Dana Power Technologies is a part of Dana Holding Corporation, which globally supplies to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for light vehicle, commercial, and off highway markets. The company products include axel and transmission, sealing, and thermal management parts. Dana thermal products group specializes in heat transfer components such as radiators, charge air coolers, oil coolers, battery coolers, and more. In 2011, a customer requested from Dana a power electronics system cooler product for hybrid electric and electric vehicles (EVs); a schematic of a hybrid electric vehicle powertrain is shown in the case study. Dana Corporation had not developed any such cooler system before and only had limited experience in the field of power electronics. Therefore, an investigation of the market for new products for power electronics cooling systems was needed. In order to develop a product concept, currently available power electronics cooling technologies were examined.
Eric Schouten, a co-op student from University of Waterloo, was asked to determine if it was worthwhile for the company to further invest in developing a better-quality cooler for a power electronics system used in EVs. He was specifically assigned to study, analyze, and estimate the value of a new cooling product.
This case study is intended for use in Mechanical Engineering and System Design courses covering topics such as thermodynamics and heat transfer. The main expected learning outcome is to generate a need assessment and develop analytical model for the heat sink design. This case could also be used to analyze and compare features and characteristics of the difference metal heat sink design and apply FEA tools to validate that.