Zero Motorcycles has filed a patent for a liquid cooled motor enclosure. The enclosure includes an outer shell and an inner shell with a fluid tight space in between. The inner shell is designed to thermally couple to the motor. The enclosure also features an inlet manifold and an outlet manifold, both located at opposite ends of the inner shell. The inner shell includes projections that increase the surface area in contact with the coolant fluid and enhance heat transfer. The manifolds have a larger cross-section in a radial direction compared to the fluid tight space. GlobalData’s report on Zero Motorcycles gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Zero Motorcycles, battery management systems was a key innovation area identified from patents. Zero Motorcycles's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Liquid cooled motor enclosure with improved coolant flow and heat transfer

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Zero Motorcycles Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230198334A1) describes a liquid cooled motor enclosure that aims to improve the cooling efficiency of motors, particularly those used in electric vehicles. The enclosure consists of an outer shell and an inner shell connected to it, creating a fluid tight space between them. The inner shell is designed to receive the motor and is thermally coupled to it.

The enclosure features an inlet manifold located near one end and an outlet manifold near the opposite end, allowing for the circulation of coolant fluid. The inner shell includes projections that extend into the space between the inner and outer shells, increasing turbulence in the coolant fluid flow. This design helps enhance the cooling efficiency of the motor.

The space between the inner and outer shells is adapted to contain a coolant fluid, which can be either water-based or oil-based. The patent also mentions the use of a seal between the inner and outer shells to ensure a fluid-tight seal.

The inner and outer shells are described as substantially cylindrical, and the projections can be cylindrical as well. The inner shell has a higher thermal conductivity than the outer shell, further aiding in heat dissipation.

The patent also mentions the application of this liquid cooled motor enclosure in electric vehicles, particularly two-wheeled vehicles. The motor, stator, and rotor are all housed within the enclosure, which is thermally coupled to the stator. This design allows for efficient cooling of the motor, preventing overheating and ensuring optimal performance.

In addition to the liquid cooled motor enclosure, the patent also describes the inclusion of a radiator, pump, and fan in the motor system. The radiator is connected to the coolant fluid inlet and helps dissipate heat energy transferred from the motor to the coolant fluid. The pump circulates the coolant fluid between the radiator and the fluid tight space within the enclosure, while the fan forces airflow through the radiator to dissipate heat to the external environment.

Overall, this patent presents an innovative liquid cooled motor enclosure design that aims to improve the cooling efficiency of motors, particularly in electric vehicles. By utilizing a fluid tight space, projections, and efficient coolant circulation, the enclosure helps prevent overheating and ensures optimal motor performance.

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