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  • General
  • Compressed air temperature
  • Intercooler operation

An intercooler is an air cooler. An intercooler is used if a turbo or a compressor is mounted on the car. The air coming from that turbo or compressor goes under pressure to the inlet of the engine (see chapters turbo en compressor).

The image shows an Audi engine with 2 intercoolers at the front. These intercoolers are often not immediately visible, because they are mounted behind the grilles in the front bumper. Some cars have one smaller, or an elongated large intercooler.

Compressed air temperature:
This air can get very warm, up to 150 degrees Celsius. The temperature increase is due to the compression (compression) of the air. In warm air the molecules are expanded and there is proportionally less oxygen present per cm3 than in cold air. Warm air is therefore very disadvantageous for combustion. When the air is colder, the air volume is smaller. The volume increases with heat, so there is less net air output. By cooling the air, the volume decreases and the degree of filling increases. A better filling level therefore gives better combustion and therefore more power.

Operation of the intercooler:
The job of the intercooler is to cool this compressed air. The compressed air comes from the turbo, passes through the intercooler and then goes to the intake area of ​​the engine. The compressed air is blown through the side pipes through the small channels of the intercooler. Because the intercooler is mounted at the front of the car, wind flows through the intercooler. The compressed air gives off the heat through the channels to the wind. As a result, this compressed air cools down tens of degrees.
The principle is the same as that of the radiator, where the wind cools the coolant. The intercooler looks a bit like that. Only coolant does not flow through it, but compressed air flows through it.

The image shows the path the air travels; from the exhaust side of the cylinder the air moves to the turbo. The exhaust gases drive the turbine wheel, causing it and the compressor wheel to rotate. The turbo uses the compressor wheel to draw in air from the air filter to the air inlet and compress it. The air compressed by the turbo is led to the intercooler, where the air cools down enough to be transported to the inlet side of the cylinder. lined.