Cooling Pumps for "Thermal Management" Systems: General Overview
This article aims to provide an overview of thermal management systems with a particular focus on the role that pumping systems and valves play in these types of systems.
Below is a brief summary:
Thermal management refers to energetically optimizing the thermal balance in a vehicle. A thermal management system involves controlling temperature through technology. This technology is based on thermodynamics and heat transfer.
Thermal management is a wide-ranging term covering various forms of heat transfer, including conduction, convection, and radiation, involving different processes.
In the automotive industry, thermal management is necessary for protecting and insulating batteries. Battery cooling system´s performance is crucial for BEV, HEV, PHEV, and FCEV vehicles, a proper design of the cooling system can provide real answers to key challenges related to:
• Durability of battery
• Vehicle performance
• Fast recharging
New solutions needed for advanced battery cooling in innovative systems specifying new hydraulic requirements:
• heat transfer from battery cell/module to coolant, heat transfer within the system, heat sink
• solutions for better heat transfer from battery to coolant:
a) immersive cooling with dielectric coolant & different viscosity
b) improved geometry in cooling plates
c) higher flow rate in the system to increase heat transfer from source to sink
d) “Coolant on Demand Strategy” connecting coolant and refrigerant systems
High temperatures are produced during the combustion of the engine cylinder. This causes the heat to be released in the vehicle, in the environment, or to be absorbed by the engine – thus leading to damage.
Electronic cooling pumps are specifically made to regulate the temperature in a certain limited space. In the case of motor vehicles, these pumps are needed to prevent them from overheating. You might find two types of systems they support:
• HVAC (air cooling) systems
• water cooling systems
These last ones work with a cooling liquid, a mix of water, glycol, and other additives that
• capture the heat
• move it around a closed circuit
• cool it down
• release it again
Electronic cooling pumps are able to operate even after the engine has been stopped. They can be installed externally or on the crankcase.
Cooling pumps for thermal management and for EV fast charging are vital components to supply coolant on-demand for critical thermal management systems. Heat control can be very consuming in terms of power and fuel, but there are several approaches to reduce consumption and let the battery of the cooling pumps work efficiently.
By cooling the engine precisely and only as required, in fact, cooling pumps reduce fuel consumption with the additional benefit of curbing friction losses and emissions.
Traditional water pumps such as centrifugal pumps are characterized by one single BOP so the request for "Coolant on Demand" and "Fast Charging" requires an increase in the number of traditional pumps to satisfy multiple coolant circuits; a more efficient pump like Positive Displacement can reduce the number of EV thermal management pumps required.
The future could be represented by the technology of positive displacement volumetric pumps which could play a better role as electronic cooling pumps for these systems.
These pumps, in fact, offer the following main advantages:
• Robust design
• High Efficiency
• Suitable for high-pressure and high flow
• Low Noise
• Tolerant to abrasive particles
• Easy assembly
• Multiple BOP (Best Operating Point) due to a variable speed
New-generation electric vehicles will employ increasingly complex systems. Fluid-o-Tech with more than 70 years of experience, competencies, products, its advanced R&D department, and simulation center is the right partner to develop future thermal management systems.
Our Fluid-o-Tech team has developed innovative solutions that satisfy Customer’s needs while respecting all environmental regulations.
Fluid-o-Tech cooling pumps are designed to fit multiple architectures (Passenger Vehicles, Buses, Trucks, Heavy Duty, and Commercial Vehicles) showing our ability to create tailored solutions for our Customers, focusing on integration always directed to the edge of the technology.