An intercooler is a specialized mechanical device used in engines to cool the fuel after combustion. After combustion, the fuel passes through a series of stages, called fuel mixing, in order to convert it into useful energy. As fuel is mixed with oxygen in the combustion chamber, energy is released as heat and the fuel/oxygen mixture is changed into carbon dioxide, which is vital to the continued operation of an engine. Compacting a fuel also increases its internal pressure, which in turn reduces its density and increases its temperature. An intercooler usually takes the shape of a heat exchanger which eliminates waste heat from a fuel-burning engine. The intake charge air filter provides the fuel with oxygen during combustion, while a combustible fuel sits on the hot surface of the intercooler.
Intercoolers are extremely efficient and economical cooling systems, which provide an excellent solution for increasing fuel economy and reducing emissions while maintaining superior performance. Because intercooler can cool a large portion of an engine at once, they are often found alongside fans in order to maximize air flow. While smaller diameter intercooler come with high pressure fans to draw air through the system, bigger intercooler come with blowers to help dissipate engine heat.
Commonly found as metal piping or aluminum blocks, intercooler come in numerous different shapes and sizes. While most designs are straight, some have offset tips, which allow them to be placed in the best location to cool the engine. Some intercooler even come equipped with dual-hosed fins to assist cooling in two different directions. Intercoolers also come in a variety of materials, such as copper and stainless steel. With a multitude of options and functions to suit any automotive or custom engine, intercoolers are becoming increasingly popular in today’s automotive world.