All You Need To Know About Charge Air Coolers

The air charge cooler uses a cooling fluid, usually water, to lower the temperature of air before it gets into the engine but after it has gone through the turbocharger with the goal of optimising the combustion process within the specific engine. The air is cooled from temperatures of between 180 and 220 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius.

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Industries where they are used

In most cases, they are used with diesel powered devices but there are those specifically designed for gas-powered devices. The aviation industry, automotive industry, marine industries, manufacturing and processing plants that make use of diesel to power their machinery and equipment all use these air coolers to improve efficiency.

Size of charge air cooler

The size of the air cooler varies from small to large. The size usually corresponds to the size of the engine in which it would be used. The small air coolers are used in truck or automobile engines while the large ones are used in huge diesel powered marine vessels.

Regular maintenance of the charge air cooler

Its performance has a direct implication on the performance of the engine and therefore there is a need to ensure that the cooler works at its optimum level at all times. Lower performance translates to higher operational costs since you will have to purchase more diesel or gas. In addition to this, lower performance may lead to damage of some parts of the engine necessitating replacement, a time consuming and expensive affair. Therefore the regular maintenance of the cooler is paramount irrespective of the size of the engine in question.

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But what can cause lower performance?

In most cases, lower performance is caused by a fault in the system such as a perforation or build-up of such materials as dust, carbon or sulphurous deposits on the air filters. Perforations lead to leakage of air while the deposits reduce the surface area of operation therefore slowing down the cooling process and the engine.

What does regular maintenance include?

In most cases, maintenance involves checking for any holes in the system and proper cleaning of the filters. The coolers are usually very sensitive making them very easy to destroy if not handled well. It is therefore paramount that all manufacturer's instructions are followed during maintenance. This includes the cleaning frequency, water pressure, the tools that should be used and the cleaning detergents or chemicals required for the job at hand. It is also essential for the maintenance works to be handled by a professional who has the skills and experience required.

What can cause damage to the air cooler?

In most cases, damage is caused by metal fatigue. This is usually a result of regular use and it may lead to the development of perforations in the system. Damage may also be caused by an external source. For example when a truck is engaged in a collision or any other form of accident, the air cooler may also get damaged in the process.

The importance of these coolers in ensuring operational efficiency for vehicles, marine vessels, aeroplanes and other equipment cannot be ignored. Therefore, it is good to ensure that they are well maintained to prolong their useful life and for financial reasons.