Turbocharger Cooling - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Turbocharger Cooling

I was thinking about this earlier today, looking at pics like this, it's apparent the amount of heat that turbochargers themselves put out:





Would it be possible and beneficial to surround the turbocharger itself with some sort of liquid coolant and have a separate radiator just for the turbo?

If this is what an intercooler is, forgive my ignorance, I don't know turbocharging very well.

Also, if that is what an intercooler does, why doesn't it surround the turbo housing, that must cause the air to heat up drastically before hitting the intake, even if it is compressed, there must be a substantial loss of combustibility.

Thoughts, comments, questions, etc, please post away.

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post #2 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:36 PM
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let me finish eating first and i will answer.

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post #3 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:43 PM
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that glowing isnt really itself fromt eh turbo but rather the extremely how exhaust gases heating the turbo casing till it glows

as for cooling it it would be detrimental sine the turbo depends on the velocity of flow of the hot exhaust gases to spin it up, if you cool it off you reduce both volume and velocity of the gas.

triplez on here knows a lot about turbos you can pick his brain about em till your head explodes

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post #4 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:44 PM
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My answer applies to heavy duty diesels. Think semi trucks.


The turbo is oil cooled. The oil is cooled by engine coolant.

Intercooler (sometimes called a charged air cooler) cools the intake air.

If I saw a truck with a turbo running that hot I would call the fire department.
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post #5 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:48 PM
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ok am back.

Would it be possible and beneficial to surround the turbocharger itself with some sort of liquid coolant and have a separate radiator just for the turbo?

A: the turbo use your engine oil to lube and cool itself.

If this is what an intercooler is, forgive my ignorance, I don't know turbocharging very well.

A: Intercooler is what the turbo use to suck in cool air from the outside.

Also, if that is what an intercooler does, why doesn't it surround the turbo housing, that must cause the air to heat up drastically before hitting the intake, even if it is compressed, there must be a substantial loss of combustibility.

A:the heat you see is because the turbo use the exhust to produce the spinning of the turbo. the exhust housing is conneted to the turbo. so the more exhust is leaving the car, the faster the turbo spin and produce BOOST.

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post #6 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtbiker View Post
My answer applies to heavy duty diesels. Think semi trucks.


The turbo is oil cooled. The oil is cooled by engine coolant.

Intercooler (sometimes called a charged air cooler) cools the intake air.

If I saw a truck with a turbo running that hot I would call the fire department.

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post #7 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Nice, Thank you all very much.

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post #8 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:55 PM

 
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There are liquid cooled turbos. But when you have that much heat. I don't know that it's a big benefit. The intercooler is just a way to reduce the temperature of the intake air that is being fed into the turbo. Cooler denser air gives great rewards in the turbo enviroment.

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post #9 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:55 PM
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Nice, Thank you all very much.
welcome bro. that is why we babysit the computer.

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post #10 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 06:09 PM
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the liquid cooled turbos only have water passaged in the center section for the bearings mainly , not the glowing housing as is seen in the pic

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post #11 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 06:12 PM
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welcome bro. that is why we babysit the computer.
Yeah, except for Greg, why the hell are you all posting here and not outside enjoying the day?

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post #12 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 06:19 PM
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i was outside, did 200 miles in 4 hours and am now resting before heading out again

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post #13 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 06:23 PM
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The diesels produced after 04 also have Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) systems as they are required by new emmision laws. If you didn't know, EGR's send the exhaust back through the combustion process to burn unburnt fuel particles. In order to work efficiently, the exhaust gasses also have to pass through a cooler. (EGR cooler)

08 saw another round of emmision laws, this time a diesel particulate filter. It's a big ass cylinder that catches what the EGR misses. These things are huge, and full of precious metals.

The emissions laws of the past ten years have really had an effect on the trucking industry. In 02, you could expect your 500hp truck to come of the showroom floor at around $100,000. It would pull down an awesome 8-9 miles to the gallon. The same hp specs will now run you closer to $120,000. Mileage is down to 5-6, if everything's working well. Clog that particulate filter (it needs to be cleaned periodically), and it starts dropping even more.

'10 will see another round of emissions equipment, and the early estimates I've been hearing is another 7-10k on the pricetag.
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post #14 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b boy View Post

A: Intercooler is what the turbo use to suck in cool air from the outside.
This is incorrect.

An intercooler cools the air after the turbo has sucked it in (turbo heats the air through compression and convection) and before it reaches the combustion chamber.

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post #15 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 06:32 PM
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Yeah, except for Greg, why the hell are you all posting here and not outside enjoying the day?
am working boss but i rode to work.

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post #16 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 06:35 PM
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Almost all the locomotives I use have a turbo. A few use a supercharger. When a turbo is shut down when it is hot, it suffers coking. We have to idle an engine for 15 minutes to let the turbo cool. The average engine I use produces 5k horsepower. It's fun when you have 5 of them online.
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post #17 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. D View Post
This is incorrect.

An intercooler cools the air after the turbo has sucked it in (turbo heats the air through compression and convection) and before it reaches the combustion chamber.
sorry, what i was typing and thinking was two different things. i meant the intercooler is what cools the air going to the engine. sorry.

i should know better. i drove a carcar.

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post #18 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave13 View Post
Almost all the locomotives I use have a turbo. A few use a supercharger. When a turbo is shut down when it is hot, it suffers coking. We have to idle an engine for 15 minutes to let the turbo cool. The average engine I use produces 5k horsepower. It's fun when you have 5 of them online.
I've seen these at Detoit Diesel (Electro Motive). They are fucking huge. The core charge for a reman was $25,000.
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post #19 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 07:15 PM
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The instructors in engineer school hammered home letting the turbo cool before shutting it down, so I figured they were $$$. I grenaded a turbo on a yard engine (3k HP), but it was hurting before I got a hold of it.
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post #20 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 07:20 PM
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the oil in the turbo is what suffers from coking, not the turbo itself really

the oil basically burns up in an enclosed space and turns to goo and will not flow

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post #21 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 08:09 PM
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a turbo that is glowing red hot is prolly making a shit load of power and working its ass off.. mmmm i miss the days of owning a turbo car.

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post #22 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
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the oil in the turbo is what suffers from coking, not the turbo itself really

the oil basically burns up in an enclosed space and turns to goo and will not flow
Yup.......

Ok....let me put on my Turbo engineer hat on.

An oil cooled turbo (standard version) can be destroyed by a hot shutdown. Basically what happens is that even though you have shut off the engine, the turbine wheel is still spinning down from 15 - 30k RPM's. The thrust bearing only lives because you are constantly supplying fresh oil (albeit very hot). As soon as you stop the flow of oil, the oil film thickness (at the elevated temp) are insufficient and you can burnish the thrust bearing. In addition, the heat from the turbine side is transmitted through the shaft and will coke (burn off) any remaining oil thats left in the bearings or thrust surface. The coked oil will prevent new oil on the next start up from flowing to all the bearings, you then get metal to metal contact. Not good.

When you do a proper shut-down your doing two things. One, your allowing the turbine to spool down to a low RPM before shutting the engine off. (5k RPM at idle). In addition, the relatively cool exhaust gases at idle draw the heat away from the turbine wheel and shaft and in effect lower the temperature below the threshold of coking. An oil cooled turbo, shut down properly, will live almost indefinitely. This is because all of the bearings are hydrodynamic. Ie. oil film bearings. There are no metal parts physically touching.

A water cooled turbo (water cooled center section) has a separate cavity in the turbo in which you flow engine coolant. This helps to remove heat from the bearings and gives a buffer between the hot turbine side and cool compressor side. (There is a slight performance benefit here.) In addition, during shut down, even a hot shut down, the coolant will flow through the center section and continually cool. Same idea as hot air / cold air. As the coolant is heated by the turbine side, it tends to rise in the cooling system, drawing fresh (colder) coolant in as is flows. A water cooled turbo is MUCH less likely to suffer coking issues from a hot shut down. But its better to be safe than sorry.

NOW.... to answer the original question. There are water cooled turbine housings. (The glowy thing in the picture). They are designed to protect the components AROUND the turbo from the immense heat, and are most common in marine applications inside engine compartments. It is actually detrimental to the performance of the turbo as a whole. As Pilotx1 said, a turbo relies on the hot exhaust gases flowing across the turbine wheel. The turbine wheel takes the heat and pressure and turns it into mechanical energy. If you remove heat from the turbine wheel or housing, you reduce the amount of heat available for spinning.

Instead of water cooling, you want to trap the heat in the turbine housing. Ceramic coatings or even ceramic parts have been used to this effect. In fact I have a ceramic turbine wheel sitting on my desk. Very neat and efficient, but easily destroyed by small high speed particles.
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post #23 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 08:25 PM
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Now onto the compressor housing.

The compressor housing of most turbos are made of aluminum because they operate at relatively low temperatures between -20C and 170C. Past 170C and high pressure turbos, and your into Ti compressor wheels and housings. Drawing in atmospheric air at 40C (average inlet temp) and the compressor will raise that up to 160C at peak boost. This is why you need an intercooler. The air is flowed through the cooler and brought down to a more manageable temperature near 60 - 100C.

What I think you were really asking, is whether or not you could water jacket the compressor side of the turbo to lower intake temperatures and increase performance. Yes...... this is possible, but there are drawbacks. Since the Compressor wheel is heated by both the turbine shaft and the act of compressing air, it expands. A typical compressor housing is heated the same amount, and will expand the same amount. But if you cool the compressor housing, the rates of expansion are not equal you get contact between the wheel and housing. Sooooo, you would have to first start off with large clearances which is not very efficient. And the only time where the compressor would be efficient is during the very short period of peak boost. This would work for a heavy rail engine (and I believe there are some versions of this) but not for an automotive cycle.

Better ways to cool the intake charge is pre-cooling, water injection, or post cooling. Most people already post-cool (after the compressor) with an air to air intercooler. But this can be improved with either a larger version or a chilled water to air. A spray bar for water or nitrous can be used to help cool the intercooler as well. Pre-cooling is important to reduce peak temperatures out of the compressor. A compressor is basically a delta pump, ie at a fixed pressure ratio it will have a fixed temperature change across it. Pull 10C out of the inlet and you pull 10C out of the discharge.

Water injection is a fun subject. It works, but not as well as most people would like. Yes it cools the turbo compressor increasing efficiency. AND the phase change of water removes alot of heat from the intake charge. BUT, you are replacing a decent percentage of the cylinder charge with water vapor. So just to make up for the water injection, you have to raise boost pressure. More pressure = more heat. So there really isnt much to gain....... but there is something. So if youve maximized all the other cooling.... a little water can always help.

Last edited by TripleZ; 04-24-2009 at 08:27 PM.
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post #24 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 10:58 PM
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Also keep in mind that alot of us running aftermarket turbos are also using ceramic blankets to keep the heat in.

I would disagree with the water injection (unless you are actually using 100% water - and I dont know anyone who is). Its the temperature you are able to achieve. You can obtain below ambient temperatures with water injection.
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post #25 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 11:38 PM
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a turbo that is glowing red hot is prolly making a shit load of power and working its ass off.. mmmm i miss the days of owning a turbo car.
you can be my friend, i have a turbo car.


man miss the good threads.

yes, there are liquid and oil cooled turbos. My car has both features. I'm just hoping my tubing hasn't rusted yet.


its a good idea to run synthetic in a turbo vehicle. thats the only time I would really run synthetic unless your racing.
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post #26 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 11:43 PM
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for the turbo engineers or someone thats really good with them.

I have a theory question.


How does a turbo create boost? I know the idea, it builds up pressure, compresses air etc...

But you can be going 70mph at 8,000 and build no boost. When you put a certain "load" on the motor, you start building boost. Going up a hill, guning it, etc...

So what is happening to the air when the motor slows down when theres a load, that causes the compressor to want to start compressing intake air?

Or is the exhaust air hotter(from the load), and its spinning the turbo side which initiates the boost?
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post #27 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 12:28 AM
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its all about the volume of exhaust coming from the engine if the turbo isnt spinning fast enough it wont build boost

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post #28 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
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its all about the volume of exhaust coming from the engine if the turbo isnt spinning fast enough it wont build boost

But what triggers it is my question. you can be going WOT and still not get any boost.
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post #29 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
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But you can be going 70mph at 8,000 and build no boost. When you put a certain "load" on the motor, you start building boost. Going up a hill, guning it, etc...
its all about how much exhaust is flowing through the turbo to spin the wheel. to maintain a speed at what ever rpm, the throttle blade is probably not open that much, therefore not much air is going into the motor and not a lot of fuel is being burned. If you were at 8k driving the car at wide open throttle, there is a TON more air entering the motor, a TON more fuel being burned, therefore a TON more exhaust going through the turbo to spin the wheel faster to create boost.

put your car in neutral and rev it up. while its revving up, there is more exhaust coming out of the tailpipes than if you just hold it at lets say 4k rpm. because there is more fuel being burned when increasing the rpm of the engine than there is to maintain a rpm.

does this help at all? I can see where it can be hard to understand.

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post #30 of 105 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 12:50 AM
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But what triggers it is my question. you can be going WOT and still not get any boost.
when?

describe the motor and at what rpm and size of turbo.

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