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WERK I WERK I is offline
Forced Induction Junkie
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,291
Water is a very good thermo-conductor. If you had an infinite water source, a water cooled IC would beat an air-to-air IC hands down. But you don't, you have to circulate water through a water pump(which in its self imparts some energy on the fluid) and another heat exchanger (radiator) to radiate heat from the IC's cooling fluid.
If the IC's heat exchanger's efficiency is 95%(a bit optimistic) and the radiator's efficiency is 90%, you come up with an overall efficiency of 85.5% (95% x 90%).
An air-to-air IC will be more efficient since there is only one heat exchanger process. Today's air-to-air IC's are in the 90% range in ideal settings. But the most important thing about any heat exchanger process is FLOW. A heat exchanger's efficiency is best when there is a ton of ambient OUTSIDE air passing through it.

Focus on getting the best IC for your application and improving air flow through the IC and you'll be better off.
'85 930 Factory Special Wishes Flachbau
Werk I Zuffenhausen 3.3l/330BHP Engine with Sonderwunsch Cams, FabSpeed Headers, Kokeln IC, Twin Plugged Electromotive Crankfire, Tial Wastegate(0.8 Bar), K27 Hybrid Turbo, Ruf Twin-tip Muffler, Fikse FM-5's 8&10x17, 8:41 R&P
Old 09-11-2011, 05:54 AM
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