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Open AccessArticle

Temperature Field Accurate Modeling and Cooling Performance Evaluation of Direct-Drive Outer-Rotor Air-Cooling In-Wheel Motor

by Feng Chai 1,2, Yue Tang 1,2, Yulong Pei 1,2,*, Peixin Liang 1,2 and Hongwei Gao 3
1
State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
2
Department of Electrical Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
3
Shanghai MOONS’ Electric Co., Ltd., Shanghai 201107, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marco Marengo
Energies 2016, 9(10), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9100818
Received: 24 July 2016 / Revised: 20 September 2016 / Accepted: 8 October 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thermal Simulation of Energy Systems)
High power density outer-rotor motors commonly use water or oil cooling. A reasonable thermal design for outer-rotor air-cooling motors can effectively enhance the power density without the fluid circulating device. Research on the heat dissipation mechanism of an outer-rotor air-cooling motor can provide guidelines for the selection of the suitable cooling mode and the design of the cooling structure. This study investigates the temperature field of the motor through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and presents a method to overcome the difficulties in building an accurate temperature field model. The proposed method mainly includes two aspects: a new method for calculating the equivalent thermal conductivity (ETC) of the air-gap in the laminar state and an equivalent treatment to the thermal circuit that comprises a hub, shaft, and bearings. Using an outer-rotor air-cooling in-wheel motor as an example, the temperature field of this motor is calculated numerically using the proposed method; the results are experimentally verified. The heat transfer rate (HTR) of each cooling path is obtained using the numerical results and analytic formulas. The influences of the structural parameters on temperature increases and the HTR of each cooling path are analyzed. Thereafter, the overload capability of the motor is analyzed in various overload conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: outer-rotor motor; air-cooling; air-gap; temperature field; thermal conductivity; computational fluid dynamics (CFD) outer-rotor motor; air-cooling; air-gap; temperature field; thermal conductivity; computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
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Chai, F.; Tang, Y.; Pei, Y.; Liang, P.; Gao, H. Temperature Field Accurate Modeling and Cooling Performance Evaluation of Direct-Drive Outer-Rotor Air-Cooling In-Wheel Motor. Energies 2016, 9, 818.

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