Wet/Dry Radiators

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Engineer Spike
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:24 pm

Wet/Dry Radiators

Post by Engineer Spike » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:57 pm

What was GE's reason to have the dry radiator system? Did it need less water capacity?

In CP's ES44AC fleet, the first couple of orders have the dry radiator system. Since then, they have gone to a conventional wet system. What was the motive to change after all these years? Might it have to do with not being able to add water or ascertain the correct water level without letting it sit, so that it would finish a cooling cycle?

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Re: Wet/Dry Radiators

Post by NorthWest » Tue May 19, 2015 8:53 am

GE used dry radiators to eliminate the need for radiator shutters to control the airflow over the radiators. These can be maintenance headaches, but they are needed in a wet radiator system like EMD uses (and they are visible on GE wet conversions). The dry radiator system also allows water recirculation in cold weather to keep the prime mover warm.
The problem with this system is that in very cold weather, the very hot water enters the very cold radiator tubes and cracking can result. Any water trapped in the tubes can freeze, expand, and crack them.
Both systems have their pros and cons, but it seems that the added maintenance of wet systems is seen as better than the cracking problems of dry systems.

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