water intercoolers offer some benefits, they also have some severe drawbacks, so let’s have a look at them.

While it is true that the efficiency of air-to-water intercoolers is not as dependent on vehicle speed and hence airflow as that of air-to-air intercoolers, this is only true to a certain extent. If the application is used for drag racing, for example, the race is over before the liquid coolant can absorb significant amounts of heat from the intake air, but heat soak can become a real issue on some installations when used continuously for long periods of time, which brings us to the two biggest-ticket items.

This form of intercooler relies on effective liquid coolant circulation, which necessitates a supply of liquid coolant, a circulating pump, hoses, a coolant reservoir, and, most critically, a heat exchanger to remove heat from the stored coolant.

The challenge is that if the system is to perform even moderately efficiently, all of the system’s pieces must be matched to one another. For example, the entire inner surface area of the intercooler with which the coolant comes into contact must be large enough to allow for successful heat transfer, while the coolant flow rate must be high enough to properly take away the absorbed heat.

Furthermore, the heat exchanger must be large enough to adequately shed heat from the hot coolant. If it isn’t, heat will continue to accumulate and be stored in the coolant, and because heat has more barriers to cross in an air-to-water intercooler than in an air-to-air intercooler, the overall efficiency of an air-to-water intercooler will decline progressively and in direct proportion to the coolant’s temperature increase.

Small coolant leaks into intake air channels can cause misfires and other combustion issues. While coolant leaks to the outside of an air-to-water intercooler can be rectified reasonably quickly, large coolant leaks into intake air passages can cause misfires and other combustion issues. A severe internal breach, on the other hand, can allow enough liquid coolant into the engine to produce rapid hydro locking of one or more cylinders, which, as we all know, generally results in catastrophic engine failure if it happens while the engine is running.

Can you turbo without an intercooler?

Running a turbo without an intercooler allows hot air into the combustion chamber, causing it to detonate prematurely. Because there is no intercooler to cool the air before it enters the engine, using a turbo without one will result in extremely hot air entering the engine.

Can intercooler affect turbo?

A leak in the intercooler lines will prevent the engine from receiving the needed amount of air at the proper pressure, affecting the engine’s air-fuel ratio. The engine will either run rich or lean as a result of this. The surplus fuel will be ejected with the exhaust fumes if the engine is running rich. This causes the leftover fuel to burn in the exhaust system, resulting in the production of a cloud of black smoke. This reduces the vehicle’s fuel economy and performance.

To compensate for a boost leak, turbo control systems can employ a variety of strategies. There will be a lag in acceleration and an extra turbo whining in small leak scenarios. In the event of a major breach, the computer will immediately default to “home mode.” This will result in a loss of power and a reduction in RPM, making driving difficult.

The engine coolant is used in air-to-water intercoolers, which can clog owing to mineral deposits. Intercoolers that are clogged will raise the temperature of the air going into the engine, lowering its efficiency. Engine banging occurs as a result of overheating.

When an intercooler is damaged, the turbocharger spins quicker than usual to compensate for the pressure loss caused by the intercooler. However, the boost level will be less than ideal.

A faulty intercooler should be checked as soon as possible and replaced if necessary. It’s easier to replace the intercooler hoses than it is to replace the entire cooler. You can replace the intercooler on your own if you understand the ins and outs of your turbo system.

How do intercoolers work?

Turbochargers compress the air before it reaches the engine’s cylinders, increasing its density. By forcing more air into each cylinder, the engine can burn proportionally more fuel, producing greater power with each explosion (for more information, see Turbocharging – a beginners FAQ).

The heat generated by this compression process raises the temperature of the air entering the engine. Unfortunately, when the temperature rises, the density of the air decreases, lowering the amount of oxygen accessible in each cylinder and affecting performance!

The intercooler tries to offset this by cooling the compressed air, allowing more oxygen into the engine and boosting cylinder combustion. Furthermore, by adjusting the temperature of the air, it improves the engine’s reliability by ensuring that the air-to-fuel ratio in each cylinder is kept at a safe level.

Should there be oil in the intercooler?

Your intercooler’s job is to lower the temperature of the compressed air coming from the supercharger or turbocharger. The air density supplied to your engine increases when the air is cooled.

The air is compressed by the turbocharger or supercharger, which raises the temperature to dangerously high levels. The density (oxygen content) decreases as the temperature rises.

As a result, when the intercooler cools the air, it makes it denser and richer in oxygen for the engine, allowing for more fuel combustion.

Oil is not allowed in the intercooler due to operational or design reasons. Your turbocharger spins at up to 280,000 rpm and is lubricated with oil from your engine’s lubrication system.

The seals can begin to leak oil into the compressed air released from your turbocharger over a lengthy amount of time or when there is a defect, which collects at the bottom of the intercooler.

As the amount of oil in the intercooler increases, you may encounter oil in intercooler symptoms, which are not good.

When this happens, you must address the turbocharger leak as quickly as possible. However, before taking any action, be sure you know what’s causing the leak. We found that most consumers confuse coolant with oil.

There are times when it’s merely a minor leak from the core that doesn’t impede the vehicle’s functionality. All you have to worry about is grease in the intercooler generating smoke during the first crank.