Electronic Water Pumps in the Automotive Industry

Posted on Oct 8, 2020

Electronic Water Pump

To understand why someone wants an electric water pump, first of all, you need to understand the purpose and disadvantages of traditional mechanical water pumps. Technically speaking, it is a coolant and antifreeze pump, but we will simply call it a water pump because this is what most automotive technicians refer to.

Conventional water pumps are belt-powered parts. In other terms, it produces mechanical rotational energy, provided in the form of a spinning rubber belt, from the engine and uses it to drive the internal pump mechanism.

The impeller in the pump sends the engine coolant through the engine block to absorb heat during the winding stroke, and then reaches the radiator, where the coolant radiates heat and then passes through the pump again. Let's take a closer look at how your automobile can benefit from an electronic water pump instead of a mechanical one.


Electronic Water Pumps and Engines

With its water pump running, a typical car engine remains in a relatively comfortable environment of about 93.3 degrees Celsius, and everyone, including your car, is happy. So why is it such a good thing to mix up the electronic version into the mix? Well, any accessories that consume the energy of the engine belt will cost you.

It either reduces the vehicle's horsepower, fuel economy, or both. If you know how heavy the engine is and how the fuel mileage is decreased when the air conditioning is switched on? This is because the engine has to work harder to power the belt-driven AC compressor and maintain steady rpm. As far as the water pump is concerned, the same lack of parasitic energy persists.


Advantages of Electronic Pumps

The electronic water pump does not require belt power. Instead, it relies on battery power. Therefore, you may be wondering, because the annoying laws of thermodynamics stipulate that you cannot generate or destroy energy, don't you just apply a larger load on the belt-driven alternator to provide energy to charge the battery? Does the energy loss have to be made up elsewhere and affect performance? The laws of thermodynamics still hold true. However, the mechanical water pump always rotates at a speed proportional to the engine speed.

As a result, sometimes when the engine temperature is not enough to actually need, you will pump a lot of coolants. That is a waste of energy. Sometimes, your engine needs more cooling capacity than it can obtain, for example when you turn off the car after a hard drive on a hot day. That will wear out some engine parts faster. In contrast, electronic water pumps allow manufacturers to set how much coolant passes through the engine in a given temperature range.

Therefore, it is actually more efficient and more in line with the specific cooling requirements of the engine. Depending on your driving style, having an electronic water pump can provide more ponies when needed, increase the number of miles per gallon, and even extend the life of the engine by reducing the pressure.

:: Read More: Electronic Water Pump: For Home or Occasional Use


Electronic Water Pumps and Cooling Systems

In a performance engine, you should never underestimate the need for cooling. All water-cooled cars work on the principle of pumping water around the engine, and then to the radiator, releasing heat in the radiator. Most keep the water in the engine until it warms up, and then circulate the water to the radiator when the thermostatic valve is opened. Some manufacturers are installing electronic water pumps instead of mechanical pumps, and after-sales assembly of electronic water pumps is emerging, so what are their performance benefits?


Mechanical Pumps Drawbacks

Most water pumps are mechanical and will crank. This has two disadvantages: First, the water is pumped in proportion to the engine speed. Therefore, if you keep driving hard and then suddenly slow down, the pumping speed of water will slow down and the engine will take longer to cool down.

Second, the water pump pulls the crank. They are usually bulky and require considerable force to turn the impeller. According to records, on a 170bhp engine, the power loss of the water pump alone is as high as 17bhp. When you look at the benefits of electronic water pumps, you will wonder why they are not included as standard equipment in the car-but as always, it often boils to the cost!

The electronic water pump used in motorsports for a long time can solve these two problems. It must be noted that the extra current it absorbs will generate tension on the alternator in a similar way to the air conditioning unit. The electronic water pump will be provided as a kit together with the main pump and controller.


Advanced Controls

Using a more advanced controller, you can select the operating temperature of the engine from inside the car. The advantage of a water pump is that the water circulation is proportional to the temperature. The hotter the water, the faster the water will be pumped through the engine, which will help to cool.

This also means that the pump runs only when it is actually needed to quickly warm up the engine and maintain the optimum operating temperature. You will need to remove the existing water pump impeller and thermostat because your electronic water pump will replace them. There is absolutely no need to disassemble the entire pump; indeed, keeping the pulley in place will mean that you don't have to install a new belt.

Setting the Temperature

One big advantage of the electronic water pump is that you can easily select the working temperature of the car. Lowering the temperature will mean that the engine produces more power, and raising the temperature will improve the economy of the engine. Being in traffic will no longer mean that the engine has reached a dangerous level, and the radiator coolant will circulate faster around the engine, so the workload of the cooling fan on the radiator will be reduced.

Installing an electronic water pump is very simple, but because each car has a different cooling system, we cannot provide detailed information here. The pump will usually be installed in series near the switch that operates the flow through the radiator. Usually, you will have to cut the hose and insert the water pump in, and then connect it to the car's ignition circuit. Depending on your settings, you can even run the water pump when the car is stationary so that it continues to cool the engine when it is off.


Electronic Pump Drawbacks?

Generally speaking, the service life of electronic water pumps will not be longer than that of mechanical water pumps. Many manufacturers recommend replacing mechanical pumps every 7 years anyway. The electronic water pump also imposes a load on the battery, but this does not produce the same loss as the mechanical load driven by a crank.

They can be difficult to install and set up. It is highly recommended to buy a kit designed for your car. However, their popularity is getting higher and higher, and if set correctly, they can really improve the driving performance of the car.


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