A2W Intercooler with A/C - Part 2

doublespaces

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Its already feeling like summer time here in AZ and I've found a new inspiration for this because I like to do overly complicated things for little to no reason other than it being fun. Mostly this is just hypothetical conversation and I think it could be applied to not only the intake charge but also the fuel rails for potential detonation protection.

I have a 5 page post about this on another forum, but wanted to take a slightly different approach this time around as I think is more realistic. But first, before I talk about how, let me explain further the 'why'.

1) I like to obsess over small things and cook up overly complicated ways to spend my money.

2) A normal A2A intercooler is rendered largely useless during the summer in this state. Last year we had just over a mere 6" of total rain and the temp was over 100 degrees on 100 different days with thirty of those days over 110 degrees. That is an entire month where the temperature, in the shade, is 110* or higher and a third of the year where the temp is hotter than a lot of other states will see all year round. Just imagine how hot it is over the asphalt where your intercooler lives. To put this into perspective, this state has seen temps approaching 130* and unless you've been in our type of weather, it is difficult to really have respect for how much efficiency it robs from your engine. When your ice cold AC feels like it is burning you by the time it travels from the vent to your face, then perhaps you'll get an idea. Or perhaps when your AC does not get cold until you're already parking your car and walking around with a wet spot on your back is normal.

So there is definitely a 'problem' or 'situation' that may or may not be resolved by this approach I'm suggesting, so lets move on to the 'how'. When I first posted about this for our cars it was 2013 and I had read about people doing this for quite a long time, by no means am I suggesting this as a new idea. My understanding was and still is very limited on how it works but I thought a little conversation would be interesting.

Initially, I had priced out parts for a heat exchanger, evaporator coil etc, but the size of all the parts required for a dedicated system aren't very realistic due to packaging constraints and is the main reason I dropped the idea. Additionally, the first objection people like to present when this idea is suggested is that the continuous cooling capacity of the AC system would need to be tremendous in order to have any chance of actively cooling the intake charge. And based on what I've read, they are completely right which is why every approach I've seen simply cools a 1-3 gallon circuit of water or coolant in no/low boost situations and uses that bank of energy to keep the intake charge cooler or near ambient for several seconds, long enough to make a pass or highway pull. Since the AC compressor disengages during WOT, the water quickly becomes heat saturated so this only works for short durations. After which, you'd hot lap your car for a bit with the AC compressor engaged and cool the water circuit down again for another run. Basically the same as the icebox concept but with the AC instead. If a water/coolant reservoir is used, it could technically double as an A2W ice tank setup as well.

To fix the packaging problem, or at least part of it, it is going to be necessary to eliminate the idea that a separate water pump and heat exchanging circuit be used. And if possible, utilize a re-routed factory heater core. By leaving the AC on with the heat turned all the way up, the AC fan will blow air over the evaporator creating cold air which will then pass over the heater core. I have not determined if our cars will actually allow this to happen and if not, what kind of electronic changes would be necessary. But normally, this would be the same as trying to cool the engine coolant with the air conditioning. However if the heater core was routed to the A2W intercooler and any associated water reservoir, the air conditioning would no longer be cooling the engine coolant but the A2W circuit instead. A water pump may still be needed to circulate the heater core/A2W circuit but that shouldn't be too difficult.
kzmLDPj.png


This is assuming that our HVAC system is designed in this same fashion. Routing the lines for the heater core away from the engine coolant radiator, toward the A2W intercooling circuit means that the car would not have any heater functions, unless a three way valve of some kind was installed.

At this point, i'm curious if our HVAC system is setup like the image above, and if setting the temps to hot with the AC engaged is possible. Lastly, what the fluid capacity of the factory heat exchange circuit is and what kind of plumbing would be required to reroute the lines to a suitable place where there may be enough room to squeeze in a bullet/barrel style A2W intercooler in place of a chargepipe. A BOV would need installed onto the elbow of the turn into the throttle body or prior to the A2W cooler:

IMG_20170416_132439.jpg
intercooler_type25_picture.jpg


The downside to all of this if it works, is that while activated you'll have air of varying temps blowing into the cabin potentially causing the cabin to be uncomfortably warm. Also, you lose the heater function which shouldn't be a problem for three out of four seasons and if engine coolant is used in the A2W circuit, a three way valve of some kind may solve most or all of that problem. The last problem and perhaps one of the biggest is the pressure drop you'll see from running two intercoolers inline.

The other thing I read about is the concept of cooling the fuel rail, what kind of benefits could that present if any?
 

doublespaces

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One potential problem with all of this... Does the heater core or the evap come first after the fan?

EDIT: According to @BMWJunkie air comes in on the left to the evap and then the heater core, so we should be good still.
 

Erichale77

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This is the type of cooling i talked about over a year ago. The new Dodge Demon has this feature on it. You should look into it.
 

doublespaces

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Okay so I've done some investigation and the refrigerant and coolant lines go through the firewall at this point:
IMG_20170416_210854.jpg

The two lines on the top/right are for the evaporator and there are the two on the bottom/left are for the heater core. They continue on to the dash area where there is this big thing which houses the fan on the left(right when seated in the car) which flows through the evaporator, then on to the heater core behind it.
2017-04-16 21_03_53-(2) BMW 328i E90 2009 LCI N51 Evaporator replacement - YouTube.png


When the evaporator is pulled out, you can see the lines on the right are gone and the lines on the left, which are for the coolant are still there and run further back in the device:
2017-04-16 21_04_06-(2) BMW 328i E90 2009 LCI N51 Evaporator replacement - YouTube.png


This proves the air hits the evaporator first and then to some degree will come into contact with the heater core behind it through a couple flappers which can be seen here:
2017-04-16 21_27_35-(2) BMW 328i E90 2009 LCI N51 Evaporator replacement - YouTube.png

2017-04-16 21_27_04-(2) BMW 328i E90 2009 LCI N51 Evaporator replacement - YouTube.png

2017-04-16 21_26_34-(2) BMW 328i E90 2009 LCI N51 Evaporator replacement - YouTube.png


Now the other end of this would be where the heater core hoses come from. And this is what has me convinced that this is worth trying, the two heater hoses come out right where the A2W cooler would go and with the right connectors, could technically be done without any cutting.

IMG_20170416_210940.jpg

IMG_20170416_210952.jpg


All that would need done is a water pump installed to circulate the water through the A2W cooler and heater core and installing the A2W cooler itself and finding a new place for the BOV.

Shots of the evap/heater were taken from this video [YouTube]
 

R.G.

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Interesting idea. Will be following to see where you head with it.
An idea I've been toying around with is using my windshield washer tank as a coolant res. I've had it deleted for a while.
Just throwing that out there as it could be used and modified to allow for a larger pump to fit in the fender.
 

doublespaces

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The biggest issue I see is the pressure drop, all the coolers I've seen supposedly have a less than 0.2%-0.1% drop, which seems good but I don't know how much that would impact power. The other problem is getting a cooler to fit.

Also I have my subframe down and i can't remember what it looks like all assembled, but it would almost seem better to run the intercooler charge pipe straight toward the firewall then directly up through a cooler into the intake manifold. The steering rack and other steering components are probably in the way of this but it's would be more ideal than trying to squeeze one through the stock location.
 

9krpmrx8

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Nov 5, 2016
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I have the turbocharger in my RX-8 setup on it's own cooling circuit with a Bosch pump (used in many OEM setup as aux water pumps and super charger pumps), reservoir, and it's own heat exchanger. It works well on a turbo rotary in south Texas.

I did play with a small barrel type A/W intercooler but packaging was a concern so I ditched the idea. But ideally, you would want a barrel type one close to the TB, but have a traditional one front mounted with a pump to feed cool coolant to the barrel type setup. heat soak would still probably be an issue but only one way to find out :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If4kxmyGkIw
 
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Bmwfixerguy1

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I remember when I was a young pup in tech school yup damn near 20 years ago.. When no body new what an Intercooler was in my class lol.. I had an idea like this!
Damn boys at dodge stole it from me lol
 

Bmwfixerguy1

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I was gonna say something similar in look into the n63 heat exchangers. And intercooler pump ect.. Those heat exchangers are very efficient unscientificly speaking!!

I remembered having my hand on one of a car after a good flogging and at a stand still the top hose was untouchable and the bottom was under ambient I wanna say!

That engine is just a giant heater that makes a couple horse power lol! Very very hot engine!
 

The Convert

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I was gonna say something similar in look into the n63 heat exchangers. And intercooler pump ect.. Those heat exchangers are very efficient unscientificly speaking!!

I remembered having my hand on one of a car after a good flogging and at a stand still the top hose was untouchable and the bottom was under ambient I wanna say!

That engine is just a giant heater that makes a couple horse power lol! Very very hot engine!
Shouldn't be under ambient unless it's using a refrigerant. They still use an IC up front to cool the fluid before the cooled fluid cools the intake air.
 

Bmwfixerguy1

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Shouldn't be under ambient unless it's using a refrigerant. They still use an IC up front to cool the fluid before the cooled fluid cools the intake air.

Oh I know it deff wasn't under ambient temp it's impossible just felt like that in perspective to how hot the inlet side was it felt like you were holding a cold drink!

Point was they worked pretty good lol
 
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R.G.

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I have been wanting to do this just to do it for a while.
Something like this in place of an 80% section of the chargepipe
intercooler_type19_picture.jpg






Regarding the M4 setup, the issue I saw was the over the engine inlets. The general design of the manifold (a2w insert) could be copied in a single turbo engine bay tho.
 

Bmwfixerguy1

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Here's a quick idea you could test with, not the same route but same goal..
Well maybe not the same exact goal but you could always try out an Intercooler sprayer. A 50/50 meth system would suck a lot of heat out.. If you wanted to get fancy you could find a way to manual spray it as well.. So your sitting at a light and you could soak the fmic
Not what you want but just an idea
 

J.Wick

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Nov 13, 2016
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Okay so I've done some investigation and the refrigerant and coolant lines go through the firewall at this point:
View attachment 3344
The two lines on the top/right are for the evaporator and there are the two on the bottom/left are for the heater core. They continue on to the dash area where there is this big thing which houses the fan on the left(right when seated in the car) which flows through the evaporator, then on to the heater core behind it.
View attachment 3346

When the evaporator is pulled out, you can see the lines on the right are gone and the lines on the left, which are for the coolant are still there and run further back in the device:
View attachment 3347

This proves the air hits the evaporator first and then to some degree will come into contact with the heater core behind it through a couple flappers which can be seen here:
View attachment 3348
View attachment 3349
View attachment 3350

Now the other end of this would be where the heater core hoses come from. And this is what has me convinced that this is worth trying, the two heater hoses come out right where the A2W cooler would go and with the right connectors, could technically be done without any cutting.

View attachment 3351
View attachment 3352

All that would need one is a water pump installed to circulate the water through the A2W cooler and heater core and installing the A2W cooler itself and finding a new place for the BOV.

Shots of the evap/heater were taken from this video [YouTube]
are you trying to use the stock coolant to run through your air to water setup? If so I think the temps are to high to begin with. I may have misread. I think and auxiliary pump and coolant tank would work best but after awhile that could heat soak as well. The ultimate in you case and with your setup being bottom mount. Mod a killer chiller setup where it taps into the refrigerant lines to cool the auxiliary water with a separate pump. Relocate your coolant tank like you are doing inlets and use that area for the tank. I have no idea where the refrigerant lines are on this vehicle as I haven't looked into this setup. I'll post a link of a similar setup here in a second.


This car already has a heat exchanger and was tied into the factory coolant. He later separates the two for better results without having the engine heating up your fluids. You probably could run water wetter and straight water with the chiller if it is a separate system and have great results. Sorry for this messy post. I'm in the middle of a nap. Night shift tonight.
 
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doublespaces

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I have been wanting to do this just to do it for a while.
Something like this in place of an 80% section of the chargepipe
intercooler_type19_picture.jpg






Regarding the M4 setup, the issue I saw was the over the engine inlets. The general design of the manifold (a2w insert) could be copied in a single turbo engine bay tho.

I have had the same exact core in my watch list since I made this thread. I even contacted companies directly and nobody makes a core that is a tiny bit shorter. To fit this in a full 3" inlet/outlet it would require a bit of custom fabrication and/or some hard corners in the piping.

It says it is 14.5" long. If I recall, it needs to be more like 12" or 13" in length to be realistic. Maybe less.

are you trying to use the stock coolant to run through your air to water setup? If so I think the temps are to high to begin with. I may have misread. I think and auxiliary pump and coolant tank would work best but after awhile that could heat soak as well.

There would be a valve of some kind, leave it open during the winter for heater and closed during the summer. The whole point is to avoid tapping any refrigerant lines, this requires very little modifications to the car itself once a barrel style core is installed. Right now, the coolant flows through the heater core and provides heat. I'm suggesting to bypass that connection with a valve of some kind so the coolant in the heater core now flows on its own circuit, so that it may be cooled. I need to re-read everything I've written as there were some specifics about this setup I do not full remember at this time.

But if I understand that setup correctly, it uses refrigerant to cool the water using a heat exchanger. What I'm suggesting is different and works by literally using the heater in reverse, to blow cold air from the air conditioning system onto the heater core, which normally produces hot air(and it will depending on how hot this water gets from IATs) but instead will be cooling the circuit. Its basically a hack that relies on the way the heater and air conditioning are designed inline with each other.
 

doublespaces

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Why not use as much of the M3/4 system as possible? A good deal of it should be a direct fit I would think.

Unfortunately, I've not investigated into that system much. I've looked but its seems like a good bit of fabrication would be required anyway. More than your normal shop anyway.
 
Oct 24, 2016
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I'm impressed sir.

Although, I'm far more interested in overclocking the shit out of my A/C so it quickly makes my e90 about 40* inside on a 130* day instead of the slow painful approach to about 80*. Ugh. I'm glad I got a second car.