Friday, 2 March 2012

Turbo intercooler- Functions explained

Many cars and trucks  are written on their sides as turbo intercooler or simply intercooler. what does it mean? Actually an intercooler is an additional component fixed to a turbo charger to improve its performance and efficiency. It is similar to a radiator whereas a radiator cools the engine but a turbo intercooler cools the air which is fed into the engine. Lets see it brief here.

The air cooler in the above pic is the turbo intercooler.
A turbocharged engine has a turbocharger which sucks and compresses the air from outside into the engine with the help of burnt exhaust gases coming out of the engine. Initially the air entering into the engine is cold so it has more oxygen, good density and volume. The dense and oxygen rich air aids in better combustion and does the work of turbocharger very efficiently. But as the time moves on, the air which is compressed by the turbocharger into the engine gets heated up due to compression. Usually when air is compressed its temperature rises and becomes hot. This hot air has low density, volume and minimum oxygen content, therefore it affects the performance of the engine.

The solution to this problem is the turbo intercooler. The turbo intercooler cools the compressed air from  turbocharger and feeds it to the air intake system of the engine. So the air entering into the engine is made dense and cold. Hence it has high oxygen content and volume, which is necessary for better combustion of fuel.

The intercooler is placed before the radiator or underneath the radiator to draw the cold air directly as the vehicle moves on. Almost all turbocharged cars are intercooled. In india, cars which are equipped with intercoolers are swift, ritz, indica tdi as well as indigo tdi, vista qudrajet, scorpio, xylo, octavia, verna, safari, punto, i10, i20, older accent, MB, 320d, Toyota Fortuner, Ford endeavor etc..

BMW M3 -  Turbo intercooler

The intercoolers usually uses outside air to cool itself. Water cooled intercoolers are of another type which is used in top end and high performance cars.

Practically this component enhances the function of turbocharger to get better output and constant performance.