A turbo or commonly known as a turbocharger is a device driven by a turbine and forces induction, increasing the power of an internal combustion engine by forcing more compressed air and by extension more fuel into the combustion chamber.
This type of engine is an upgrade to the naturally aspirated engines that make use of atmospheric pressure only.
Turbo engines are used in cars, airplanes, trucks, and another heavy-duty vehicles.
What is an intercooler?
An intercooler is a mechanical device that is used to cool the temperature raised due to internal heat generated from a combustion engine after gas compression.
In other words, they remove excess heat from a the engine.
There are basically two sorts of intercooler: liquid-to-air and air-to-air.
When choosing which type of intercooler to use, what is usually considered is the efficiency of the intercooler, the power output, and the type of vehicle.
In liquid-to-air intercooler, exchange of heat takes place between a liquid and the compressed air; The liquid in this case is a called a coolant.
Heat is transferred from the compressed air in the manifold to the coolant.
Coolant commonly used include antifreeze, water or both. The coolant circulates through one set of passage in the actual intercooler, and the intake air leaves through another passage.
Heat is exchanged between the coolant and the intake air in the intercooler.
One major advantage of liquid-to-air intercooler is it effectiveness in removing heat from hot intake air which is four times better than air-to-air intercoolers.
In air-to-air intercooler, exchange of heat takes place between the compressed external air touching the outer surface of the intercooler. This type of intercooler is more common.
The air-to-air intercooler are highly reliable, affordable, and easy to install in your care engine.
This is the arrangement that is most commonly used on commercial scales in the OEM automotive market.
However, as with anything else, air-to-air intercoolers have advantages as as serious disadvantages, so let us look at some of the-
What does non intercooled mean?
Non-intercooled implies that the engine does not make use of an intercooler to reduce the internal heat generated during combustion.
The engine still works very well as long as low boost is applied. Also, the efficiency of the system is reduced.
A turbo engine without an intercooler is prone to overheating especially during the summer. Using an intercooler can boost the performance of the engine.
Engines without intercooler are also exposed to more horsepower loss, more detonation and increased risk of engine failure.
Do all turbos have intercoolers?
No, they don’t. Several diesel engines from the past comes with a pipe from the outlet of the compressor side and straight into the take manifold.
Since the purpose of intercoolers is to lower the temperature of the compressed air so it becomes more dense and packs more air charge into the cylinder.
Engines without intercoolers will have different fuel settings from those with intercoolers. These days, to see turbocharged engine without intercooler is rare.
Can you run a turbo without an intercooler?
Yes you can. To do this you have to ensure that the engine runs below 5 lbs or low boost.
They is no need to make any changes to your turbo engine.
As stated earlier, running your turbocharged engine without intercooler will reduce the efficacy of the system so might not be the best of ideas.
If you still chose to, you might want to consider getting quality turbo from a credible store or make use of other types of cooling systems.
Can intercooler increase HP?
Intercoolers cool compressed air entering the engine, reducing the risk of detonation occurring.
The compressed air also becomes denser which makes the air-to-fuel mix in the engine cylinders richer and proportionally more power output.
So we can say the answer is yes, an intercooler can help increase horsepower. It is worthy of note,
aspirated car engines don’t need an intercooler because the air fed into the engine has already been cooled by the radiator and the cooling system ducts, and adding an aspirator would be of little use.
How much HP can an intercooler add?
To determine how much power an intercooler adds to a turbo engine, certain factors are considered.
Intercoolers are generally 70% efficient in cooling the compressed air in a turbocharged engine.
Other aspects that affect the increased horsepower include the design of the intercooler and the piping; the intercooler position in your engine’s bay; or the size and type of the intercooler.
When all these variables are considered, an intercooler may provide a 5% – 10% increase in horsepower.