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Actuators 2015, 4(3), 182-202;

Design and Comparative Analysis of a Retrofitted Liquid Cooling System for High-Power Actuators

Cockrell School of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 301 E Dean Keeton St, Austin,TX 78712, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Delbert Tesar
Received: 1 July 2015 / Revised: 27 July 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 13 August 2015
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This paper presents an in-depth system-level experimental analysis comparing air-cooled and liquid-cooled commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electric motors. Typically, liquid-cooled electric motors are reserved for large, expensive, high-end applications where the design of the motor’s electromagnetic components are closely coupled to its cooling system. By applying liquid cooling to a pre-existing motor design, this work helps bring the performance advantages of liquid cooling to smaller scale and lower cost applications. Prior work in this area gives little insight to designers of such systems. Conversely, this work aims to improve the understanding of liquid-cooled COTS motors by reporting empirically-observed factors of improvement for motor current, torque, output power and system efficiency. These measurements are obtained using a new liquid-cooled motor housing design that improves the ease of maintenance and component reuse compared to existing work. It is confirmed that datasheet motor thermal properties may serve as a reasonable guide for anticipating continuous torque performance, but may over-specify continuous power output. For the motor used in this test, continuous torque output is increased by a factor of 2.58, matching to within 9% of expected datasheet values. Continuous power output is increased by a factor of two with only 2.2% reduced efficiency compared to air-cooling. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid cooling; thermal control; electric motor liquid cooling; thermal control; electric motor

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Paine, N.; Sentis, L. Design and Comparative Analysis of a Retrofitted Liquid Cooling System for High-Power Actuators. Actuators 2015, 4, 182-202.

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