The performance of engine cooling systems can be improved by replacing the traditional mechanical driven radiator fan and water pump assemblies with computer controlled components. The power requirements for electric servo-motors increase with larger cooling demands which necessitate larger motors and/or a distributed configuration. One solution may be the use of hydraulic-based components due to their high power density and compact size. This paper investigates a thermal management system that features a computer controlled hydraulic actuated automotive fan and water pump. A mathematical model was derived for the hydraulic and thermal system components. To experimentally study the concept, a hydraulic driven fan and coolant pump were integrated with electric immersion heaters and radiator to emulate a vehicle cooling system. The dynamic model exhibited a strong correlation with the experimental test data. For a series of operating profiles, the servo-solenoid proportional control valves successfully tracked prescribed temperature set points to demonstrate that a hydraulic cooling system can maintain engine operating conditions.

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