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SAE J2867

2014 Edition, August 1, 2014

Complete Document

Laboratory Testing of Light Duty Vehicle Electric Cooling Fan Assemblies for Airflow Performance

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2014 Edition, August 1, 2014
  • Published Date: August 2014
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: SAE International (SAE)
  • Page Count: 10
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

This SAE Recommended Practice is intended for use in testing and evaluating the performance of Light Duty automotive electric engine cooling fans. These Electric Cooling Fan (ECF) Assemblies are purchased by Light Duty Truck and Passenger Car OEM's from suppliers. They are purchased as complete assemblies, consisting of the fan(s), motor(s), and shroud (see Figure 1); this Recommended Practice will only consider such complete assemblies. Some purchased assemblies using brush-type motors may also include control devices such as power resistors or pulse width modulation (PWM) electronics for speed control. In the case of brushless motor technology, the controller is an integral part of the motor where it also performs the commutation process electronically. The performance measurement would include fan output in terms of airflow and pressure, and fan input electric power in terms of voltage and current. This information could then be used to calculate the efficiency of the assembly, including aerodynamic efficiency of the fan and shroud and electrical efficiency of the motor. The electric power consumption could be used to estimate vehicle energy as it relates to electrical charging system sizing and fuel economy.

The test conditions in the procedure generally will not always match those of the installation for which cooling, electric energy consumption and fuel consumption information is desired. The performance of a given fan depends on the installation details of the application, including the effects of system resistance and geometry of the grille, heat exchangers and underhood geometry of the engine and other underhood components. These details should be duplicated in the test setup, to the greatest extent possible, if accurate performance measurement is expected. Vehicle level airflow performance will also be affected by the bumper profile and any other shape that would influence how the airflow enters the grille.


This document provides a recommended test procedure for measuring and comparing the performance of Electric Cooling Fan (ECF) Assemblies for Airflow Performance over a range of pressure and speeds in a test environment that includes the intended heat exchangers, providing a laboratory simulation of as-installed performance. The resulting performance data are intended for predicting the cooling performance and fuel consumption of engines using these fans, and in comparing one fan versus another. The primary purpose of this Recommended Practice is to provide a standard test method such that airflow performance data can be accurately compared between ECF suppliers and OEM's, taking into consideration the different motor technologies and speed control methodology. The further purpose or rationale is that using different test setups and methods offers no competitive advantage, adding cost but not value.

In terms of usefulness of the data, there is one piece of data that differentiates ECF testing from airflow testing of fans using non-electric motor drive sources. The voltage and current are key inputs, just as the airflow and pressure are key outputs. If the motor is a brushless type, with PWM speed control, the OEM may have a great interest in comparing airflow versus pressure at various PWM inputs. But, from an ECF test standpoint, the PWM input (at a given system voltage) is just a control means to provide voltage and current to the motor.
AIA/NAS Aerospace Standards