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A charge air cooler is used to cool engine air after it passed through a turbocharger, but before it enters the engine. Charge air coolers range in size depending on the engine.
Charge air coolers range in size depending on the engine. The smallest are usually considered as intercoolers and attached to automobile engines or truck engines. The largest are reserved for use on huge marine engines.
And there is some confusion among aftercooler, intercooler and charge-air cooler. In the past, aircraft engines would run trubochargers in stages, where the first stage compressor would feed the inlet of the second stage compressor that would further compress the air before it enters the engine. Because of the extremely high pressures that would develop, an air cooler was placed between the first and secend stagecompressors. And the cooler was Intercooler.
Aother cooler would be placed after the second stage, which was the final stage, and that was the Aftercooler. An aftercooler was the cooler whose outlet fed the engine.
An intercooler, or Charge-Air Cooler, is an air-to-air or air-to-liquid heat exchange device used on turbocharged and supercharged internal combustion engines to improve their volumetric efficiency by increasing intake air-charge density through isochoric cooling.
A charge-air cooler is simply an all-encompassing term, meaning that it cools the turbo’s air charge before it is routed into the engine. Usually an intercooler means an air-to-air cooler where the heat is rejected using ambient air flowing through the heat exchanger. It works much like the engine’s coolant radiator.
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