SUPERCHARGER HEAT EXCHANGERS AND INTERCOOLERSPosted on
AFTERMARKET HEAT EXCHANGERS AND INTERCOOLERS are they worth it?
Some heat exchangers like this 80283PRO from APPLIEDSPEED.COM by AFCO RACING come with dual Spal fans. This setup keeps the coolant cool even in heavy traffic or at the drag strip.
Heat Exchangers and Intercoolers-differences
Heat exchangers are typically used on supercharged engines while intercoolers are mainly used on turbocharged motors. They serve the same purpose of cooling the intake charge, and their names have become interchangeable. Intercoolers typically use air to cool the intake charge, while heat exchangers for superchargers use water to serve the cooling process.
Air to liquid heat exchangers hold cooling fluid in a small tank, independent of the primary engine cooling system. A pump circulates the fluid through the cooler installed at the main radiator exposed to the air flowing into the cowling. The fluid then flows to the core beneath the supercharger, where it cools the intake air. The hot fluid then returns to the reservoir. Random84 has tested a larger tank they made and a bigger pump for their supercharged Cadillac CTSV-check them out.
The double-pass design used by AFCO Racing in its heat exchangers and radiators channel the coolant through the unit twice to improve efficiency. This engineering design has been used extensively in NASCAR and Open Wheel racing.
Intercoolers are used primarily with turbochargers. They do not use water and the intake charge is simply cooled by the air rushing through the core. This method is not as efficient as in using water to cool the intake.
WHY BUY AN UPGRADED HEAT EXCHANGER?
The stock heat exchangers are very thin and they heat-soak very quickly especially in hot climates or when used repeatedly such as in drag racing.
Upgraded heat exchangers like those from AppliedSpeed are far more efficient and they can realize additional cooling in the 10 to 20 percent range over the stock variants.
Aftermarket upgraded heat exchangers offer the following advantages:
- Lower intake air charge for higher HP and torque
- Power increases by 1 to 2% for every 10 degrees of intake temperature drop
- Direct bolt-in using factory bolts and hoses
- NASCAR-style tube technology
- Improve ETs and lap times!
- Stops heat soak
- Recommended for all climates
- Prevents engine from going into limp mode
- Perfect for factory or aftermarket superchargers
- Helps avoid timing retard and fuel enrichment
AFCO's upgraded heat exchangers are twice as thick as the stock variants, This feat and other cooling techniques developed in professional racing yield a 350% improvement in cooling the intake charge over the stock units.
Why Install an Upgraded Heat Exchanger/Intercooler?
Replacing your old factory heat exchanger with these new replacement heat exchangers is the undisputed solution to increase intake cooling efficiency, torque and horsepower. The new heat exchangers supply your engine with a denser oxygen-rich charge. These heat exchangers are three times more efficient than the stock ones so they can lower intake temperature up to 50° F over the stock units. They are laser cut aluminum TIG-welded construction with NASCAR and Formula 1 technology of extruded tubes with internal fins.
C&R Racing brings the same extruded tube technology they have been supplying in Formula 1 and NASCAR to your late model streetcar in their radiators and heat exchangers. The image on the right shows the continuously partitioned extruded tubes that cause the fluid to swirl and lap the whole tube internal surface for maximum heat dissipation.
Why Does Intake Temperature Affect Power?
The greater the temperature delta between intake and combustion, the higher the power the engine can make. Theoretically increasing intake pressure by 1 PSI increases power by 7 percent...but there is a price to pay! Superchargers are compressors, and they increase the mass of air that the engine will ingest. As Charles’ law dictates the pressure of a gas is directly proportional to its temperature. As such, if we increase the pressure of the air intake, we will also increase the temperature.
NASCAR standout Smokey Yunick stated in his books: “Each ten degree of temperature reduction equals from one to two percent in horsepower increase.”
This photograph describes how the cool water in blue flows to the radiator under the plenum. There the cool water gathers the heat from the intake charge before it enters the intake manifold.
Additional Possible Power Gains
Reducing the intake air temperature also affects timing and fuel injection which could cause detonation, limp mode and engine damage. But here, the ECU is the savior as it will pull timing to prevent detonation, and it will correct the fuel delivery, but those adjustments further reduce power by an additional 10 to 20%! Thin heat exchangers tend to heat-soak rapidly. C&R's and AFCO's intercoolers/heat exchangers for Camaros cool 350% better than the stock units.
Air to Water Heat Exchangers
Air to water heat exchangers are much more efficient than the air to air ones. They are easier to package and they do not “heat soak” as readily as the air to air type. As such, they are ideal for daily driving, and drag racers and autocross drivers have experienced great results with C&R's upgraded air to water coolers.
How do Air to Water Heat Exchangers Work?This drawing from Whipple Superchargers details the individual components of a supercharger. The rectangular part that is sandwiched between the intake plenum and the intake manifold contains the core where the cooled water flows. This is the part that cools the air intake before it enters the engine.
Whipple Superchargers https://www.enginebasics.com
Charle's Law dictates that the temperature of any gas is directly proportional to its pressure. As such, if the ambient air temperature is let’s say, 70 degrees, and the air is further compressed by the supercharger to an additional 14.7 PSI the intake charge will now reach 140 degrees. Click the image and see it work.