Motor cooling (not canned air)

With worlds coming up, and the competition getting stiffer, I’ve noticed a lot more motor heating when teams go into a tug of war. With matches close and motors overheated, that puts teams at a disadvantage (that forgot air or can’t get it). I’m wondering if there is a good not canned air alternative that is good for cooling motors (preferably battery powered). Thanks for your help!

Our team just uses a small fan to help cool the motors down. It is very fast, but it is still faster than without and it is easy to do. If you really want to instantly cool your motors, I would look into to quick swaps. This is essentially where you have your motor casing attached to the motor by zip ties or rubber bands so that you just swap swap out the hot casing to the new casing.


We don’t have space for quickswaps
I was looking at some fans tho

I saw a team at our last tournament that made heat sinks from steal.
but i don’t know how they attached them to the motor
they said it worked good

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I had an idea that you could maybe just unscrew the motors cap a little bit and just cool it down with whatever method, since doing it outside is basically pointless. You probably wouldn’t need to unscrew it that much, just a little gap should be enough. You can write some code to print out your motor temperature over time once they’re overheated. Main problem is accessibility, at least on our robot everyhting was completely covered by metal except for the two lift motors, so we couldn’t do that…

I like the idea of using a heat sink for that, it’d be cool (get it). I would not suggest blowing on it though, moisture might mess something up in there. You never know with vex.

I don’t actually think this would work that well. Have you ever touched the outside of an overheated motor? Yes, it is warm, but the inside is much hotter. I don’t actually believe you would be dissipating that much heat. Especially since the heat transfer of plastic is extremely low (one of the reasons it was used on the smart motors), this would probably just add more weight to your robot.

This might be over the top but it works super good, I am currently adding water cooling to the design and if our tests are correct a single overheated motor will be cooled within 10 seconds without taking the cover or motor off. Also they are 3D printed so just about anyone can make this


Nice! However, they can’t be on the robot during a match. Would have to be something you use between matches.

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what type of fan is that?

It’s a cpu fan, I dont know what model but I can probably find the brand name.

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It is something we have on in between matches, it would be cool though if we could have it on during matches.

It would be an interesting test to see how long it takes a warm motor to return to room temp. Then a team to gauge match frequency with natural cooling time.

  • Connect a motor to a brain that displays the motor temp.
  • Run the motor hard for a several minutes to drive up the temperature.
  • Let the motor sit and have the brain log the temp every 10 minutes for several hours or until the temp stabilizes.
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This would be promising
If you could do something like AIO coolers for computers where you stick a cooler and then it goes to a radiator for the fans
This could be like paddles to place and cool on motors

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I’d have to get permission to do it, as we have PTSD from the lack of motors last year, but I can probably do that. I’ll make a thread about it if I do do it. What would be a good temp to test it at?

I would think a 75° F (24 C) ambient room temperature would work assuming the majority of competition venues are close or lower. Worth noting in your test.

Yeah but I meant how hot should it get?

Good question. Perhaps someone else on this thread can comment on high temperature expectations.

I got a mobile phone cooler because I think it will work the best for this application
Its like a AIO except small and can plug into a wall
Il have to see how it works and get back here

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One team from our region brought their own cooling station to states. It consisted of a large heat exchanger and box fan laying horizontally and blowing upwards. The robot sat on top and the heat exchanger cycled ice water from a cooler. I should have taken a pic, but was busy and never bothered.

During remote skills last year, one of our teams kept motor-sized, 0.5" thick, blocks of aluminum in the freezer to strap onto the motors between rounds. We never tested their efficiency, and were skeptical of how much heat transfer we were getting, but it didn’t hurt.

And yes… neither of these is very practical at worlds.


Quick swap is the best way to quickly cool your motors.