Charge Air Cooler Test Kit

Detecting a leakage from a charge air cooler that is installed within the engine can be a difficult process. Especially when the air cooler is still installed.

One way or another, the best way to detect a leakage is to individually test each tube within the cooler. (Possibly hundreds). If uninstalled, it is relatively easy to apply pressure to the tubes and assess if pressure is maintained. However, when the cooler is still installed, this is more challenging. The issues are; access and length.

Many air coolers, particularly those attached to generator or auxiliary engines are installed in such a way that the far end (or “reversing” end) is inside the engine casing. In these circumstances it is impossible to see the far end of any potentially leaking tube.

Where there is access, the length of the air cooler can be an issue whereby one operative cannot single handily be at both ends of a suspect tube to seal it and pressurise it.

Some years ago, Vestas developed a kit that allowed pressurization of a tube from one of the cooler, thus solving the issues mentioned earlier. The kit is manufactured to be used with the specific air cooler in question and features a tube and seal arrangement that goes inside the air cooler tube and seals at the far end. A pressure gauge indicates the success or otherwise of the test. All you need is compressed air local to the air cooler.

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