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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! I've been doing a lot of reading on these liquid-to-air heat exchangers. From what i can tell, they are definitely worth the money...But I'm trying to get other opinions on them from people who have actually used them...Were you happy with it??? I mean, strictly from the text that i have read, i can't see why people are still using intercoolers for their turbos...i mean, less piping, less weight, less turbo lag, smaller in size....is there a reason these aren't being used by more people???
 

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What's your application actually? Street, strip, circuit?
 

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Air-to-water doesn't have the cooling capacity of an air-to-air. Air-to-water is fine for a street car and great for a drag racer. I wouldn't used it on a roadrace or hard driven street car.
 

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Air-to-water doesn't have the cooling capacity of an air-to-air. Air-to-water is fine for a street car and great for a drag racer. I wouldn't used it on a roadrace or hard driven street car.
There you have it. I'd like to add a few things. Generally, a more heavily tuned street car might integrate a second air-to-water element at the front of the car but. The first element would be used to exchange heat with the intake charge and the water with the second shedding heat to the atmosphere(front-mount) This requires a larger reservior and a higher-flowing pump(thermoswitch and thermosensor enabled, maybe even with its own fan) In this way, you pay a weight penalty but increase the cooling capacity over time.

The only drawback to the air-to-water cooler is that it is not able to dissipate heat over prolonged periods of time because water retains heat for longer than air. With the latter setup, it can, if the second element is efficient enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
oh ok i see...that would explain why i dont see them on too many cars, at least around here...

so, mechanix_034...do you think that kind of setup would be worth the amount of work and money invested??? I plan on upgrading the cooling system in my tib that i use as a daily driver/weekend racer (and i like to have fun on the freeways and interstates too) I plan on slappin a custom turbo system in there too... so would i be smarter to just upgrade my intercooler or move over to the air to liquid and install 2 or even 3 like you were explaining?
 

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Unless you're building a drag racer, stick with the air-to-air. If you are going to drag race, the air-to water has the ability to cool to below ambient because you can put ice in the reservoir. The ice only lasts a few minutes though, so this is no benefit on a street car.
 

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Im running a water-to-air and its just fine for street use as you can buy stuff from DEI to keep it cool while at the track Ill be ruinng ice blocks to keep it cold
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
how long can you drive it before it gets too hot? i have a pretty good drive to work everyday thats why i ask...
 

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Think about heat flow.


Charged Air to Ambient Air is not gonna pull as much heat out, at first, because the Ambient isn't as cold as the water temp. But Ambient air won't heat up as much as water, and can keep cooling, because new ambient air is always entering the engine bay.


"Air to Water" is Really Charged Air to Water to Ambient Air. So it's gonna be less efficient at getting heat out because not all the heat transfers at each step.

It may get the charged air cooler at first, but when the water temp is lower than ambient, the ambient is working against the water by putting heat into the water. So the water gets warm faster than if it were just Air to Water. Once the water temp gets up, where will all it's heat go? Water holds heat better, plus requiring an extra step of heat transfer is going to decrease the whole systems efficiency.



I'm just making up numbers, but 250 degree charged air is cooled by 110 degree water is cooled by 77 degree ambient air. Or if you went air to air, 250 degree charged air is cooled by 77 degree ambient. Remember, the greater the difference, the better cooling "capacity".

So really the only benefit is the time it takes the water to get to ambient temp. and since it's being "fed heat from both ends" that is most likely a matter of less than 10 mins. at a time. Then you'll want to cool it down again for awhile, since water cools down slow.


so basically, the same thing cobra and mechanix said.:D
 

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doesn't Corky Bell state, as well as a few other authors, that water-to-air is much more efficient?

Generally speaking, air-to-air is used more because it is much cheaper and easier to maintain, but water-to-air is more efficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i understand all that :) im just tryin to figure out how long he can drive, from someone that Has one in there car he would be able to give me a "for Fact" answer...not common sense logic answer...you know what i mean? cuz hell, ive already made the decision to go air to air for my daily driver...but i have a couple other projects so i might just drop one in and have fun with it on the track or something. :) but im just gathering information from someone using it...thanks tho
 

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doesn't Corky Bell state, as well as a few other authors, that water-to-air is much more efficient?
Either you couldn't read my post, or you refused to believe it; because I didn't write Maximum Boost, so I must have no idea what I'm talking about.:rolleyes: I'm sorry, but I detest people who refuse to think for themselves, and blindly rely on someone else, even if they are usually right. Let me RESTATE what I already said.
requiring an extra step of heat transfer is going to decrease the whole systems efficiency.
Yes, if you only count the air to water step, it's gonna "suck" more heat out (what you are thinking is more efficient,) AT FIRST, because there is a bigger temperature difference between the water and the charged air.

But that's not the whole intercooler system. If you count the entire air-to-water-to-air system, then no, it won't be as efficient because there are more steps of heat transfer, and heat transfer is never 100% efficient at any of the steps. So you start to get cumulative inefficiencies.

PLUS, it'll be "suck" less heat out in the long run (less efficient) at any time the water temp is above ambient air temp.

im just tryin to figure out how long he can drive, from someone that Has one in there car he would be able to give me a "for Fact" answer...not common sense logic answer...you know what i mean?
True, I don't have one in my car. The honest answer is it depends on how the car is driven. Drag racing takes less time to heat the engine block and the charged air, than stoplight to stoplight dinking around. But either way, it's gonna be less than 10 minutes from engine start until you're fighting the water temp, trying to get it to cool down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
first off, shut up! obviously if this person is able to quote an author on his words he's studying something so that he is Not "blindly relying on someone else." so you're just being a diK because they're not rolling over and just believing you because You said so...what you're saying is strictly theoretical and full of incomplete information so you wanna help? then by all means, help...but you wanna be an a$$hole about people putting in their 2 cents, then leave my post cuz this is about cars not dramatic pansies who want everyone to believe them...
 

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first off, shut up! obviously if this person is able to quote an author on his words he's studying something so that he is Not "blindly relying on someone else." so you're just being a diK because they're not rolling over and just believing you because You said so...what you're saying is strictly theoretical and full of incomplete information so you wanna help? then by all means, help...but you wanna be an a$$hole about people putting in their 2 cents, then leave my post cuz this is about cars not dramatic pansies who want everyone to believe them...
I hate to say this, but there is a very big difference between theory and practice. Yes, Corky Bell's book is a great place to start. Let's put it this way; when you consider the practical applications of technology one way of doing things can make sense. But when you factor in operation over a given period of time things begin to clear up. Let me make it clear as folllows;

doesn't Corky Bell state, as well as a few other authors, that water-to-air is much more efficient?

Generally speaking, air-to-air is used more because it is much cheaper and easier to maintain, but water-to-air is more efficient.
This is true from the research perspective. However, when you extend the operational period of the air-to-water setup the efficiency will begin to drop until the air-to-air setup becomes more efficient. This is because water retains heat for far longer than air. This makes the water-to-air setup highly suitable for drag racing or time attack(one-lap time trial) however, its efficiency will not last the full length of a circuit race or even a 5-lap Sprint. There is also the weight penalty of the air-to-water system, and for it to be as efficient over a long period of time the reservior will need to be larger(hence a greater weight penalty)

It is also more efficient for street use, since under normal operation not much heat is produced. The air-to-water core is also smaller, taking advantage of heat scavenging hence impeding flow less than an air-to-air unit. However, when you talk about overall efficiency, you also need to factor in the application of the technology under scrutiny. In this case, its horses for courses:

-Short duration, extreme high output spurts or,
-prolonged high output operation
-daily, low-output operation with intermittent spurts

As for cost, I'd need to point out that a comprehensive, competition-grade air-to-water system designed for Sprints would require a remote reservior of no less than 5 liters, a second air-to-water heat exchanger(to shed the water's heat to the ambient air) a primary pump and a booster pump(used at the reservior in order to minimize pressure drop and hot-spotting within the system) This is TRUE. This also represents a substantial increase in weight over the air-to-air setup.

Now, the question becomes:

-How much more power do you need to accelerate a car with the comprehensive air-to-water system down the quarter mile in a specific time, that time being constant with a vehicle running an air-to-air setup(this addresses the weight penalty of a comprehensive, competition-grade system not the lightweights on the street)

This is the basic knowledge of an applied setup, not a theoretical one.

I'll try to get further into it if you want m8, but in the end it comes down to application.
 

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Here is something great to use if your running water-to-air on the street

Design Engineering, Inc. - Chill Charger™

Chill Charger™ for water-to-air intercoolers maximizes thermal transfer to lower air intake temperatures while also protecting core corrosion, electrolysis and harmful mineral build up. By effectively transferring water that circulates through the intercooler Chill Charger™ reduces liquid heat soak in high performance turbo and supercharger systems.
 

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I am thinking about using a water to air intercooler on my turbo setup. I will try and integrate a few peltier junctions which have the ability to cool the water down quit abit.


Incase you don't know what a peltier junction is, it's a semiconductor junction that when you apply electricity to one side gets hot the other cold. They can get cold enogh to freeze water if set up right.


So I figured it would be worth a try.

Nick
 

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To make it cool the water enough to have any effect on performance would put a large draw on your car's electrical system. There's a reason nobody already sells peltier cooling systems for cars.
 
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