A charge air cooler is used to cool engine air after the engine passes through the turbocharger but before entering the engine. Our idea is to return the air to a lower temperature to get the best power from the combustion process inside the engine.
The size of the charge air cooler depends on the engine. The smallest is often referred to as an intercooler and is connected to a car engine or truck engine. The largest reserve is for large marine diesel engines and weighs over 2 tons (see picture).
Marine diesel engine charge-air coolers are still manufactured in Europe, despite the very largest engines mostly being built in the Far East. Vestas aircoil A/S and GEA are the oldest makers still in business.
The first marine diesel engine charge air cooler was built by Vestas aircoil A/S in 1956.
There is some confusion in the terminology between the aftercooler, the intercooler and the charge air cooler. In the past, aircraft engines were running a turbocharger in stages, where the first stage compressor would supply the inlet of the second stage compressor, which will further compress the air before it enters the engine. The air cooler is located between the first stage and the second stage compressor due to the extremely high pressure. That cooler is an "intercooler".
Another cooler would be positioned after the second stage, which was the final compressor stage, and that was the "aftercooler". An aftercooler was the cooler whose outlet fed the engine.
The charge air cooler is just an all-encompassing term, which means it can cool the turbocharged air before it enters the engine. Typically, a charge air cooler is an air-to-air cooler in which ambient air flowing through a heat exchanger is used to dissipate heat, just like a coolant radiator of an engine. Although the multi-stage turbocharger system is still used in some tractor traction grades, selected high performance diesel engines, and also for newer late stage commercial diesel engines, the term intercooler and aftercooler synonym is now used. The term intercooler is widely used to mean between a turbocharger and an engine. The term, intercooler or aftercooler are all correct, but this is the origin of the two terms and is used interchangeably by experts at all levels.
The intercooler or "Charge-Air Cooler" is an air-to-air or air-liquid heat exchange device for turbocharged and supercharged (forced induction) internal combustion engines that increases their volumetric efficiency by increasing the charge of the intake air. Isometric cooling. The reduction in intake air temperature provides the engine with a denser intake air volume and allows more air and fuel to be burned per engine cycle, thereby increasing the engine's output.
The interframe prefix in the device name is derived from the historical compressor design. In the past, aircraft engines were built with charge coolers that were installed between multiple stages of boost, so inter was specified. Modern car designs are technically designated as aftercoolers because they are located at the end of the boost chain. Since most forced induction vehicles have a single stage supercharger or turbocharger, the term is now considered obsolete in modern vehicle terms. In a two-stage turbocharged vehicle, there may be an intercooler (between the two turbocharger units) and an aftercooler (between the second stage turbocharger and the engine). Typically, an intercooler or aftercooler is referred to as a charge air cooler.