Offboard Pneumatic Cooling for Falcon 500's

Hi,
I was wondering if there were any teams that have an off board pneumatic system to cool Falcon 500’s? I am trying to build one, but I was wondering if there were any designs out there before I started.

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Do you actually have motors that are overheating? What temperatures are they getting to?

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They aren’t overheating. This was a side project so that we could cool the motors if there was a quick turnaround between matches. In the past we used air dusters to cool the motors in that situation, but I figured it’d probably be easier to just shoot some air into the motor with a pneumatic setup.

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if I where designing one I would use a compressor like a car turbo, or you could line up a bunch of air tanks at 120 psi and regulate it to something more reasonable like 30psi and connect it to the cooling port.

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In 2019 our drivetrain CIMs got awfully hot during the playoffs at the Iowa Regional but since we switched to Falcons haven’t had that issue.

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Our CIMs got extremely hot in the past too, so we were looking to avoid that. We are just finishing up the robot so we haven’t tested the new drivetrain (first year with the Falcon drivetrain). I’ll check the Falcon’s temperature after some practice and see whether or not we need it.

Falcons also have an intergraded temperature sensor

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Do you know if there are any rules that would regulate something like this at a competition?

If you have all of the tubing open to atmosphere (not capped) and have no pneumatic devices on the robot short of tubing and fittings, you can get air from anywhere for cooling. A drill battery inflator might get less sideways looks about hooking up air in the pits or on a cart. I like the Ryobi one myself.

Plug in compressors are typically, but not always, frowned upon at events due to power restrictions.

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very cool, but if the falcons are not normally connected to the pneumatics couldn’t you plug the falcons into the blower without touching the pneumatic systems?

I was on the assumption you wouldn’t have pneumatics. If you have them, just plumb the motors into a flow control and cool all match long with a slow stream from the compressor. If you don’t then this would not count as pneumatics, but rather just some tubing and fittings attached to a motor.

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I have two designs I would recommend: The easier being resting two cordless fans on the robot so they’re blowing on the motors. The more complex being a set of four semiflexible tubes that are all connected to a fan/blower. If I could remember the team/year/event I saw it at I would link it but its just a memory at this point.

A lot of those motors are designed to run at temperatures that a casual observer would consider to be “hot”. Engineering decisions should be driven by data and by the specifications from the component manufacturers.

As @Bmongar srated, the Falcon’s have integrated temperature sensors to protect the motor and controller. Presumably, the manufacturer has chosen an appropriate trip level based on the specifications of the materials used and their test results. Unless you are actually experiencing thermal shutdown, your efforts may be better applied elsewhere.

I suspect this is why some teams worry over this issue: Temperature Effects on Motor Performance.

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If your running pneumatics already there are 2 ways I see to do it without needing an off board compressor.

  1. Hook up your exhaust from pistons to feed into the falcons during matches.

  2. Have a valve that goes from your tank to your falcons that you can manually control so after matches you can dump your remaining air into the falcons. You can also run your compressor with this valve open to keep the stream going between matches.

Blacksmith bellows.