Importance Of Charge Air Cooler Cleaning

Boats and ships have charge air coolers in their engines. These are devices that reduce the temperature of air in the intake manifold with the aim of increasing air density. When dense air is ignited, it produces more power, thereby improving the efficiency and performance of the engine. Charge air coolers are usually installed between the engine's air intake and the turbocharger or supercharger. While superchargers and turbochargers are crucial in boosting the efficiency and performance of the system, they usually raise the temperature of air, which is a huge disadvantage. By installing a charge air cooler in-between the turbocharger and the intake of the engine, the temperature of air can be reduced considerably. As a result, air density will also be reduced. 

Learn more about charge air cooler cleaning

The Benefits of Having a Charge Air Cooler

Just having a charge air cooler in the engine's intake isn't enough; you also need to service the charge air cooler. Regular charge air cooler cleaning will help to ensure the system is in good working condition. A well-functioning charge air cooler will reduce combustion temperatures, boost fuel efficiency, increase torque and reduce emissions. 

Why Clean Charge Air Coolers Regularly?

It is important to note that this device is simply a heat exchanger. Air flows in one direction towards the engine while cool sea water flows in the opposite direction. The counter-current flow of sea water helps to ensure that the device can extract as much heat as possible from the air. After passing through the device, air will have a much lower temperature. 
Sea water is saline and contains a wide range of other impurities that can build up inside the charge air cooler. As a result, the flow rate of sea water through the device will reduce considerably because of scaling. However, it is not just the sea water side of the cooler that will develop scaling. The air side of the cooler may become contaminated with oily deposits. Proper cleaning of both the air and sea water sides of the charge air cooler must be done to ensure the system performs optimally. This should be done by a professional to prevent damage. 

How Cleaning is Done

Charge air coolers require regular cleaning as well as more specialised cleaning. Be sure to use the recommended charge air cooler cleaner to clean the air side of the cooler. Most cleaners will require dilution before being used. While larger engines may have a dedicated circulation system for charge air coolers, smaller engines do not. Therefore, the device must be uninstalled and cleaned separately. Once detached, the device is soaked in solvent or the specified cleaner. 

Charge Air Cooler Maintenance

It is crucial to note that when a charge air cooler has a leak, it can have a detrimental effect on the performance of the engine and fuel efficiency. A leaking cooler will increase engine emissions and cause frequent breakdowns that can reduce the lifespan of the engine. During servicing, therefore, both cleaning and inspection of the charge air cooler must be done.