The enemy of electric vehicle motors is heat, whether they are electric cars or electric bikes. And while large electric vehicles have had liquid-cooled motors for years, e-bikes may soon get colder, too. This is thanks to a new patent granted to Falco eMotors for a liquid-cooled electric bicycle motor design.
Falco eMotors has been a leader in the electric bicycle industry for years. The company developed the first 5-stage electric bicycle motors and is responsible for many other innovations in the industry.
But their most recent invention may be the coolest to date.
The the coolest one more.
To find? Because it’s a liquid cooled engine. I know, I kill at the bar. Sometimes it’s not even fair.
Where was i? Ah, OK. So Falco’s new liquid-cooled direct drive motor was finally granted a US patent last month. Falco eMotor President Rakesh Dhawan provided Electrek with the patent, which shows how the engine works.
Falco’s new liquid-cooled electric motor design
The air space inside the engine is partially filled with coolant to a point below the axle. This submerges the lower part of the stator (the stationary part of the motor) as well as part of the rotating part of the motor. Elbow holes and special sealants are used to prevent liquid from escaping from the engine.
A pressure balancing unit is built into the engine to prevent pressure from building up as the fluid heats up and expands.
The side engine covers are also dimpled to further agitate the liquid and increase the efficiency of convection cooling. No radiator or external pump is required in this design. Honeycomb covers create their own turbulent flow and help transport heat from the center of the engine to the walls of the engine. At this point, the motor is passively cooled outside of the air stream.
Rakesh believes the combination of Falco’s higher performance direct drive motors and this new liquid cooling patent can help the motors stay ahead of the competition:
“This latest patent is tangible proof of Falco’s truly unique approach to direct drive technology. With our extraordinary eDrive technology and providing a customer-specific e-bike experience, we are the only company capable of meeting a significant challenge against the inefficiencies and unreliability of mid-drive and geared motors.
This liquid cooling has the potential to dramatically improve performance. While some electric motorcycle companies, including Lightning and Energica, have embraced liquid-cooled engines, others, like Zero, have stuck with air cooling. Electric bikes have also been almost completely air cooled, or at least until now.
I think it could be very interesting for the future of electric bicycle motors. It has the potential to increase the power level and climbing efficiency of motors without substantially changing their electrical design.
To be fair, the concept of partially liquid-filled motors in e-bikes is nothing new. Hobbyists fill their own motors at home using commercially available ferrofluid products such as Statorade, which is specifically marketed for this purpose. But the Falco patent goes beyond simply filling a standard engine with coolant. He redesigned the engine to make the most of this cooling.
I’d love to see how much horsepower that can help squeeze out relatively modest sized engines.
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