SAE Standards Works
Cooling Systems Standards Committee
J2867 - Laboratory Testing of Vehicle Electric Cooling Fan Assemblies for Airflow Performance
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Thomas K. Lockwood
Laboratory Testing of Vehicle Electric Cooling Fan Assemblies for Airflow Performance
This SAE recommended Practice is intended for use in testing and evaluating the performance of Light Duty automotive electric engine cooling fans. These Electric Cooling Fan Assemblies are purchased by all of the Light Duty Truck and Passenger Car OEMs from a few suppliers. They are purchased as complete assemblies, almost without exception, consisting of the Fan(s), Motor(s) and Shroud. Some purchased assemblies may also include control devices such as Power Resistors or Pulse Width Modulating (PWM) electronics for speed control. The performance measurement would include airflow, pressure, and electric power. This flow and pressure information could then be used to estimate the engine cooling performance. This power consumption would be used to estimate vehicle energy impacts as they relate to electrical charging system sizing and fuel economy. Additionally, having electric power consumption for a fan operating point (Input Energy) and airflow generated against a pressure drop for that same point (Work or Output Energy), efficiency can be calculated. The procedure also provides a general description of equipment necessary to measure the approximate fan performance. For the purpose of this Recommended Practice, Electric Cooling Fan (ECF) Assembly shall include the Fan(s) and Motor(s) as well as the Shroud, since it is common practice in the Industry to specify and purchase as such. The test conditions in the procedure generally will not always match those of the installation for which cooling, electric energy consumption and fuel consumption information is desired. The performance of a given fan depends on the installation details of the application, including the effects of system resistance from the grille, heat exchangers and underhood packaging airflow restriction. These details should be duplicated in the test setup, to the greatest extent possible if accurate performance measurement is expected. The performance at a given air density and speed also depends on the volumetric flow rate, or the pressure rise across the fan, since these two parameters are mutually dependent. These parameters depend on the pressure drop across the heat exchangers (Air-to-Oil Cooler, Condenser, Charge-Air-Cooler, Radiator, etc.) and the ram pressure due to vehicle motion. For these reasons, the test procedure should be recognized as providing only an approximate measure of installed fan performance. But, if reasonable care is used to replicate the heat exchangers and other contributors to system pressure drop, the test results are an excellent source of accurate comparison data.