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Spreadsheet for Calculation of Radiator Cooling

you may change items highlighed in red, other values are calculated and shou
1. Engine heat generated is constant (efficiency loss spec
2. The heat removed by the radiator is proportional to the
3. There is no steam generated (i.e. you haven't lost the b
4. Everything is at steady state, i.e. you're just cruising alo

Engine heat generated

4 HP
10178 BTU/hr
2983 Watts
10738 kjoule/hr

Specify engine heat as the hp

loss due to engine friction, heat, etc
It only takes about 25 hp to go 60mph

Water Flow Rate

1.0 gal/min
3.8 liter/min
Heat Capacity of flowing water
487 BTU/hr/deg F
925 kjoule/hr/deg K
Base Case: gives 192 out of engine and into radiator
engine heat 4 hp
water flow 1 gpm
air temp 80 deg F
heat trans. 100 BTU/hr/deg F

Sensitivity (deg. F) of radiator outlet temp to change of: Conclusions:

plus 20% minus 20% Engine heat and radiator heat trans
engine heat 23 -22 (air temperature is not controlable).
water flow rate -2 3 is proportional to the heat generate
air temp. 14 -16 The other controllable parameters (
heat trans. coeff. -17 26 inversely proportional to the flow ra

What effects engine heat:

1. All the usualy stuff you hear about, e.g.
2. engine timing
3. carburetion
4. etc.

What effects radiator heat transfer coefficient:

1. air flow through the radiator
2. size and design of radiator (frontal area, rows of tubes, tube arrangement, etc.)
3. water flow through the radiator (weak dependence)

What effects air temperature:

1. God

Origins of the "Flows Too Fast" Theory

We've all heard the explanation that a restriction is required to keep the water from flowing too fast through the rad
The explanation goes on, if it flows too fast, it doesn't have a chance to cool down. The analysis above obviously d
not agree with this theory. I believe the theory arose from the observation that sometimes thermostats or other res
at the water outlet improves cooling performance. Nothing wrong with the observation, but I believe the explanation
wrong. When you replace a restriction in the water outlet you decrease the water flow a bit, but you also increase t
pressure of the water inside the block. Increasing the water pressure increases its boiling point. Since steam does
transfer heat well, this improves cooling performance. You could probably achieve the same result by
using a higher pressure radiator cap or by adding antifreeze if you're not using it.
n of Radiator Cooling
s are calculated and should not be changed

stant (efficiency loss specified in HP)

ator is proportional to the difference between air and water temperature
(i.e. you haven't lost the battle), water properties at 180 deg F are used
.e. you're just cruising along at constant speed (principals apply irregardless)

Temperature into radiator

192 deg F
89 deg K

Radiator Heat Transfer Coefficient times internal Area

100 BTU/hr/deg F
190 kJoule/hr/deg K

Air Temperature (deg F)

80 deg F
27 deg K

Temperature out of radiator

171 deg F
77 deg K

Should use a log mean difference between air and water
temperatue, but this gives a very small effect.

eat and radiator heat transfer coefficient are the most important controllable parameters
erature is not controlable). The formulae show that the average temperature in the radiator (and the engine)
ional to the heat generated by the engine and inversely proportional to the heat transfer coefficient.
controllable parameters (flow rate) is of lesser importance. The difference between inlet and outlet temperature is
proportional to the flow rate.
g too fast through the radiator.
nalysis above obviously does
s thermostats or other restrictions
ut I believe the explanation is
bit, but you also increase the
point. Since steam does not
Water Heat Capacity at 82 deg K (180 deg F)
4.200 kjoule/kg/deg K
1.003 BTU/lb/deg F

Water Density at 82 deg K (180 deg F)

0.970 kg/liter
8.096 lb/gallon

Heat Capacity (gallons)

8.121 BTU/gal/deg F
4.074 kjoule/liter/deg K

Other Conversion Factors

3.785 liters/gallon
2.205 lb/kg
1.800 deg F/deg K
0.948 BTU/kjoule
2544.434 BTU/hr/hp
745.700 watts/hp
3.412 (BTU/hr)/watt
3.600 (kjoule/hr)/watt