The radiator is placed in the front of the vehicle, often attached to other heat exchangers, such as the intercooler or condenser.
The radiator is essential for the cooling of combustion engines. In such engines, there may be as many as 4,000 petrol explosions per minute, each generating temperatures of up to 1,500°C. The cooling liquid, which is circulating through a cooling jacket, cools the engine block, as well as pistons, valves, gaskets, rings, engine head, and other elements of the engine.
The circulating coolant receives the combustion heat. Flowing through the radiator, it exchanges the heat with atmospheric air.
Oil applied for lubrication plays a significant cooling role. The oil cooler receives the lubricant’s heat and exchanges it with the ambient air or the radiator coolant. It is typically the automatic gearbox oil that needs a dedicated oil cooler. Vehicles, driving with engine oil that is cooled by a separate exchanger, is a common sight. Especially in high-performing or downsized engine vehicles, a dedicated oil cooler is an important part of the system.
In some vehicle models, the oil cooler is built into the radiator water tank. Here, the coolant plays a supportive role to the heat exchange process. In modern vehicles, an automatic gearbox oil cooler is often designed as a stand-alone unit, mounted separately in the engine compartment or on the engine block.
The fan clutch is a device controlling the engagement of the EC fan. A valve inside the clutch regulates the flow of a special silicon oil. The oil transmits the engine’s torque thus, rotating the fan.
The fan clutch can be driven by a belt and pulley or directly by the engine when mounted on the engine’s crankshaft. Depending on the cooling needs, the fan can be engaged partially or fully – saving the engine power used for the power transmission.
There are two design types of the sensor causing the clutch to engage. One with a bi-metallic, thermostatic sensor controlling the engagement and another controlled electronically by ECU signals, influenced by engine/transmission oil temperature, coolant temperature, AC system pressures or ambient air temperature.
The automotive water pump ensures that coolant is pushed through the engine cooling system.
Without a properly working water pump, the coolant would linger in the system and no cooling effect would take place.
If the water pump fails, it can lead to serious damage to the engine as a result of overheating.
The condenser is placed at the front of the car and is typically attached to other heat exchangers in the engine compartment like engine cooling radiator or intercooler.
The role of the condenser is to ensure that the state of the refrigerant changes from gaseous to liquid form. The change of state is called the condensation process where the refrigerant heat is extracted and exchanged with the ambient air.
The refrigerant is compressed by the compressor and transported through the system to create high and low pressure.
The compressor is crucial for the efficiency of the AC system. During an AC cycle, the compressor enables the refrigerant to change its state from gas to liquid and to flow through the different components of the system as well as through high and low pressure sides.
The interior blower ensures a proper amount of ambient air intake. Flowing through the heat exchangers, the air can be either warm or cold and thanks to the blower, the air is distributed in the car cabin.
Typically, the blower is situated in the HVAC (Heat-Ventilation-Air-Conditioning) module located between the cabin and the engine compartment.
The interior blower is an electrical device considered fragile, due to plastic elements, and electrically sensitive to vehicle system failures.
The fan plays an important, supportive role for the effective operation of the engine cooling and climate systems of the vehicle. In the climate system, the AC fan forces air through the condenser.
High operation pressures inside the condenser and the temperature produced by the condensation process require an additional air flow supporting the heat exchange between the ambient air and the refrigerant inside. Cooling produced by the fan is crucial for proper condenser operation.