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Old 4th January 2012, 12:56   #1 (permalink)
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Charge-cooling Truths and Myths

Little bit of information for people regarding Charge cooling.
Lifted from AVT's website who we did a lot of consulting with before choosing charge cooler option for a few applications over conventional air type intercoolers.

AVT | www.chargecooler.co.uk | The UKs Leading Chargecooling Specialist, drag and race PWR Barrel Chargecoolers, charge cooler radiators, chargecooler tanks, chargecooler pumps, chargecooler pump, pipe kits, charge cooler accessories, 400-1500bhp tub

"Chargecoolers only work well until the water heats up..." MYTH...


Now this is the biggest phalacy of chargecooler system myths, or simply brought about by people with poor installations. In a correctly designed chargecooler system, the whole point is, the water should always stay cool. That is the whole point of having a properly sized radiator, decent water volume and an efficient core. Think of it this way - you may have over 150 degrees Celsius of charge going through the chargecooler core, but this heat is being absorbed by water, which is four times more efficient at dissipating heat than air, known as 'Specific Heat Capacity'. As an experiment - fill a 'washing up bowl' of cold water, and plunge a scorching hot frying pan into it, until the pan is cool enough to touch (which will be a few seconds - hence why water is so good for cooling) - but likewise, now feel the temperature of the water in the bowl - you will hardly feel a significant difference from the original water temperature - even though it has absorbed all that heat - now lets imagine we can add an extra reservoir connected to that bowl, and a pump, with a radiator extracting any extra heat that was gained in the water, and what do you have? Cool water, always. Continuously....It would only heat up if you continuously plunged more red hot frying pans into it and the radiator system couldn't keep up...

Chargecooler systems are only as good as their complete system design.

If your water temps are rising, then either you have an undersized chargecooler for the amount of charge temps you are generating and it cannot cope - or your radiator selection/placement is insufficient for cooling, or your pump cannot move the water efficiently enough to the radiator, or air lock issues - All AVT chargecooler systems, when installed correctly will result in the chargecooler core ALWAYS being COLD to the touch - yes, not even warm, even after continuous full boost circuit work. Open the bonnet, feel the heat radiating off the engine - feel the chargecooler, it will not even be luke warm, it will actually be cold.
The other thing with water as a coolant, is you can have water temps varying 10-15 degrees, and it will minimally affect the charge temps, due to the way water works. One again, with the red hot frying pan example, do you really think it will cool much slower if we plunged it into a bucket of water at 15 degrees versus a bucket of water at 5 degrees? It will cool within a few seconds, no matter what the temperature is, and cool much faster and better than air ever will.

"Chargecooler systems can heat up when sitting still..." MYTH...

True, but I don't know about you, but we don't really run much boost when we are sitting still, so the only place this heat build up can be from is placement of the core unit, or again, poor radiator selection, or non fan assistance, so that's not really a fault of 'chargecooler systems'. End of the day, if water is flowing around a correctly designed radiator and dissipating heat, then how should it be heating up? Do you realise how much energy is required to heat the water up in the first place? Take an engine block for example...When you start a car, the radiator is shut off from the main cooling system on start up. We have a solid metal engine block, with hundreds of combustion events over 500 degrees C happening every minute, and 100% of the water volume is flowing around inside the engine block/head - yet it still takes around 5-10 minutes for the water to get up to working temperature. Another example, a kettle - It has a few litres of water in it, and is being heated by element directly in the water, yet it takes 3-4 minutes to heat up with 3kw of energy going through it. ....so basically, if your chargecooler system water is heating up, with no boost going through the core, and with a radiator attached - then you seriously have a problem with your installation - either placement of the core, air lock issues (the main cause of overheating in any closed loop water system) or heat radiation towards your chargecooler radiator.

"Chargecooler systems weigh a lot..". MYTH...

For and againsts here - Our pre-radiator and chargecooler core will weigh a bit less than a decent sized FMIC system. The only extra weight is the pump, and inline filler and the few litres of coolant in the system, so the total weight difference is negligible. Some of the lesser chargecooler designs on the market rely on huge radiators and large boot mounted water tanks - so maybe this is where this comment has come from. The AVT/PWR units are efficient, compact and lightweight.

"Chargecoolers are not as good for circuit work as the water gets too hot..." MYTH...

Again, see point one and two - If your water is heating up too much, then look at your installation. If your car engine overheated by having a too small radiator, you wouldn't blame the engine, you would replace the radiator - so why do people think differently when it comes to chargecoolers?
In summary, a correctly designed chargecooler system will always outperform an air to air (FMIC) system. For drag use, it provides instant cool charge straight off the line, whereas an air-to-air unit will only start cooling once you have enough air speed going through the core. For drift racing, once again, a chargecooler system will cool for the high boost, but low speed use, and for circuit work, you will have stable, low temperatures constantly. Air to air systems are purely dependant on vehicle speed, chargecooler systems are not. The other benefits are ease of plumbing, no need for cutting bumpers, routing intake pipe work, or cutting bulkheads - and the systems can be moved from vehicle to vehicle. For decades, all high end performance sports have introduced water into forced induction system, due to its extra efficiency over air - drag racing, F1 Turbo, Indycar, WRC - Its just a far more technical system to perfect, but here at AVT we have the expertise to guide you in your installation to gain you the best results.

"If air is being used to cool the water, then we might as well use air in the first place" MYTH...

Now we know that water is FOUR times better at cooling than air, FACT. Now seeing that the heated charge air coming from your turbo is moving on average in a typical installation through your core (chargecooler or intercooler) at over 200 FEET PER SECOND, we need the best cooling medium working directly on it, which is water, FACT. You also have to note, this is not the same air cycling around and around the system getting cooler, this is continuous, new air, from the atmosphere, compressed by the turbo charger. Imagine how hard it is to cool air travelling at 200ft/sec at over 150 degrees C? This is a tough job, requiring the best cooling medium, at the fastest rate, thus water!. Again, remember how quick a bucket of water can cool a red hot frying pad, in comparison to how long it would take waving it around in air? Also, consider that we could plunge that frying pan in 20 degree water and it will be cold in a few seconds, yet you can bet you could stand in the -40c Arctic with that frying pan, waving it around in the air, and it will still take a few minutes to cool down....
On the flip side, the ambient air being used to cool the water on the chargecooler radiator has a much easier job. It has the job of cooling water by only say 20-30 degrees, and this is the same water cycling around the system. The other thing is chargecooler water temps are only marginally affected by outside ambient air temperatures, and even then, its also at a very slow rate. On an air to air system, if the ambient air temp rises, so does the charge temps, immediately. On a chargecooler system, this will also happen, but it takes a long time for that 5 degree ambient air increase to be able to raise the total water temperature 5 degrees.
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Old 4th January 2012, 21:22   #2 (permalink)
 
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Thankyou for the time it has taken for you to post this TDI. Much appreciated
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Old 4th January 2012, 21:32   #3 (permalink)
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I feel like buying one........and im not boosted
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