How does a Snorkel Work?

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Snorkel Working:

Combustion engines need air and fuel to work. The more air and oxygen flow into the intake manifold, the more efficient the combustion. A cold Air Induction System harvests fresh air at the roof level where it’s the least disturbed. This air contains fewer contaminants and is cooler than air absorbed from the engine bay. When the air is cooler, it contains more oxygen. Modern vehicles are fitted with engine management systems; these are computers that measure accurately in real-time all inputs available to the engine to boost its efficiency. Consequently, the provision of cooler air inflow ends up in more power and torque.

Three main parts constitute a snorkel: a “hat” or “Air Ram”, a Snorkel tube or the “Body” and an air cleaner either “flat or cyclonic”. The three parts are designed to enhance one another in their efficiency.


1. The Air Ram:

Air entering the Air Ram swirls violently, creating a cyclonic effect. The heaviest particles are ejected by the force to the periphery of the swirl. There, they hit the vertical ribs where atmospheric pressure takes over to eject them out of the four slots at the bottom of the Air Ram. At this time, the atmospheric pressure pushes them out. The finer particles that aren’t ejected are removed by the vehicle filter. Not all Air Rams are equal in performance. The Air Ram should have an open face without a screen because the screen deflects the airflow.


2.The Body:

Now that the air is freed from large particles, it starts traveling down the snorkel body in a very line. The body could also be of two types, induction or non-induction. In the induction case, the air slows down because it enters in an exceedingly larger volume, the plenum chamber. The swirling created by the Air Ram diminishes, thus reducing friction losses. There, the air is buffered, immediately available for the airbox at positive pressure. The engine management system can use it readily. Not all bodies are equal in performance. In the case of a non-induction body, the air passes down on to the hood tubing and ducting into the airbox. While this method increases efficiency and engine performance, it’s not as effective because of the cold air induction type.


3. The Air Cleaner:

Commonly, there are two kinds of air filters fitted to cars by manufacturers: the Flat filter and the Cyclonic air filter, both are fitted with paper filters. While they conform to emission laws, they’re not fuel or power efficient. The Cyclonic is the simplest of the 2 types. Some after-market suppliers replace the paper filter with a foam filter to further increase airflow and thus the facility to the engine. However, what’s gained in power is lost infiltration. Generally, a paper filter will suppress particles right down to 30 microns while foam oil filters won’t filter below 40 to 50 microns. Larger particle sizes will increase exponentially the danger of injury to the facility of the engine.

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