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Charge Air Coolers

Charge Air Coolers

The charge air cooler (or scavenge air intercooler) is located between the turbo charger and the engine scavenge air inlet manifold. The purpose of the charge air cooler is to reduce the air inlet temperature thereby increasing air density thus giving an increase in engine efficiency. Typically the charge air cooler will cool air from 200 ºC to 45 ºC with high air velocities. It is obviously important to meet the required performance but with the high air velocities, it is imperative that the construction has high integral strength. Seawater and fresh water are usually used as a cooling medium and high quality materials are needed to ensure a long serviceable life. Leaking or damaged charge air coolers can cause loss of power, increased emissions, increased fuel consumption and increased exhaust temperatures leading to excessive engine wear/damage. The condition of the air cooler is therefore essential to ensure efficient performance of any turbo charged diesel engine.

In today’s shipping markets, budgets are squeezed heavily. At ACT, we recognize the difficulties facing our clients, and have responded by offering a range of options to keep costs low. We offer Carbon Steel tube plates over Naval Brass where cooler applications allow, refurbishment and cleaning of units as well as offering scrappage allowances against old coolers to offset the costs of a replacement unit.

Due to the range of fin types available to us, we always have a fin option that will allow us to build an air cooler that has thermal specifications equal to or better than the original unit. Occasionally, clients are unhappy with the original air cooler performance and in these circumstances we can offer to build a new cooler with improved efficiency or reduced pressure drop. The dimensions of the air cooler can be obtained from our extensive database of drawings, surveys onboard or from samples sent to our workshops.


We manufacture air coolers using high quality materials. We buy these materials in bulk direct from European suppliers. This enables us to better control the quality of materials. Our quality procedure includes full traceability of material and workmanship. The air cooler is checked at various stages of production ensuring quality throughout all areas of manufacture.

The NOx emissions of your engine are effected by the condition of the charge air cooler. Vessels now need to prove that the air cooler manufacturer has offered a cooler with the same performance as the original. Our fin types have been tested at independent test facilities and results used within our complex thermal design software. If we are supplied with the original thermal data, we can offer ACURATE thermal specifications of our cooler to satisfy the NOx regulations.