Monday, June 17, 2024

Reference Design For 1 kW Cooling Fan

The 1 kW engine cooling fan’s reference design for 12 V applications can be adjusted for similar applications with equal or lesser power needs.

Infineon fan

An engine cooling fan is required to regulate the engine’s temperature and prevent it from overheating. As the engine operates, it generates significant heat that needs to be dissipated to maintain optimal operating conditions. The cooling fan plays a crucial role in this process by drawing air through the radiator, which helps dissipate heat from the engine coolant. By maintaining proper engine temperature, the cooling fan ensures efficient combustion, prevents engine damage, and extends the engine’s lifespan. To address this problem, a 1 kW engine cooling fan reference design for 12 V applications was launched by Infineon Technologies. The reference design showcases an automotive 3-phase motor drive for engine cooling fan applications. By utilising this reference design, manufacturers can save time and resources in developing their cooling fan systems while ensuring high performance and compatibility. This solution can be used for similar applications with smaller or equal power consumption. 

The design utilises MOSFETs with a gate charge greater than 100nC, enabling high current capability. This design incorporates the world’s first integrated bridge driver, capable of efficiently driving 1 kW motors at 12V, setting a new standard in performance and integration for automotive cooling systems. The reference design incorporates two key components. The first component is the embedded power Integrated Circuit (IC) that serves as a single-chip 3-phase motor driver and offers a comprehensive System-on-Chip (SoC) solution. This device integrates an industry-standard Arm Cortex M3 core, Local Interconnect Network (LIN) transceiver, bridge driver, and power supply. Its integration enables the implementation of advanced motor control algorithms like sensorless field-oriented control (FOC), providing efficient and precise motor control capabilities. The second crucial component is a 40 V MOSFET offering a smaller form factor of 7×8 mm² while maintaining excellent thermal performance. 

The reference design offers a range of features for 12V automotive cooling fan applications. It incorporates measures for optimised thermal behaviour, enhancing the cooling fan’s performance and reliability. The design includes a Serial Wire Debug (SWD) port for easy debug connection and dedicated ports for Hall sensors, LIN communication, and Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) measurements. The reference design operates at the temperature range of -40 °C to 105 °C. The board efficiently dissipates heat from the shunts via the thermal pad and centre bolt. A flat heatsink can be attached at the bottom with no surface-mounted components. Only the leads of the through-hole electrolytic capacitors protrude, requiring minimal heatsink modification. The embedded power IC device offers scalability, allowing customers to extend the platform approach for applications up to 1 kW.

This reference design has been tested by Infineon Technologies. It comes with a Bill of Material BOM, schematics, Gerber file, Printed circuit board (PCB) layout, Schematic, etc. You can find additional data about the reference design on the company’s website. To read more about this reference design, click here.

Nidhi Agarwal
Nidhi Agarwal
Nidhi Agarwal is a journalist at EFY. She is an Electronics and Communication Engineer with over five years of academic experience. Her expertise lies in working with development boards and IoT cloud. She enjoys writing as it enables her to share her knowledge and insights related to electronics, with like-minded techies.



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