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A Feasibility Study of Heat Pipes for Thermal Management of Electrical Machines

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rafal Wrobel, Emeritus Dr David Reay



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by IEEE, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This theoretical feasibility study explores the use of heat pipes (HPs) in thermal management of electrical machines. The research focus has been placed on the stator-winding assembly to assess suitability and effectiveness of HP- based heat removal systems. The proposed approach targets the main heat source in electrical machines, which frequently is associated with the winding subassembly. Two generic concept thermal management systems are investigated. The first one uses HPs to enhance heat removal for a machine with conventional cooling, e.g. a liquid or air-cooled housing. The second concept uses HPs as the main heat transfer path, e.g. a fully enclosed machine with no integrated, actively cooled housing. The electromagnetic and thermal compatibility of the proposed HP-based thermal management systems is analysed by means of three-dimensional (3D) finite element analyses (FEAs). The theoretical findings show that the proposed thermal management systems allow for a considerable improvement in heat removal from the machine body, up to % and % for the concept one and two respectively, as compared with a more conventional heat removal system. The overall performance gains are subject to the specific manufacture and assembly processes used in construction of the stator-winding.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wrobel R, Reay D

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE 2020)

Year of Conference: 2020

Online publication date: 30/10/2020

Acceptance date: 01/05/2020

Date deposited: 30/10/2020

ISSN: 2329-3748

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.1109/ECCE44975.2020.9236391

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781728158266