ac unit for intercooler

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 18:42
ThreadID: 66052 Views:5978 Replies:7 FollowUps:12
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has anyone ever seen or designed an intercooler that runs refrigerant through an ac system , the evaporator being just before the intake manifold and gas pumped around by small compressor. thoughts anyone
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 18:52

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 18:52
Will you get back the energy that you have to put in?

Did hear of a hill climb car that would finish every climb with his CO2 fire extinguisher strangely empty.
Went like a rocket up the hill.......

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 349527

Follow Up By: qubert - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 18:56

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 18:56
i figure it would only need to be a small compressor, maybe from a tiny japanese buzz box. nissan micra or similar. maybe it will only draw half a horse power, but make an extra 3hp and be more fuel efficient.
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 07:48

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 07:48
qubert
you dont get something for nothing.....the refrigeration compressor needs energy to run.....which gives up waste heat.....

the amount of cooling you'll get from the system needs to cater for the the size of engine operating at full revs and say at least 20c below the hottest day expected say 45c....but then, what about on cold days..do we need to cool the intake air.....probably not...so a variable capacity controlled compressor system would be ideal...not hard....
anyways, assume a 4litre at 2000rpm: it will require approx 3kWr (kilowatts refrigeration) or approx 1.25 hp to get 45c ambient down to 25c (sensible heat only)
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 07:56

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 07:56
but thats just at 40c...the turbo or blower will add a lot more heat than that during the compression, which will need to be removed
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 19:05

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 19:05
Hi qubert,

Sort of related, I remember my old uncle telling me stories when he was alive about making copper coils inside crude eskies and filling the eskies with dry ice.

They'd then run the fuel through the copper coil to cool it and make it denser as a means of increasing horsepower.

Good theory, should work. My only concern is as above, would the power increase exceed the power required to drive it.

I love a good bit of aussie innovation. Should be more of it!

Geoff

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Follow Up By: qubert - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 19:18

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 19:18
dunno if the fuel cooling thing works , as i understand it an injector is designed to deliver a certain amount of fuel no matter what temp it is. and the closer to ignition temp the fuel is the better it should burn. and i would get sick of stopping for ice too, would be good to keep my beers in......
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 19:24

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 19:24
Fair call,
The bit I forgot to mention is my uncle would today be about 102 if he was still alive.

He only knew about carburettors!! Imagine that sort of 20th Century technology!!

If you tell a young bloke these days about a carburettor he won't believe you!

Geoff

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Follow Up By: qubert - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 19:33

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 19:33
i think the spitfires where fuel injected in the 1920's . but that technology didnt filter to cars until about 1962 with rover . tahts all i know if anyone correct me- but we are off the subject i think
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Follow Up By: Cruiser .- Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 20:27

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 20:27
qubert,

Just for your info, the 1st Spitfire didnt go into service until 6 Sep 1940.

See Spitfire for more info

Cheers,

Cruiser
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 01:20

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 01:20
Spitfire-

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Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 20:19

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 20:19
"the evaporator being just before the intake manifold and gas pumped around by small compressor. thoughts anyone"

The theory's good, but I think the size of the unit would need to be calculated against the load on the evaporator, in this case the air that is being cooled for the turbo. Then there is the minimum air flow across the evaporator, like at low speed or stopped at lights etc......... there still needs to be air flow across the evaporator or the refrigerant within the system won't get boiled off, resulting in a condition called liquid flood back to the compressor. I would guess that a fan unit will be required to ensure there is enough air movement to prevent this. (Although I am versed in commercial air and refrigeration, auto air is something I try to avoid, so it may well be that auto air compressors are designed to cope with the stresses that result from flooding.) Also there still needs to be a condenser for the system, so it would have to be mounted somewhere as well.

I have noted a few times how well my turbo diesel responds to cool/cold days driving, not that we get too many cool/cold days here in SE Qld, but give the diesel a cold intake and she gallops along the road.

I like this idea, would love to see someone run with it, even in theory to see if it's worthwhile. There are few other Fridgies on EO.... anyone else care to have a think about it??

Cheers

Brian
AnswerID: 349546

Reply By: Best Off Road - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 20:53

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 20:53
The old rule of thumb was that for every 1 degree increase in air temp you lost 1 HP in a turbo car.

Based on that would the aircon system draw more power than the compensating air temp drop it would cause?

Based on using thermometer I find the air from an A/C comes out at 4 degrees even on a 35 degree day. Hence a supposed 31 HP advantage. I strongly doubt an A/C unit uses 31 HP.

BUT

I'll take a wild guess and suggest that the automotive geniuses are much smarter than my humble self and have deduced that the power drawn exceeds the power gained.

BUT (again) perhaps it is a concept yet to be thorougly researched.

Jim.



AnswerID: 349551

Follow Up By: qubert - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 21:38

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 21:38
so if my turbo diesel is 100hp measured at 25 deg c. on a 40 degree day its only 85hp.

but this is what i figure - on a 'normal' day say 30deg 30% humid,i know that the intake air on a turbo 4.2 nissan is about 90deg c . and once a water to air intake is added it goes to about 60deg. so an ac cooling system is going to have to go from 90deg to atleast 40deg or its not worth it, also remembering that there will be about 10000l of air for every litre of fuel going over the evaporator .
i wonder if the flow of hot air will overwhelm the cold air and just heat up anyway.
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Follow Up By: robak (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 11:50

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 11:50
Jim,

the air out of your AC air might come out at 4 degrees but another factor to consider is at what volume. The amount of air the AC produces might only be half of the required. Therefore you'd need to top it up with other air which is at 35 deg C, giving you a resulting air temp of about 20 degrees. Hence an increase of only 15HP.

R.
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Reply By: awill4x4 - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 22:29

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 22:29
The sheer volume of hot air generated by the turbo would far exceed the capacity of a vehicle air con unit to control that heat.
The Laminova water to air intercoolers we are building apparently can run air con gas through them but I'm skeptical of whether it would work in real life.
Ford in the USA introduced a clever system on their Lightning pickups where they used a water to air intercooler system but had a separate reservoir of fluid super cooled by the air con unit. Under the right conditions of wide open throttle and full boost it would release this extra cold fluid for extra cooling but it was only for a short time. When the throttle position returned to normal the "now hot" fluid in the reservoir was then cooled again by the air con unit in readiness for the next full throttle run.
Below are some pics of the Laminova water to air units we're playing with at the moment. The last couple of pics are of a 12 core unit going on a supercharged LS1 in a 1952 Ford Mercury, we'll see how it goes then may twin turbo it if we want more power.
Regards Andrew.




AnswerID: 349566

Follow Up By: awill4x4 - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 22:52

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 22:52
Oh and another couple of pics, the 1st one shows the cnc'd endplates we had made up to direct the water flow through all of the 12 cores. The 2nd pic shows the original idea we had for a water to air unit on the Mercury. A more traditional design of tube and fin but still very different to normal intercooler construction with 3 cores welded together in differing tube and fin pitches and a size of approx 400mm X 400mm X 140mm deep so it's a massive volume.
We've shelved this for the time being so as to concentrate on the Laminova intercoolers. (it's all part time after hours and there's never enough time to get done all we want.)
Regards Andrew.


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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 07:53

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 07:53
when will i be able to take it for a test drive

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Reply By: Member - DOZER- Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 09:13

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 09:13
Air conditioning systems like to have a bludge, they cant sustain 100% duty cycle, or they overheat. You would need to build the system twice the size you calculate it would need to be to keep up in the first place. Turbo air is usually 60-150 degrees....the idea of cooling coolant below ambient by having a store in the ac system available upon full throttle application is a great idea.....theoretically you would sacrifice some comfort for some power in that instance.
Andrew
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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Reply By: Honky - Thursday, Feb 19, 2009 at 16:58

Thursday, Feb 19, 2009 at 16:58
What about the principle of the old kerosene fridges?
All they had is a heat source ie wick to warm part of the gas which when evaporated cooled inside the fridge.
No moving parts.
Now all we have to do is find a heat source under the bonnet.

Honky
AnswerID: 349903

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