Electric Motor Thermal Management R&D (Presentation): NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Kevin Bennion

Research output: NRELPresentation


Thermal constraints place significant limitations on how electric motors ultimately perform. Without the ability to remove heat, the motor cannot operate without sacrificing performance, efficiency, and reliability. Finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics modeling approaches are being increasingly utilized in the design and analysis of electric motors. As the models become moresophisticated, it is important to have detailed and accurate knowledge of both the passive thermal performance and the active cooling performance. In this work, we provide an overview of research characterizing both passive and active thermal elements related to electric motor thermal management. To better characterize the passive thermal performance, the effective thermal properties andinter-lamination thermal contact resistances were measured for different stator lamination materials. The active cooling performance of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) jets was also measured to better understand the heat transfer coefficients of ATF impinging on motor copper windings. Ford's Mercon LV was the ATF evaluated in this study. The presentation provides an overview of prior workwith a focus on describing future plans for research to be performed during FY15.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NamePresented at the FY15 APEEM Kickoff Meeting, 18-20 November 2014, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5400-63004


  • automatic transmission fluid
  • cooling
  • electric machine
  • electric motors
  • heat transfer
  • laminations


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