In any vehicle, out of the total heat generated by the combustion of fuel only about 30% is utilized as mechanical energy and the rest of the heat must be removed to the external environmen. Hence a cooling system is required in an engine to
• Extract the heat generated in the engine and save it from getting heated too much.
• Maintain the temperature of the engine for economical and efficient working.
Water pump is a key element in maintaining the circulation rate of the coolant in a cooling system. If the circulation rate of the coolant is slow it will start boiling in the engine compartment itself. Water pump is of two different types, Mechanical water pump and electrical water pump.
Mechanical Water Pump
Mechanical water pumps are traditional ones giving services for the past many decades. They have centrifugal design and operated by a serpentine belt which is typically made up of rubber. The belt comes off the crankshaft. Hence, mechanical water pumps are powered by the engine directly. This gives an advantage to the mechanical water pump that flow volume is available in abundance. The engine provides the necessary rotational energy by rotating the rubber belt which in turn powers the internal pump mechanism. There is a system of impeller (rotor) which throws the coolant on a winding. The coolant moves through the engine and extracts heat. After that coolant radiates the absorbed heat through a radiator and returns back to the pump. Now with this pump functioning the temperature of the engine is maintained around 200 degrees Fahrenheit or nearly 93.3 degrees celsius. With this objective achieved, the engine functions properly.
Electric Water Pump
Electric Water pump doesn’t run on rubber belt powered by the engine. Electric water pump is powered by a battery. Electric water pump comes with compact packaging and occupies lesser space. There is an alternator (geneartor) which charges the battery.
Electrical water pump provides volume of coolant flow as per the demand of the engine. Its operation is independent of the automobile engine operation. Electric water pump is free from wear. There are less number of moving parts which makes the pump less noisy. Control variables used in the electric pump can be other than coolant temperature.
While installing an electric water pump, the design engineer is not dependent on the belt system and practically the pump can be fitted anywhere inside the engine block. The regulation of the coolant is taken care of the hybrid designed electronic system. Application of electric pumps depend on the watt readings of the pump. The typical watt readings for the pump used for engine cooling is 200-400 W.
The Close Comparison Between The Two Pumps
Mechanical water pump surpasses electric water pumps in the flow volume. But in some rpm electric water pump has upper hand. When the car moves at idle rpm, electric pump can circulate two to three times more coolant than mechanical water pump does. The reason is that electric water pump can deliver a constant flow rate whereas mechanical water pump depends on speed of the engine as the speed moves above.
Keywords: automotive cooling system, water pump repair
By: Wayne Simms
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