Cooling methods for electrical machines : Simulation based evaluation of cooling fins found on low voltage general purpose machines
The main goal of this thesis project is to identify interesting concepts related to cooling of electrical motors and generators which could be evaluated using suitable computer simulation tools. As the project proceeded it was decided to focus on investigating how the air from a fan flows along the finned frame of a general purpose low voltage electrical machine, how the heat is transferred between the frame and the cooling air and what the temperature distribution looks like. It was also investigated if it is possible to make improvements in the effectiveness of the cooling without adding additional coolers. This investigation focused on varying the fin design and evaluating the resulting temperature distribution. Due to the complex nature of the simulations a segment, and not the full frame, was considered.
Simulation model validation was performed through comparing air speed measurements that were performed on two different machines with the corresponding simulated air speed. The validation showed that good agreement between simulated and measured air speeds are obtained.
The conclusion from the simulations is that slight modifications to the current fin design could increase the cooling effect of the finned surface. The air velocity measurements also indicate that the cooling of the machines surface could potentially be improved by small changes in the exterior of the frame.
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