Charge Air Coolers

Charge air coolers to improve the volumetric efficiency of engines

Charge air coolers reduce the air temperature as it enters the engine to improve the volumetric efficiency. It’s located between the turbocharger or supercharger and the engine inlet. The equipment is cooled by water and uses finned tubes to remove heat from the combustion air flow.

What you can expect from Sterling Thermal Technology

  • Robust housing – Fully pressure tight duct work interfacing accurately to your charge air supply, including inspection access openings if required.

  • Improved design life – Our ability to match tube and fin materials using Elfin means a reduced potential for electrolytic action extending the design life of the cooler.

  • Improved heat transfer – Should you need your coolers to be refurbished, we can replace existing surfaces with like for like tube and fin materials. Alternatively, we can upgrade designs using our high specification surface.

How charge air cooler work

A charge air cooler uses water to remove heat from the air stream after it has been pressurised in the turbocharger. During the pressurisation, the air stream is heated to the region of 200oC. To optimise the combustion process, we need to reduce the air temperature to approximately 40oC. The turbocharger raises the pressure of the air stream by 50kPa (0.5 bar), which results in a mass flow increase to the combustion cylinders of 50%. The duct is designed to withstand this pressure.

The coolant in marine environments may be either seawater or recirculated fresh water. This will impact on the materials selected. In applications in the power generation, rail or industrial sectors there may be a range of other challenges including the potential for other airborne pollutants or imposition of high levels of vibration.


Specificity of marine environments

In marine environments, the air stream is moist and salt laden. Following pressurisation, the relative humidity of the airstream increases. As a result, there is a significant potential for condensation of moisture once the air stream is recooled to 40oC. This together with the presence of other contaminants in the air stream can result in significant risk of corrosion of fins and tubes at the outlet face of the cooler. To minimise this risk, we can match tube and fin materials through the depth of the tube bundle to optimise heat transfer. We can even apply titanium fin to titanium tube in the most aggressive environments.

If you feel you need another type of heat exchanger, visit our products and services page or contact us.

Customised heat exchangers

Over 100 years of design & manufacturing knowledge

Your partner for the entire lifecycle of your business

We have been happy to purchase direct replacements for our diesel engine charge air coolers from Sterling Thermal. We worked in close collaboration with them to improve the design life of the coolers. We were delighted that they used their Elfin and upgraded fin materials in key locations through the cooler.

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We customise our heat exchange solution to meet your requirements, so contact us today to discover the right equipment for you.

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