Occasionally when presenting the results of flow testing a part there will be concern raised that the flow testing isn’t the ‘real world’. The explanation given is that pressure and temperatures on the vehicle are much different than the flow bench rendering the flow bench readings of little use.
Similar to a dynamometer not being the real world, the flow bench is also used to measure specific attributes for making relative comparisons. Also like a dynamometer, a gain recorded using the flow bench should correlate with a real world change.
For the past few months a number of intercoolers have been the subject of flow bench testing to compare relative pressure drop performance. Several of the intercoolers were installed on the GTI and tested to record temperature and pressure drop during vehicle operation. Data is now available for:
- Stock GTI
- Integrated Engineering v1
- Majesty FMIC Bicooler
The vehicle testing consists of a 3rd gear, full throttle acceleration, past 6,000 RPM. Maximum pressure drop for each intercooler, from the turbocharger outlet, at the turbo muffler, to the intake manifold, has been recorded.
With a few ‘real world’ data points available the vehicle pressure drop readings are plotted against the respective intercooler flow bench airflow values.
There is good correlation between the flow bench readings and the pressure drop readings taken during vehicle operation. As a tool for measuring relative pressure drop performance of these intercoolers the flow bench provides reliable data.