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Author Topic: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing  (Read 19011 times)

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Offline donpearsall

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Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« on: January 06, 2009, 05:45:17 PM »
I thought there was a formula for sizing an engine cooling water tank on this site. I tried searching but can't find anything. Anybody know?

Thanks
Don
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Offline John Noonan

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 07:30:10 PM »
Don,

Perhaps do a search for "BTU"


Use 2.5-3 gallons and you will be fine :-D

Good luck and post your findings..perhaps Dean can supply some info..

J

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 08:39:57 PM »
I have one from Dr. mayf that he put together in a excel format.. Very detailed and you have to know alot about your motor and setup.

JonAmo

Offline donpearsall

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2009, 10:39:50 PM »
Thanks John and Jon.
Jon can you send the one you have?
donpearsall@comcast.net

thanks
Don
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Offline Harold Bettes

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009, 11:04:17 PM »
Howdy All, :-D

The calculation for water flow and volume of water required to carry away heat from any device or component is pretty straightforward stuff. In my examples we will not use the Calculus although that would allow much more precision. :roll:

GPM = (C x HP) / delta T Where GPM = gal/min, C = constant which is 1.00 for water, delta T = Temp at end - Temp at start with Temp in degrees F.

Time = (Mh20 / Hpbtu) x delta T Where M = wt of water in lbs, Hp in BTUs and 1Hp = 42.44BTU/min, delta T as in formula previous.

Hint: cooling system heat load is about 1/3 of engine power at the flywheel in BTUs 8-)

Hope that helps. :lol:

Regards to All, :cheers:
HB2 :-)
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Offline Harold Bettes

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 11:06:14 PM »
Sorry.....I forgot to add that water is about 8.34 lbs/gal and the calculations are for just plain water. :oops:

Regards,
HB2 :-)
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Offline donpearsall

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 11:23:51 PM »
Thanks much Harold. Looks like a pretty good formula for estimation  I will try to plug this into Excel and see if I can get some results.

Don
550 hp 2003 Suzuki Hayabusa Land Speed Racer

Offline Cajun Kid

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009, 08:12:39 AM »
Harold (HB2),

I must have messed up somewhere.. The formula said I needed 28 gallons ??
(using only water, no additives)

600 HP  SBC
Launch Temp 170 degrees
Desired max temp at end 210 degrees

Charles
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Offline Stainless1

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2009, 08:26:20 AM »
Harold (HB2),

I must have messed up somewhere.. The formula said I needed 28 gallons ??
(using only water, no additives)

600 HP  SBC
Launch Temp 170 degrees
Desired max temp at end 210 degrees

Charles

try it with starting temp of 98....
there is no need to preheat all the water before you run... unless your team plans showers after the run
Stainless
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Offline Dean Los Angeles

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2009, 09:37:27 AM »
What Harold posted is good for a starting point. But there is much, much more to it.

When you ignite the fuel/air mixture you produce heat. Heat produces power. In a perfect world we would insulate the engine and keep all of it. Heat also makes stuff melty. I know, the technical terms like “melty” are hard to follow.

Between melty and cold is a point that makes the most horsepower . . . without melting.  To keep it at this temperature we have to transfer the excess heat out of the engine.

Temperatures in the combustion chamber of the engine can reach 4,500 F, so cooling the area around the cylinders is critical. Areas around the exhaust valves are especially crucial, and almost all of the space inside the cylinder head around the valves that is not needed for structure is filled with coolant. If the engine goes without cooling for very long, it can seize. When this happens, the metal has actually gotten hot enough for the piston to weld itself to the cylinder. This usually means the complete destruction of the engine.

The Volkswagen engine, and others, simply use air. Most use water.

The heat in the engine has to transfer through the water jacket to the water and from the water to the air.

It’s perfectly simple: q = m(DT)Cp
amount of heat transferred = mass x change in temperature x specific heat.

If your head didn’t explode looking at that formula, do a Google search on heat transfer to learn more. Way more than can be discussed here.

To transfer the heat from the engine to the water, we need to know how well different materials transfer heat.

Thermal Conductivity

Thermal Conductivity is the amount of heat a particular substance can carry through it in a unit of time.
Copper   401
Gold   318
Aluminum   237
Brass (37/15 Cu/Zn)   159
Iron, pure   80.4
Carbon Steel   54
Bronze   50
Lead   35.3
Titanium, pure   21.9
Stainless Steel   16.3
Glass   1.2 - 1.4
Concrete   1.1

It’s no wonder we don’t make blocks out of concrete! It makes a big difference whether your block and head are aluminum or cast iron when it comes to cooling. A copper radiator sheds heat better than an aluminum one, but you pay a weight penalty. Not to mention a copper radiator would be massively expensive.

Once we transfer the heat through the jacket, we have to carry that heat out of the system.

Specific Heat Capacity

Specific Heat Capacity is the amount of heat a particular substance can hold.
Water   4.18
Methanol   2.55
Ethanol   2.48
Glycol, Antifreeze   2.38
Liquid Nitrogen   2.04
Steam (at 110°C)   1.97
Benzene   1.72
3M Flourinert FC-43   1.47
Air (at 100°C)   1.00
Freon 11   0.87


It’s no wonder we use water to move the heat out of the system. It by far carries the most heat. Note the difference between water, steam, and air. Air cooling requires a massive flow of air. If your system overheats and turns the water to steam you lose half of the cooling capacity instantly. Note that the antifreeze lowers the capacity of water to carry heat.

But it is more than just heat.
What we want from the cooling system liquid? Water and antifreeze does this:
1.   Carry heat out of the engine
2.   Lower the freezing point.
3.    Raise the boiling point.
4.   Resist corrosion.

Water alone will carry heat out of the system. Additives reduce the capacity of water to carry heat.
Antifreeze lowers the freezing point. Antifreeze also raises the boiling point. (Anti-boil would be a better term. Compounds that achieve both are called colligative agents.)

A 50/50 antifreeze mixture will lower the freezing point to -35F and raise the boiling point to 223F. A 70/30 mix will lower the freezing point -67F and raise the boiling point to 235F.

The boiling point of a liquid is not only the temperature, but the pressure of the liquid. Raising the pressure raises the boiling point. Water boils at 212ºF at atmospheric pressure. A steam boiler at 3,200 psi produces 705ºF steam. At slightly lower temperatures you could have 650ºF water.

The engine is producing temperatures far in excess of 212ºF. If the water is allowed to turn to steam all of the heat capacity goes away and the engine melts. Raising the boiling point in a pressurized system allows us to transfer more heat without boiling the water.

10 psi raises the boiling point to 240ºF. 20 psi raises the boiling point to 260ºF. 30 psi raises the boiling point to 275ºF. Automobile systems run from 9-15 psi. Racing radiator caps run as high as 28-32 psi. The radiator cap serves as a pressure relief valve in case the pressure exceeds the cap rating. Can you run higher pressures? Sure. You can design any system pressure you want, just keep it in mind that you are building a pressure vessel.

The highest point in the system must be a bleed valve. There must be no air in the system.

For racing, the antifreeze isn’t as necessary as you would think.

Corrosion isn’t a problem if you use distilled water. Distillation involves boiling the water and then condensing the steam. Distillation produces very pure water. You know that salt water corrodes everything. That’s because the salt with water allows a galvanic reaction between dissimilar metals. Pure water doesn’t have anything in it to allow a galvanic reaction, or minerals to cause buildup.

What about those freezing days at El Mirage and Bonneville. Antifreeze might have been useful here. You always wanted to heat that trailer, right? A block heater would also be an answer. Draining the system and refilling before racing is another option.

What temperature should the water be?

Wrong question. What temperature should the engine be? Easy! What temperature will it melt at? Because you have to solve for all of the equations in a heat system, it may be something the F1 guys do all the time with unlimited engineers and computers. Some of the high buck LSR guys may be doing it. Dr. Goggles posted: “No science is better than bad science” That’s great if you understand the science, have the tools and computers to analyze all of that and come to a conclusion. In between rocket science and “It ain’t melted so it must be good.” is where most of us are stuck.

The actual answer would be for the particular system you are running. The Hayabusa guys and the BBC guys have no doubt worked out solutions based on trial and error and the number of similar engines out there.

I would hazard a guess and say that there are as many running too cold as too hot. Should you heat the water before the run? Yes, yes, yes! The heat that it takes to warm up the water is power the engine will never see.

What if I can’t get rid of enough heat?
As you put more heat into the system, easy with a turbo or supercharger, you have to take a higher volume of heat out. If you are at the maximum temperature and pressure designed into the system you need to take more heat out with a larger radiator, or increase the flow rate so the water can carry more heat to the radiator.

What are the cooling media options? (Rules not considered.)
This is all I could find under any type of cooling. Industrial, aerospace, overclocked CPU’s, you name it. The reason for mentioning it, is there is no reasonable non-flammable substitute for water.

      Air
      Air will not freeze or boil, and is non-corrosive. However, it has a very low heat capacity.
   
      Water
      Water is nontoxic and inexpensive. With a high specific heat, and a very low viscosity, it's easy to pump. Unfortunately, water has a relatively low boiling point and a high freezing point. It can also be corrosive if the pH (acidity/alkalinity level) is not maintained at a neutral level. Water with a high mineral content (i.e., "hard" water) can cause mineral deposits to form in system plumbing.

      Glycol/water mixtures
      Glycol/water mixtures have a 50/50 or 60/40 glycol-to-water ratio. Ethylene and propylene glycol are "antifreezes." Ethylene glycol is extremely toxic. Most glycols deteriorate at very high temperatures. You must check the pH value, freezing point, and concentration of inhibitors annually to determine whether the mixture needs any adjustments or replacements to maintain its stability and effectiveness.

      Hydrocarbon oils
      Hydrocarbon oils have a higher viscosity and lower specific heat than water. They require more energy to pump. These oils are relatively inexpensive and have a low freezing point. The basic categories of hydrocarbon oils are synthetic hydrocarbons, paraffin hydrocarbons, and aromatic refined mineral oils. Synthetic hydrocarbons are relatively nontoxic and require little maintenance. Paraffin hydrocarbons have a wider temperature range between freezing and boiling points than water, but they are toxic. Aromatic oils are the least viscous of the hydrocarbon oils.

      Refrigerants/phase change fluids
      These are commonly used as the heat transfer fluid in refrigerators, air conditioners, and heat pumps. They generally have a low boiling point and a high heat capacity. This enables a small amount of the refrigerant to transfer a large amount of heat very efficiently. Refrigerants respond quickly to solar heat, making them more effective on cloudy days than other transfer fluids. Heat absorption occurs when the refrigerant boils (changes phase from liquid to gas) in the solar collector. Release of the collected heat takes place when the now-gaseous refrigerant condenses to a liquid again in a heat exchanger or condenser.
 
      Silicone oils
      Silicones have a very low freezing point, and a very high boiling point. They are noncorrosive and long-lasting. Because silicones have a high viscosity and low heat capacities, they require more energy to pump. Silicones also leak easily, even through microscopic holes.

Fluorinert $770 for ¾ gallon. Nuff said.

Water pumps

Electric or mechanical driven pump? Mechanical pumps take horsepower to run. Electrical pumps generally don’t have as much flow. Does it have to be a racing pump? Not necessarily. There are tons of commercial pumps of every flow capacity out there. Racing pumps are usually lighter. Calculating the correct flow and the correct pump is another area that is very tough to calculate.

On an open system, like a pond, placing the pump at the lowest point is necessary to use all of the water. On a closed system in an engine, the liquid level never changes so it isn’t as important to have the pump at the absolute lowest point. Most automotive systems don’t. Once you fill and bleed the system the pump is going to have water in it and priming it isn’t a problem. The pump does need to be feed with a large enough line so that it doesn’t starve and start cavitating. Because of the pressure in the system from heat, cavitation isn’t as much as a problem. But you can still starve it.

How much “head” should I have? Head or discharge pressure, is the difference between the output pressure and the inlet pressure. That differential pressure exists no matter what the system pressurization from the radiator cap might be. The pump is attempting to push water (never pulled.) through the engine. The choke point in the system will determine what that pressure will be. If you change to a larger pump that pressure might go up without much increase in flow. The water is heated by the engine and then cooled by the radiator and that will create a small pressure differential by itself. Once the water is outside of the engine the system has to be large enough to not restrict flow to the inlet of the pump. Bigger is always better. The differential pressure doesn’t matter as much as having the correct flow.

Tank or radiator?

A tank isn’t really required if the system will remove enough heat. The tank would act as a thermal reservoir to delay overheating. If overheating isn’t a problem then you don’t need a tank.

Do you need a radiator? That depends on the cooling needs of your system. Some participants are running a tank with no radiator because they need ballast anyway. Aero factors come into play also. The air has to come into the radiator from a pressure point and that can cause drag. The air has to exit at a low pressure point, and that may not be easy. Can you run a radiator without putting outside air through it? Sure. The heat is going to build up in the engine bay, but on a short run that might be possible.

A radiator is a type of heat exchanger. It is designed to transfer heat from the hot coolant that flows through it to the air blown through it by the fan.
Most modern cars use aluminum radiators. These radiators are made by brazing thin aluminum fins to flattened aluminum tubes. The coolant flows from the inlet to the outlet through many tubes mounted in a parallel arrangement. The fins conduct the heat from the tubes and transfer it to the air flowing through the radiator.
The tubes sometimes have a type of fin inserted into them called a turbulator, which increases the turbulence of the fluid flowing through the tubes. If the fluid flowed very smoothly through the tubes, only the fluid actually touching the tubes would be cooled directly. The amount of heat transferred to the tubes from the fluid running through them depends on the difference in temperature between the tube and the fluid touching it. So if the fluid that is in contact with the tube cools down quickly, less heat will be transferred. By creating turbulence inside the tube, all of the fluid mixes together, keeping the temperature of the fluid touching the tubes up so that more heat can be extracted, and all of the fluid inside the tube is used effectively.

Top fuel engines do not have coolant. The entire cooling is provided by the incoming fuel charge.

If you really need more here's a class:
Engine Cooling Design: A System Engineering Approach
Provider: Society of Automotive Engineers –  $725
Prerequisites
Prior exposure to thermal sciences at the undergraduate level is recommended.
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Offline Sumner

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2009, 10:19:52 AM »
Harold (HB2),

I must have messed up somewhere.. The formula said I needed 28 gallons ??
(using only water, no additives)

600 HP  SBC
Launch Temp 170 degrees
Desired max temp at end 210 degrees

Charles

If you can put that much in the car I'd do it for future HP, and don't forget it can help with ballast if you need that.  We ran about 16-18 gal until last year and I estimate we were making 750 HP and it worked until 07 when we upped the boost a little and had some other problems and the water temp gauge was pegged at 240 at the end of the run.  Last year a new tank took the water capacity to around 31 gal. and we had no problems with even more boost and I feel we were making about 850 HP. 

Now this is on a worst case engine, one running blown gas where you are building the most heat.  We have been running the Snow water injection and I credit it for a lot of our success with this combination.

I'm running 16 gal of cooling water and 16 gal for intercooler ice water in the lakester.  Probably more than I'll need, but if I ever get the chance to run a really good 'busa on blown gas I might be glad I have it at the 5 mile.

c ya,

Sum

Offline SPARKY

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2009, 11:23:16 AM »
I have a radiator (with a 28# cap) in a enclosed 11 gallon tank---on warm up I warm just the radiator and block. On the start line I warm up to operating temp---shut down---then pump the  tank full---when I get back to operating temp---then turn the BIG Mezier pump that circulates water from the rear 25 gallon storage tank  so far it will stay about what ever we turn the pump on.---When I forgot to turn the pump back on ---it hit 240 in the last mile----going to install an auto 190 deg back up switch.---cooling around 900+ hp

11/21/2010 Update 
We went back to a mechanical switch---the last thing the guy closing the canopy does--- before closing the canopy is turn on the BBC Mezier pump!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 07:06:08 AM by SPARKY »
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Offline smcleod007

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2009, 12:13:27 PM »

Cool information guys. I like SPARKY's approach.  8-)

Offline Rex Schimmer

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2009, 12:18:32 PM »
Dean,
Great post! Some really good info there. Just to add a little more I would like to also mention a property of water called "the heat of transformation" which is what happens with fluids when they change from one state to another, i.e. liquid to steam in the case of water. When water changes from liquid to steam at 212 deg F at STP (Standard Temperature and Pressure) it adsorbs about 7 times the amount of energy that it adsorbs by a 1 degree temperature increase when it is liquid. This is a pretty valueable property of water in that if you have a hot spot in your engine, typically in the exhaust valve area, if it is hot enough to make the water into steam the amount of heat adsorbed will be increase by 7 times. Now to take advantage of this you need a very high volume water pump, again using Stu Van Dynes rule of 10 gpm/100 hps. The high volume pump will not allow the water that is transforming to steam to stay at the hot spot because of the high velocity that it is traveling thru the cooling system.

We are all pretty much limited as far as materials go for what ever engine we choose and it is obvious from Deans post that water is the very best fluid for heat transfer and the only variables that we have available to us are the volume of water in the tank,the flow rate of the water pump and the pressure that we run the system at. Lots of advantages for going to a high pressure system but the water tank design can become more of a challenge. Using a round tank like Hooley does in his 974 car is certainly the easiest as this design with formed ends is a very good pressure vessel, large flat sided tanks want to become round at almost any pressure over 15-20 psi unless they are fabed from heavy material and internally braced.

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Re: Engine Cooling Water Tank Sizing
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2009, 12:35:59 PM »
"water wetter" what do we know about this stuff?   (redline, engine ice, enc.)