Aisin Seki Co., Ltd, Japan
(Aichi, Japan, 30 August, 2012)
Aisin Seki Co., Ltd has now successfully developed a smaller, cheaper electric cooling pump through some effective efficiency optimisations. Cars traditionally use mechanical water cooling pumps, which have a flow rate dependent on the engine speed. Electric cooling pumps offer greater control over the water flow allowing significant fuel economies, particularly important in view of rising environmental concerns. However electric pumps are traditionally much larger than their mechanical counterparts.Among other adaptations the Aisin electric pump uses a newly shaped impeller to improve performance. In addition, the design positions the components so that both the motor efficiency and the centrifugal pump mutually benefit. The pump also uses fewer components, allowing it to occupy less space. With the efficiency improvements less heat is generated. The pump design also incorporates an aluminium enclosure, which acts as a heat sink, further easing the heat resistance requirements. Notably, the cost of the electric pump was reduced by using an inexpensive and heat resistant printed circuit board.Customer satisfaction and concern for the environment are important aspects of the company’s ‘quality first’ corporate principle. The new engine pump will allow significant fuel economies, reducing fossil fuel consumption, and the expense of running the engine. It has been designed so that it can be installed in the same position as mechanical pumps, thereby simplifying the move to electric powered pumps.
BackgroundFuel reduction is a primary concern for automobiles running on diesel, as well as hybrid engines that use other power sources in addition to diesel. The main motivation is the effect of fuel consumption on environmental factors, although economizing on fuel also has financial rewards.
Controlling the water flow in engine cooling systems has been identified as an effective approach to fuel reduction. Following work to develop electric pumps for cooling inverters, Aisin Seki has now focused on automobile cooling systems. Electric pumps run independently of the engine speed, which allows greater control over the water flow and consequently reductions in fuel consumption.The technologyTo substitute mechanical pumps with electric ones they should operate in the same part of the engine. The main issue in attempting to substitute mechanical pumps with electric ones is size. Electric pumps tend to be much larger in order to achieve the same discharge flow rate.
Aisin Seki has tackled a number of factors that impinge on the efficiency of electric pumps. These efficiency enhancements mean that the size of their pumps can be decreased. Three elements affect the overall efficiency of the electric pump: the driver, the motor and the pump itself, which generally has a low efficiency.
1. Improving pump efficiencyOptimizations to the shape of the impeller enabled more effective pumping operation. In addition, an operation point that mutually benefits the efficiency of pump and motor was identified. The pump is centrifugal. The operation point that allows maximum efficiency for the motor and pump differs, but a compromise was found.
2. Economizing on component partsMechanical pumps harness the engine’s power through a pump pulley connected to the engine crank. The rotation of the crank then drives the pump, which is connected to the pulley by a shaft. Mechanical seals on the shaft prevent leaking of the cooling water. On the contrary, the electric pump which is driven directly by its motor so these seals could be eliminated. Resin protects the electric motor parts from rust.
3. Cutting costsThe opportunity to economize on costs was exploited with the use of a cheaper print board. Although the heat resistance may be lower for the cheaper print board, the optimized efficiency of the electric pump reduces the heat generated. An aluminum enclosure was also incorporated, which acts as a heat sink, further reducing the level of heat resistance needed in the print board.Technical referencesThese findings were presented at the 2011 Annual Congress of the Society of Automobile Engineers of Japan (JSAE) Atsushi Saito and Motohisa Ishiguro, JSAE Annual Congress on 5, 19, (2011).
Aisin Seki produces and sells automobile parts as well as living, energy and welfare related products. The company is committed to its corporate principles that focus on putting ‘quality first’. Aisin Seki has 2 offices and 11 plants across Japan with over 90,000 employees and subsidiaries that include 69 companies in Japan and 101 overseas. As of 31 March 2012, the company’s capital was 45 billion JPY.
Automotive Parts and Systems BusinessAs the automotive industry constantly evolves with increasing emphasis on functionality and performance, Aisin Seki continues to respond with fast innovations exploiting its world class resources and experise in automobile technology. In line with its corporate principle of placing ‘quality first’, the company prioritises environmental commitments throughout its development of advanced systems and modules.