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A Metal Additively Manufactured (MAM) Heat Exchanger for Electric Motor Thermal Control on a High-Altitude Solar Aircraft – Experimental Characterisation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rafal Wrobel, Ben Scholes, Dr Richard Law, Dr Ahmad MustaffarORCiD, Emeritus Dr David Reay



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) published in its final definitive form in 2019. For re-use rights please refer to the publishers terms and conditions.


This paper describes the testing approach developed for characterizing of alternative integrated heat exchanger (HE) concepts, which are part of the electric propulsion system for a high-altitude solar-powered aircraft. The thermal management of electric motors designed for such an application is particularly difficult due to frequently conflicting design targets like, high levels of integration, low weight and high heat removal capability. Further to these, the operating duty of the high-altitude solar-powered aircraft imposes a number of design challenges. The first challenge is related to the take-off operation, where the motor relatively high-torque demand corresponds to a considerable power loss, which needs to be effectively removed. The high-efficiency operation at cruising altitude is the second challenge, where any redundant system weight has a detrimental impact on the overall flight duration [1]-[3]. It is important to note that this particular aircraft is intended for long-duration endurance flights. Moreover, the environmental operating conditions include both temperature and pressure ranging from +45ᵒC to -85ᵒC and from 101.3kPa to 5.5kPa for the sea level and high-altitude (20km), respectively.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wrobel R, Scholes B, Hussein A, Law R, Mustaffar A, Reay D

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 16th UK Heat Transfer Conference

Year of Conference: 2019

Pages: 1-4

Acceptance date: 01/08/2019

Date deposited: 16/09/2019