Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have otherwise been out of touch with the insane buzz around Dodge’s SRT Challenger Demon, you have probably already heard a lot of details about the car and how Dodge’s team of engineers managed to extract deep 9-second ET’s from a factory production car.
One important piece of that puzzle is the power chiller and how it uses the car’s air conditioning system to help cool the incoming air to produce as much power as possible. As he always does so well, Engineering Explained’s Jason Fenske dives into the how and why the system works and breaks it down into terms we can all understand. Fenske starts by breaking down the layout of the different cooling systems of the car, beginning with the engine cooling system itself, the diving into the intercooler. Finally, he gets to the AC system and shows how the team at Dodge routed the coolant through a valve that either sends it to the cabin like a typical system, or routes it through the power chiller, a miniature condenser that cools the air between the massive supercharger and the raucous Hemi engine.

By using this system over a basic air-to-air intercooler, the power chiller can actually cool the inlet temps to below ambient, something a regular intercooler could never do. The system does pull some power from the engine through the parasitic loss that comes from driving the air compressor, but with charged air being cooled by nearly 20 degrees, which means the incoming air is denser and the onboard computer can get a little more aggressive with the timing, offsetting the loss from driving the compressor. This is the first time a system like this has been utilized on a factory production car, and helped push the Demon to a best ET of 9.65 seconds at 140 MPH in the quarter mile.

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