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Race Car Cooling Systems Reviews - Alphacooler & RINI



How To Keep Cool In Your Race Car With Vapor Compressor Cooling Systems - Alphacooler

· racing cooling,Race car,AlphaCooler,racing cooler,Driver Cool System
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As a racing car repair shop, our customer James has purchased and experienced two racing cooling systems - the RINI Personal Cooler, which he has been using for about six months, and the recently used RIGID company's Alphacooler cooling system for a few weeks.

For various reasons, James has never purchased or used a water-based cooling system. The reason being that water-based cooling systems are very troublesome, and transporting ice to the racetrack is a challenging task. Moreover, the cooling effectiveness of ice diminishes rapidly over time, resulting in unsatisfactory results.

After comparing the RINI cooler and RIGID's Alphacooler, my conclusion is that Alphacooler outperforms in terms of both performance and value for money. The cost of Alphacooler is only one-fifth of RINI, while providing much greater cooling capacity and being easier to install and use than RINI. Here is a brief summary so that you can choose the right racing cooling system based on your specific needs.


Choose RINI if:

  1. Weight is an absolute priority consideration.
  2. You have limited space.
  3. Your car has very little extra power.
  4. For long-distance races where you need cooling, but not excessive cooling. Think of races like Miata, WRL, or championship models. Or in races with NASA or SCCA, where races are typically 20-30 minutes or less.
  5. Money is not an issue - I paid over $8,000 for my system.


Choose Alphacooler if:

  1. You want an energy-efficient cooling system at a reasonable price.
  2. You require a significant amount of cooling. You are particularly sensitive to heat (like me), or you drive a very hot car, such as NASCAR, Pan Am racing, or Porsche Cup racing. Or if you live in Texas and often race in temperatures of 100-105 degrees.
  3. Available power is not a problem.
  4. Space is available.
  5. You can handle a weight of 15 pounds (Alphacooler is more like 10~15 pounds).
Alphacooler for racing car cooling - RIGID HVAC


Alphacooler for racing car cooling - RIGID HVAC
Alphacooler for racing car cooling - RIGID HVAC

The above picture is of a red #5 Ford racing car that I used to compare the performance of two cooling systems. I used both systems in a rally race in 2022. The interior of this car gets extremely hot, with temperatures reaching up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit during races. In the heat of July, the interior temperature can rise by an additional 20 degrees. I used the RINI system for testing, practice, and qualifying sessions, each lasting 20-30 minutes. I used the Alphacooler system for a 70-minute race.

The performance difference in hot cars is significant. RINI kept me comfortable and warm on the grid. Without RINI, my engine would overheat on the first lap. With it, I could drive for about 20 minutes until my body temperature rose, and my performance started to decline, and my lap times increased.

On the second day of the race, I switched to the Alphacooler. This cooler, designed and produced by RIGID, was excellent. I didn't spend too much time in the grid area as we had a fan walk before the race, so we all got into our cars as they cleared the fans. I adjusted the water to 40 degrees (I know it may not maintain that low temperature during the race, but I wanted maximum performance) and connected it. My mechanic had already started the system in advance, pre-cooling the water to 40 degrees. When the water mixed with the hot water in my cool shirt and hoses, the temperature rose to 80 degrees, mixed to 72 degrees, and then the cooler started to lower the water temperature. By the time we started rolling, the water temperature was around 50 degrees.

During the race, the cooling system kept my body comfortable. I wore a RUXS helmet with built-in water cooling channels, and I also had water running to it from the quality control department. The RUXS helmet never kept my head as cool as I hoped, and the Alphacooler was the same. I'm not sure if they allow enough water flow through the helmet, or if the cooling hose is too far from my head, which I will investigate further at another time.

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The cooling effect of Alphacooler exceeded expectations. I thought it would be good, but not this good. I could do a whole day! That's the Alphacooler.

After the race, as I drove the car into the pit lane, one mechanic checked the Alphacooler, while another checked my tires. While my rear tires were a bit overheated, the Alphacooler was not. The temperature reading on the thermometer was 60℉, and the cooling suit was still very cool.


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