Australian company, Davies Craig Pty Ltd, has launched a new type of electric water pump for automotive cooling especially designed to meet OE requirements.

Conventional water pumps use a belt driven by the crankshaft to circulate water around the vehicle’s heating and cooling system. Because of this link to the crankshaft, the pump speed (and its output) is directly proportional to the engine speed, which can cause overheating problems when sitting in a traffic jam. This mechanical link also means that the pump consumes a great deal of engine power at high speeds.

An electric pump does away with the belt drive and can be speed controlled to ensure that the coolant flow is always sufficient to achieve the required cooling effect. So in traffic jams the coolant flow can be increased to avoid overheating, and the pump can even be run after the hot engine is switched off to avoid block/gasket damage.

Davies Craig has already marketed two previous generations of its Electric Water Pump (EWP) for motorsport, marine and aftermarket applications; this new third generation has been developed specifically with OEMs in mind, with the high service life and the maximum flow rate that the OEs demand. A unique two-piece ceramic seal ensures a leak-free life and the all-plastic construction (including the patented impeller) avoids the risk of electropohretic corrosion against other metal parts in the cooling system.

Davies Craig expects the first OEM application of its EWP to appear on a European car by 2005/2006.

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Electric water pumps can not only cut fuel consumption and improve emissions but they can also improve the durability of the engine. BMW has just announced a new engine with such a pump (although not using Davies Craig EWP technology in this case).

Mark Wilkinson