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Fluid Cooling Of Inductive Components

15 March 2013

During operation, inductive components, such as transformers and power smoothing reactors, generate losses, discharged as heat. But by employing fluid cooling, greater heat dissipation can be achieved, which allows components to be reduced in size (up to 70%), or to perform at higher levels

German company Block offers a wide range of variants of fluid cooling systems, both in terms of component design and choice of cooling fluid. Fluid cooling may be integrated into component windings during the winding process, or applied directly to the core, with heat sinks located directly on the core and on the winding.

A range of fluids may be used as the cooling medium. Selection is based on compatibility with the materials used in the cooling circuit (usually copper, aluminium or stainless steel), as well as cooling effectiveness. Fluids include water, salt water, demineralised water, solutions based on ethylene glycol and propylene glycol and dielectric (non-conducting) fluids. The latter have similar physical properties to demineralised water, but are less corrosive. Ethylene glycol has good cooling properties, but is toxic; propylene glycol solutions are not as good at cooling, but are suitable for use in the food industry.

Motor reactors in rail engineering use core cooling with glycol and aqueous lotions or non-conductive liquids. The heat sinks are located directly on the core and on the winding. Smoothing reactors used in windpower technology are used for smoothing the waveforms when feeding them into the grid; here the winding is made from a hollow profile through which a non-conductive fluid is channelled. Transformers used in marine engineering, can use a wide range of cooling fluids, including seawater, combined with core cooling. Finally, isolating transformers used in the photovoltaic systems used in solar energy often use a combination of winding cooling and integrated core cooling.