View Full Version : Supercooler Technology

12-08-2003, 11:34 PM
This was an idea that crossed my mind in a primitive form. Droptop5.0 brought it up in another thread. Just wondering about the potential and plausibility of this "idea". My thought was how to make the A/C in our cars be used to cool the intercooler. How about an electric A/C instead of a belt driven A/C? That way you could run some sort of "tube" from the A/C to the intercooler and turn on the A/C without any drag on the engine, and blow COLD air into the intercooler. This description is primitive at best. Haven't put too much thought into it, obviously.

Here's a short clip of what Ford has come up with:

Ford’s patented SuperCooler technology cleverly provides a special burst of power for the SVT Lightning concept. Traditional intercoolers dissipate heat from the supercharged air by circulating coolant through a front-mounted, air-cooled radiator. With the SuperCooler system, the vehicle’s air conditioning system is used to chill a small storage tank of coolant to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

On demand, the SuperCooler system switches the intercooler flow from its normal circulation and dumps the chilled coolant into the engine’s intercooler. In turn, the intercooler dissipates up to 20 percent more heat from the charge air - resulting in a denser air charge.

A green light on the instrument panel indicates the system’s readiness. SuperCooler is activated automatically when the driver depresses the accelerator to a wide-open-throttle position.

12-09-2003, 01:23 AM
There were a few posts here a while ago to a aftermarket company that used an A/C expansion core in the center of a box that flowed supercharged/turbocharged air.

The idea was to pass the superheated air over the refridgerant cooled A/C core.

By claiming a below ambient air cooling charge, the idea of parasitic drag to drive the A/C vs. power gained from additional air charge cooling proved to be in the advantage (the companies claim).

However, the system appeared to be too bulky and complex for the average D.I.Yer to install. And considering that the unit was expensive and not custom fit for many specific applications, it wasn't a hot seller. PLus to get any benefit from the system, the A/C had to be running. So let's say in 50degree weather the owner doesn't have the A/C running, they'd actually be running non-intercooled boost into their engine.

Also our cars have a WOT A/C cutout switch. The Ford idea is pretty cool (no pun intended) and dumps supercooled coolant in the air/water intercooler. But we have Air/air intercooling. This still requires the A/C system to cycle frequently to keep the "reserve" coolant chilled properly for that sudden boost.

12-09-2003, 02:35 AM
Do you happen to have a link for that setup? I was looking for some specific info on how they set it up and couldnt find it....

12-09-2003, 08:14 AM
Originally posted by Deep6
There were a few posts here a while ago to a aftermarket company that used an A/C expansion core in the center of a box that flowed supercharged/turbocharged air.

The idea was to pass the superheated air over the refridgerant cooled A/C core.

I was thinking more of keeping the intercooler functional during "normal" driving but having the option to use the A/C "somehow" to cool the different parts of the intake system, intercooler included. Doesn't seem like it would be to big of a deal, but like I said before, I haven't put too much thought into it:D

12-09-2003, 06:33 PM
I'm thinking that, judging by the lack of replies, this is another Darkside "dumb*** moment". Either that or you guys are so in awe of my inginuity and creative thinking that you are rendered "speechless".:eek: I'm betting on the first one. Oh well, it sure seemed like a groundbreaking idea at 1:00 in the morning!:p Where are the moderators when you really need them!:rolleyes:

12-09-2003, 09:46 PM
Just a quick note.. The A/C supercooled intercooler is a 1 shot sort of deal. The A/C is used to overcool the charge, but not on a constant basis. This is because by using the A/C, you are consuming energy to run the compressor. To make that energy, consumes more power than you gain if it were to run constantly. That is in effect how the Ford concept works also. After your burst of power, you have to wait for the A/C to recool the IC again.

The 2nd law of thermodynamics explains why this is true, but its rather complicated to explain it. In a nutshell, it states that in any realizable process, you can't win, and you can't break even. Effenciency is how close to "break even" you get.

Ahh shoot.. here's a link, but it may be difficult reading:

Randy N Connie
12-09-2003, 10:04 PM
If you had a airbox that would pull it fresh air though the AC into
the MAF and cold air tube.This would help a little bit.

And then build some double walled ic tubes. and then run gas between the ic
tube walls to freeze.This would help and be cheap to fab up.But this to would
be a short shot of cold air.Like the Ford a/c cooler.


12-10-2003, 10:33 AM
There is a lot more to using the A/C to cool the intake charge than what Ford is letting on with their technology. Keeping in mind that the vehicle this device is supposidly in was a concept vehicle and not production.

A lot of this has to do with basic laws of physics and how A/C systems operate.

I would think that ideally you would need a separate evaporator and a separate expansion valve. That would get you a cold hunk of steel (the evaporator) assuming your condensor is sufficiently sized to deal with the extra heat the second evaporator would be absorbing.

Now keep in mind an A/C system works by transfering heat from one region to another. It doesn't so much as cool the fins on the evaporator as absorbes the heat, creating a relatively cool area and moves the heat through the A/C lines where it is released in the condenser.

So the next step is getting something hot by the A/C evaporator for it to take the heat away. You could try and place the A/C evaporator in the path of the intake air charge. But then you are limited to the ability of the evaporator to move heat and also need to build an evaporator that can deal with external pressures up to 20 or 30 psi.

Perhaps it would then be better to use water as the mechanism to move the heat to the evaporator. Submerging the evaporator in water would then chill the water quite well. Then using a standard core for a Air to Water intercooler pipe the chilled water through it.

Keeping in mind you can only exchange as much heat as your condenser can get rid of.

It would require some time consuming engineering and packaging to make it all work. It could be done. But the costs involved would likely be larger than the cost of a decent front mount intercooler. The benefits would depend on how well it would be engineered.

12-10-2003, 05:56 PM
I think this is what you're looking for.

coolflow.com (http://www.coolflow.com/intracooler/intercooler.htm)