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I recently had Ron Anderson rebuild my Kilovac motor controller. In the process, he changed the heat sink and enclosed the controller in a ducted shroud for the forced air cooling.

This made it difficult to re-mount the DC-DC converter on the old motor controller heat sink. The Vicor was mounted on top of the motor controllers heatsink fins, which is not the same as mounting the Vicor on its own heatsink. This was probably a good engineering choice on his part, but it was an inconvienent thing for me, because it forced me to come up with another way to mount the DC-DC.

Ron also suggested that I put a better heat sink and forced air cooling on it. Ron suggested buying Vicor's heat sinks, which might also be a good idea. But I didn't want to wait for Vicor to deliver them and I didn't want to spend the money. Furthermore, I would still have had to build my own mounting bracket.

Black Sheep Technology now has mounting bracket for the Vicor. See the Black Sheep Technology website for details.

A Cheaper Solution

I experimented with welding and brazing fins to a flat plate. Those turned out to be bad ideas. A better idea was to buy a couple of old Pentium II processors ($2 apiece used) and take the heat sinks from them. I fabricated a bracket that positioned the DC-DC next to the motor controller in the high-voltage compartment in the back of my (hatchback) Sparrow. Here's a picture of my bracket with the DC-DC on it.


I cut the old processor heat sinks to fit the holes in my bracket and riveted them to the bracket. (I counter-sunk the rivets, so that they didn't hold the DC-DC off the mounting plate.) I put two little fans pointed right at them and ran the power to fans through a little button thermostat, so that they'll turn on only when the temperature starts to go up. (I didn't want my battery drained by constant cooling.) Here's a picture of the back of the bracket with everything mounted.

Jake Oshins

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Page last modified on June 23, 2009, at 09:01 PM