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Tech Focus | Analysis, benefits and disadvantages of the E-Water Pump, the electric water pump for karts

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05 November 2021
It is a conversion kit that allows you to transform a mechanical water pump into an electrically operated one. Designed and manufactured by New-Line Racing and Monza-Tech, its use is prohibited in many races in the FIA recognised classes. But it can be an interesting solution for amateurs. Let's find out why, what the kit consists of and how it works.

As many of you know, an internal combustion engine based on the Otto cycle can transform on average of only 30% of the energy produced by the combustion of the fuel into mechanical energy that generates a linear movement of the pistons inside the cylinders. The remaining 70% of the energy is, in fact, dispersed with the friction between the pistons and cylinders and with the heat that causes the temperature inside the engine to rise. Although some of this is dissipated through the escape of exhaust gases (30%), most internal combustion engines need a liquid cooling system that can dissipate the extra heat produced by combustion and keep the operating temperature of the engine in its optimal range to improve performance and ensure high levels of reliability. The beating heart of these is the pump, on whose performance the efficiency of the engine depends. And it is precisely in combination with the water pump that the New-Line Racing and Monza-Tech E-Water Pump kit is installed.

In the world of karting competitions, the official FIA Karting (or CIK-FIA, if you prefer) rules exclusively require the use of mechanical water pumps driven directly by the kart’s engine or axle. However, different devices can be used outside of these races and this is why Marco Malverti, design manager of New-Line Racing, and Francesco Bozzano, owner of Monza-Tech, joined forces to develop the E-Water Pump, a conversion kit to transform New-Line Racing's "RACING con HTD" mechanical water pump (code N-L157) into an electrically operated water pump. It is a new product that aims to ensure water temperature stability (the pump impeller rotates at a constant speed imposed by the transmission ratio between the electric motor pulley and the pump pulley instead of based on the revolutions of the axle) and will not result in, according to the manufacturers, additional routine maintenance compared to a mechanical pump other than checking the condition of the battery. Characteristics that on paper make it a product intended for amateur kart drivers who wish to enjoy days on the track without worrying too much about the sudden changes in temperature that the engine may have while it’s running, since with a system managed in this way the water pump does not work according to the speed of the kart, but is operated constantly and stabilized by an electric motor. However, there remains the risk that the O-rings connecting the two pulleys (that of the electric motor and that of the pump) could break, effectively blocking the engine cooling system, as could happen with a normal "mechanical" system. In theory, however, it can be assumed that the pulleys of the E-Water Pump system, turning at a constant speed and without continuous slowdowns and accelerations, reduce the stresses to which the O-Rings are subjected, exposing them less to the risk of breaking. The E-Water Pump can be mounted on any type of kart that uses a liquid cooling system and it is in great demand in the United States, where many already use this type of product in competitions with Honda engines. The kit will be available by the end of the year, with commercial distribution entrusted to the official New-Line Racing dealers, and a list price of 470 Euros, including the New-Line Racing water pump model RACING with HTD, which has, taken individually, a price of 105 Euros (European prices).

Considering only the components installed on the kart for conversion, i.e. electric motor (588 gr), 1 battery (398 gr), dedicated wiring (59 gr) and the ignition button with 3 cables attached (148 gr) the kit has a total weight of about 1,193 grams. A weight gain that is often not noticeable by the target customers (amateur drivers often do not care obsessively about the ideal weight) to which the E-Water Pump is aimed.
As we said, the pump selected for this kit is a "RACING with HTD" (code N-L157) by New-Line Racing. It is a single-stage radial pump with variable radius fins, made of a whole aluminium billet and machined using a CNC numerical control machines in regard to the glossy black body (the fixed part) and the impeller (the rotating part). The latter has a diameter of 52 mm and is composed of 5 fins. The impeller, driven by an axial toothed pulley with a diameter of 25 mm, is rotated (by means of a connection with an O-Ring) by the pulley of the electric motor, creates an internal depression in the suction pipe with a 16 mm flange causing the water to be pushed by the impeller into the pump body, from which it comes out through the outlet/supply pipe which has an internal diameter of 14 mm. The water pump in question has a head of 0.4 bar (the pressure that the pump is able to give to a circuit, overcoming the pressure drops and the difference in level present – editor’s note) while the maximum flow rate, i.e. the amount of water that can be moved by the pump in a unit of time, is over 65 l/minute. Obviously, this rate is achieved when the impeller is at maximum speed, as we will see in the chapter on its operation.

    Drag the cursor to see how the E-Water Pump kit modifies a classic kart cooling system.

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