Floating Refrigerant Loop Based on R-134a Refrigerant Cooling of High-Heat Flux Electronics

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The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center (PEEMRC) have been developing technologies to address the thermal issues associated with hybrid vehicles. Removal of the heat generated from electrical losses in traction motors and their associated power electronics is essential for the reliable operation of motors and power electronics. As part of a larger thermal control project, which includes shrinking inverter size and direct cooling of electronics, ORNL has developed U.S. Patent No. 6,772,603 B2, ''Methods and Apparatus for Thermal Management of Vehicle Systems and Components'' [1], and patent pending, ''Floating Loop System for Cooling ... continued below

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Lowe, K.T. October 7, 2005.

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The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center (PEEMRC) have been developing technologies to address the thermal issues associated with hybrid vehicles. Removal of the heat generated from electrical losses in traction motors and their associated power electronics is essential for the reliable operation of motors and power electronics. As part of a larger thermal control project, which includes shrinking inverter size and direct cooling of electronics, ORNL has developed U.S. Patent No. 6,772,603 B2, ''Methods and Apparatus for Thermal Management of Vehicle Systems and Components'' [1], and patent pending, ''Floating Loop System for Cooling Integrated Motors and Inverters Using Hot Liquid Refrigerant'' [2]. The floating-loop system provides a large coefficient of performance (COP) for hybrid-drive component cooling. This loop (based on R-134a) is integrated with a vehicle's existing air-conditioning (AC) condenser, which dissipates waste heat to the ambient air. Because the temperature requirements for cooling of power electronics and electric machines are not as low as that required for passenger compartment air, this adjoining loop can operate on the high-pressure side of the existing AC system. This arrangement also allows the floating loop to run without the need for the compressor and only needs a small pump to move the liquid refrigerant. For the design to be viable, the loop must not adversely affect the existing system. The loop should also provide a high COP, a flat-temperature profile, and low-pressure drop. To date, the floating-loop test prototype has successfully removed 2 kW of heat load in a 9 kW automobile passenger AC system with and without the automotive AC system running. The COP for the tested floating-loop system ranges from 40-45, as compared to a typical AC system COP of about 2-4. The estimated required waste-heat load for future hybrid applications is 5.5 kW and the existing system could be easily scaleable for this larger load.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2005/223
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/886010 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 886010
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc873248

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  • October 7, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 7, 2016, 11:47 a.m.

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Lowe, K.T. Floating Refrigerant Loop Based on R-134a Refrigerant Cooling of High-Heat Flux Electronics, report, October 7, 2005; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc873248/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.