Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

NEED HELP How to cool air as much as possible

  1. Oct 28, 2003 #1
    NEED HELP!!! How to cool air as much as possible

    Hello everybody, I have signed up to this site because I have a couple of questions I would like to get help on and I need people (yall) that have a better understanding of physics to help me out with a project... I am a car enthusiast and have designed a ram air induction system for a 1999-2004 mustang GT, THis wrks really good, but the colder the air you get, the more power you can create because of the density and oxegen content. THe air is forced in by the scoop on top of the car, it then taveks into a tube about 1/4 the size of the scoop down the hod into the Air box where a k&N filter is sitting. From what I understand air travels faster around curves than in a straight path. Can some one tell me a way to cool the air more efficently to produce a maximum amount of power... I need to do this in any way possible , but without the use of a refrigerant... I am trying to keep it cjeap and uncomplicated. Can anyone please help me in any way, I would really appreciate it !!! I will help you in any way tha I can if at all possible in return. THanks a bunch and I hope to hear from you soon.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2003 #2

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    A lot of people insulate their cold-air intakes with thermal mat. Some people also cover the top of their radiators with themal matt in an effort to keep the engine bay temperatures down.

    A cold-air intake is really not going to gain you much -- maybe 10 hp on a decent engine. There's obviously no way to cool air down below ambient temperature without some kind of active refrigeration.

    If you really need more power, just go to foced induction.

    - Warren
     
  4. Oct 28, 2003 #3
    Forced induction has always been the way that people want to go but it costs between 2 and 7 thousand, depending on how bad you want it to be... I was just hoping there would be a way, or a simple solution to cool the air traveling form the scoop to the air Box.. That is why I am using this site, because you can do a lot with physics if you know enough about it.. Thanks for the reply though!!

    -john
     
  5. Oct 28, 2003 #4

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Besides, even if you go to some active cooling system, I doubt you'll net additional hp. The energy invested in cooling the air charge is probably not going to result in an equal or greater production of power. The temperature of the air is just not that important, unless of course you're running really lean and are approaching detonation conditions.

    - Warren
     
  6. Oct 28, 2003 #5

    Njorl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Let me preface this by saying I seriously doubt my proposal will be practical. It would probably be counterproductive, because the power gained would not outweigh the extra drag or weight added.

    Is there a way to use a centrifuge effect to preferentially channel oxygen to the combustion rather than nitrogen. Air is roughly 20% oxygen, 80% nitrogen. If you could skew that a little more toward oxygen, maybe your engine would be more efficient.

    After the air is scooped, send it through a spiral tube at high velocity. The nitrogen would preferentially be forced to the inner curve, while the heavier oxygen would be forced to the outer curve. siphon off some portion of the nitrogen rich air and expel it for cooling. Channel the cooled, oxygen rich air to the mixture for combustion.

    Njorl
     
  7. Oct 28, 2003 #6

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    A better (though still extremely impractical) solution for increasing oxygen content might be to use a semi-permeable membrane like those used in some scuba diving shops to prepare nitrox (a breathing gas composed of nitrogen and oxygen, but with a larger fraction of oxygen than air).

    http://www.dnax.com/dnax.html

    The reason it's not practical, is, of course, that engines need huge flow rates (100 cfm or more).

    As I've said, the only really practical ways to get more O2 into an engine are forced induction and the addition of nitrous oxide or other oxidizer.

    - Warren
     
  8. Oct 28, 2003 #7

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    On second thought, it seems the people who make the nitrox membranes claim to be able to build systems up to 300 cubic feet per minute. I wonder how big THAT bed would be.

    - Warren
     
  9. Oct 28, 2003 #8
    Ingenious! Centrifuge would be effectively forced induction though and not cheap. But, driven from belt, I wonder if it could actually be even comparable to turbo.
     
  10. Oct 29, 2003 #9
    Combine chroot's suggestion and Njorl's. Once the air is sent through the centifuge and the excess skimmed off, send the reduced volume of air through the semi-permeable membrane and then to the engine.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?