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Title:
VEHICULAR THERMAL MANAGEMENT MODULE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/183725
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
In an aspect, a vehicular thermal management module is provided and includes a module housing defining a pump chamber, a pumping element movable to drive coolant flow, a pump flow restriction member movable to a first position to occlude a first cross-sectional flow area in the pump chamber, and to a second position to occlude a second cross- sectional flow area in the pump chamber, a first controlled port on the module housing, an aperture plate and a motor. The aperture plate has a port side facing the first controlled port and a pump chamber side facing the pump chamber, and a first aperture extending through between the sides. The aperture plate is movable to first and second positions to present first or second amounts of aperture area to the first controlled port. The motor is operatively connected to the pump flow restriction member and to the aperture plate.

Inventors:
VANDENBERG, Eric (730 Rowntree Dairy Road, Woodbridge, Ontario L4L 5T7, CA)
ZHENG, Jason (730 Rowntree Dairy Road, Woodbridge, Ontario L4L 5T7, CA)
JIA, Zhengjie (730 Rowntree Dairy Road, Woodbridge, Ontario L4L 5T7, L4L 5T7, CA)
BOYES, Andrew M. (730 Rowntree Dairy Road, Woodbridge, Ontario L4L 5T7, L4L 5T7, CA)
Application Number:
CA2019/050371
Publication Date:
October 03, 2019
Filing Date:
March 26, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LITENS AUTOMOTIVE PARTNERSHIP (730 Rowntree Dairy Road, Woodbridge, Ontario L4L 5T7, L4L 5T7, CA)
International Classes:
F01P7/14; B60H1/04; B60K11/02; F01P5/10; F04D15/00; F16K11/074; F16K31/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010127826A12010-11-11
WO2010046225A12010-04-29
WO2003006856A12003-01-23
WO2017124198A12017-07-27
Foreign References:
CN106065806A2016-11-02
US20170298805A12017-10-19
US20160061092A12016-03-03
FR2817011A12002-05-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLMAN IP INC. (401 Bay Street, Suite 2108 Box 6, Toronto Ontario M5H 2Y4, M5H 2Y4, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1 . A thermal management module for a coolant system for a vehicle, comprising: a module housing defining a pump chamber;

a pumping element positioned in the pump chamber, and which is movable to drive a flow of coolant through the pump chamber;

a pump flow restriction member that is movable to a first pump flow restriction member position in which the pump flow restriction member occludes a first amount of cross-sectional flow area in the pump chamber, and is movable to a second pump flow restriction member position in which the pump flow restriction member occludes a second amount of cross-sectional flow area in the pump chamber, wherein the second amount of cross-sectional flow area is different than the first amount of cross-sectional flow area; a first controlled port provided on the module housing;

an aperture plate that has a port side that faces the first controlled port and a pump chamber side that faces the pump chamber, and a first aperture plate aperture that extends through from the port side to the pump chamber side, wherein the aperture plate is movable to a first aperture plate position in which the aperture plate presents a first amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture to the first controlled port, and is movable to a second aperture plate position in which the aperture plate presents a second amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture to the first controlled port, wherein the second amount of aperture area is different than the first amount of aperture area; and

a motor that is operatively connected to the pump flow restriction member and to the aperture plate such that driving of the aperture plate between the first and second aperture plate positions by the motor, drives the pump flow restriction member between the first and second pump flow restriction member positions.

2. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the first amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture presented to the first controlled port when the aperture plate is in one of the first and second aperture plate position is zero.

3. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the first controlled port has a cross-sectional size and shape and wherein the first aperture plate aperture has a cross-sectional shape that is different than the cross-sectional size and shape of the first controlled port.

4. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , further comprising a second controlled port on the module housing, wherein, in at least one of the first and second aperture plate positions, the aperture plate presents a first portion of the first aperture plate aperture to the first controlled port and a second portion of the first aperture plate aperture to the second controlled port.

5. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the motor drives a main gear,

wherein the main gear is integral with the aperture plate and the aperture plate is rotatable about an aperture plate rotation axis to the first and second aperture plate positions.

6. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the aperture plate further includes a second aperture plate aperture that is radially spaced inwardly from the first aperture plate aperture.

7. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the thermal management module further includes a second valve having a second-valve housing, a first second-valve on the second-valve housing, a second second-valve on the second- valve housing, and a third second-valve on the second-valve housing, wherein the first, second and third second-valves, and a valve element in the second-valve housing to direct coolant flow between the first, second and third second-valves, wherein the motor is operatively connected to the valve element such that such that driving of the aperture plate between the first and second aperture plate positions by the motor, drives movement of the valve element to change a flow between the first, second and third second-valves.

8. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the pump flow restriction member is a tongue that is pivotable between the first and second pump flow restriction member positions.

9. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the motor drives a pump cam, and wherein the thermal management module further includes a pump cam follower that is engaged with the pump cam and is operatively connected to the pump flow restriction member to drive the pump flow restriction member to the first and second pump flow restriction member positions.

10. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 9, wherein the pump cam is integral with the aperture plate.

11. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the pumping element is an impeller that is rotatable to drive a flow of coolant through the pump chamber.

12. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein each of the first and second controlled ports includes:

a port body which is movably positioned in a recess in the module housing, and which has the face seal thereon, and

a port biasing member that urges the port body towards sealing engagement between the face seal and the port side of the aperture plate,

wherein the port body has an exterior surface with a peripheral sealing member that seals between the port body and a wall of the recess

13. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 12, wherein the port biasing member is a compression spring that urges the port body away from a base of the recess, wherein the base of first recess has a housing pass-through aperture that communicates fluidically with an end of an associated one of the first and second conduits.

14. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the motor drives a main gear,

wherein the main gear is integral with the aperture plate and the aperture plate is rotatable about an aperture plate rotation axis to the first and second aperture plate positions,

wherein the thermal management module further includes a second valve having a second-valve housing, a first second-valve on the second-valve housing, a second second-valve on the second-valve housing, and a third second-valve on the second-valve housing, wherein the first, second and third second-valves, and a valve element in the second-valve housing to direct coolant flow between the first, second and third second- valves,

wherein the motor is operatively connected to the valve element such that such that driving of the aperture plate between the first and second aperture plate positions by the motor, drives movement of the valve element to change a flow between the first, second and third second-valves.

15. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the pump flow restriction member is a tongue that forms part of a volute of the pump chamber at one of the first and second pump flow restriction member positions.

16. A thermal management module for a coolant system for a vehicle, comprising: a module housing having a first wall, a second wall and a third wall, and defining an aperture plate chamber between the first and second walls, and defining a pump chamber between the second and third walls, wherein the second wall has a pump chamber facing side that faces the pump chamber and an aperture plate chamber facing side that faces the aperture plate chamber;

an impeller rotatably supported in the pump chamber for rotation about an impeller axis, the impeller having an impeller inlet;

a first controlled inlet port provided on the first wall of module housing; and an aperture plate in the aperture plate chamber, wherein the aperture plate has a port side that faces the first controlled inlet port and a pump chamber side that faces the pump chamber, and a first aperture plate aperture that extends through from the port side to the pump chamber side, wherein the aperture plate is movable to a first aperture plate position in which the aperture plate presents a first amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture to the first controlled inlet port, and is movable to a second aperture plate position in which the aperture plate presents a second amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture to the first controlled inlet port, wherein the second amount of aperture area is different than the first amount of aperture area, wherein the aperture plate extends in a plane that is generally perpendicular to the impeller axis, wherein the first aperture plate aperture and the second wall are shaped to direct coolant to the impeller inlet.

17. A thermal management module as claimed in claim 16, wherein the aperture plate facing side of the second wall has at least one channel therein that has a first end that faces and is aligned with the first controlled inlet port and that has a second end at a chamber pass-through aperture in the second wall between the pump chamber and the aperture plate chamber.

Description:
VEHICULAR THERMAL MANAGEMENT MODULE

FIELD

[0001] The specification relates generally to thermal management modules for controlling coolant flow in vehicles.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0002] It is known to employ thermal management modules (TMMs) for use in controlling coolant flow in a coolant system. While TMMs are useful in that they consolidate some control over the coolant flow through the coolant system, TMMs can suffer from one or more drawbacks. For example, TMMs which control many valves can be expensive, given the number of valves, and multiple motors required to drive these valves. Such TMMs can also require a complex control system to control operation of these valves. Additionally, such TMMs can be physically large due to their many constituent components.

[0003] It would be advantageous to provide a TMM that mitigates one or more of these aforementioned problems and/or other problems.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0004] In an aspect, there is provided a thermal management module for a coolant system for a vehicle. The thermal management module includes a module housing defining a pump chamber, a pumping element positioned in the pump chamber, and which is movable to drive a flow of coolant through the pump chamber, a pump flow restriction member that is movable to a first pump flow restriction member position in which the pump flow restriction member occludes a first amount of cross-sectional flow area in the pump chamber, and is movable to a second pump flow restriction member position in which the pump flow restriction member occludes a second amount of cross-sectional flow area in the pump chamber, wherein the second amount of cross-sectional flow area is different than the first amount of cross-sectional flow area, a first controlled port provided on the module housing, an aperture plate and a motor. The aperture plate has a port side that faces the first controlled port and a pump chamber side that faces the pump chamber, and a first aperture plate aperture that extends through from the port side to the pump chamber side, The aperture plate is movable to a first aperture plate position in which the aperture plate presents a first amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture to the first controlled port, and is movable to a second aperture plate position in which the aperture plate presents a second amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture to the first controlled port. The second amount of aperture area is different than the first amount of aperture area. The motor is operatively connected to the pump flow restriction member and to the aperture plate such that driving of the aperture plate between the first and second aperture plate positions by the motor, drives the pump flow restriction member between the first and second pump flow restriction member positions.

[0005] In another aspect, a thermal management module is provided for a coolant system for a vehicle and includes a module housing, an impeller, a first controlled inlet port, and an aperture plate. The module housing has a first wall, a second wall and a third wall, and defines an aperture plate chamber between the first and second walls, and defines a pump chamber between the second and third walls. The second wall has a pump chamber facing side that faces the pump chamber and an aperture plate chamber facing side that faces the aperture plate chamber. The impeller is rotatably supported in the pump chamber for rotation about an impeller axis, and has an impeller inlet. The first controlled inlet port is provided on the first wall of module housing. The aperture plate is in the aperture plate chamber. The aperture plate has a port side that faces the first controlled inlet port and a pump chamber side that faces the pump chamber, and a first aperture plate aperture that extends through from the port side to the pump chamber side. The aperture plate is movable to a first aperture plate position in which the aperture plate presents a first amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture to the first controlled inlet port, and is movable to a second aperture plate position in which the aperture plate presents a second amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture to the first controlled inlet port. The second amount of aperture area is different than the first amount of aperture area. The aperture plate extends in a plane that is generally perpendicular to the impeller axis. The first aperture plate aperture and the second wall are shaped to direct coolant to the impeller inlet.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] For a better understanding of the various embodiments described herein and to show more clearly how they may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example only, to the accompanying drawings in which: [0007] Figure 1 shows a schematic layout of a coolant system for an engine for a vehicle in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0008] Figure 2A is a perspective view of a thermal management module for use in the coolant system shown in Figure 1 ;

[0009] Figure 2B is another perspective view of the thermal management module shown in Figure 1 , illustrating flows into and out of the thermal management module;

[0010] Figure 3 is a side view of the thermal management module shown in Figure 2A showing an impeller;

[0011] Figure 4A is a perspective exploded view of the thermal management module shown in Figure 2A; [0012] Figure 4B is another perspective exploded view of the thermal management module shown in Figure 2A;

[0013] Figures 5A and 5B are perspective views of an aperture plate that is part of a first valve for the thermal management module shown in Figure 2A;

[0014] Figures 6A and 6B are perspective views of the aperture plate shown in Figures 5A and 5B, along with other elements driven by a main gear on the aperture plate including a pump flow restriction member and a valve element for a second valve; [0015] Figure 7A is a perspective view of the aperture plate shown in Figures 5A and 5B forming a seal with a port from the thermal management module;

[0016] Figure 7B is a magnified sectional view of the aperture plate and the port shown in Figure 7A; [0017] Figure 8A is a side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in a first state, with elements removed to show the aperture plate;

[0018] Figure 8B is a side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in the first state, with elements removed to show the pump flow restriction member; [0019] Figure 8C is a sectional side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in the first state, showing a valve element of the second valve;

[0020] Figure 9A is a side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in a second state, with elements removed to show the aperture plate; [0021] Figure 9B is a side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in the second state, with elements removed to show the pump flow restriction member;

[0022] Figure 9C is a sectional side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in the second state, showing a valve element of the second valve;

[0023] Figure 10A is a side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in a third state, with elements removed to show the aperture plate;

[0024] Figure 10B is a side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in the third state, with elements removed to show the pump flow restriction member; [0025] Figure 10C is a sectional side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in the third state, showing a valve element of the second valve;

[0026] Figure 11A is a side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in a fourth state, with elements removed to show the aperture plate;

[0027] Figure 11 B is a side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in the fourth state, with elements removed to show the pump flow restriction member; [0028] Figure 11 C is a sectional side view of the thermal management module showing the thermal management module in the fourth state, showing a valve element of the second valve;

[0029] Figure 12A is a sectional side view of the thermal management module with a variant of the pump flow restriction member shown in Figures 4A-11C in a first position; and [0030] Figure 12B is a sectional side view of the thermal management module with the variant of the pump flow restriction member shown in Figure 12A in a second position;

[0031] Figure 13 is a graph showing curves representing the flow rate through various elements of the coolant system, in relation to the position of the aperture plate;

[0032] Figure 14 is a perspective view of an alternative structure for operatively connecting a motor to a pump flow restriction member that is part of the thermal management module shown in Figure 2A;

[0033] Figure 15 is a perspective view of an alternative portion of the module housing, which does not include provision for a pump flow restriction member;

[0034] Figure 16 is a perspective view of an optional feature on the module housing for directing flow to an impeller inlet;

[0035] Figure 17 is a sectional side view of a port in the module housing illustrating the flow into a channel in a wall of the module housing; and [0036] Figure 18 is a plan view of a wall of the module housing to show the alignment between channels therein and some ports.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0037] For simplicity and clarity of illustration, where considered appropriate, reference numerals may be repeated among the Figures to indicate corresponding or analogous elements. In addition, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiments described herein. Flowever, it will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the embodiments described herein may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures and components have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the embodiments described herein. Also, the description is not to be considered as limiting the scope of the embodiments described herein.

[0038] Directional terms such as“up”,“down”,“front”,“rear” etc., are used to inter-relate the positions of parts with reference to the drawings discussed herein; such terms are to be understood in their relative sense and are not intended to limit the disposition of components or parts to the specific embodiments illustrated herein.

[0039] Various terms used throughout the present description may be read and understood as follows, unless the context indicates otherwise:“or” as used throughout is inclusive, as though written“and/or”; singular articles and pronouns as used throughout include their plural forms, and vice versa; similarly, gendered pronouns include their counterpart pronouns so that pronouns should not be understood as limiting anything described herein to use, implementation, performance, etc. by a single gender;“exemplary” should be understood as“illustrative” or“exemplifying” and not necessarily as“preferred” over other embodiments. Further definitions for terms may be set out herein; these may apply to prior and subsequent instances of those terms, as will be understood from a reading of the present description.

General Layout [0040] Figure 1 shows a coolant system 10 for a vehicle. In the example shown, the coolant system 10 includes a plurality of conduits 12 and a plurality of thermal loads, including: an engine block 14, a cylinder head 16, an engine oil heat exchanger 50, a surge tank 52, a radiator 54, a turbo 58, a transmission oil heat exchanger 56, and a cabin heat exchanger 68. The coolant system 10 further includes a thermal management module 30 that controls the flow of coolant to all of the aforementioned thermal loads. It will be understood that the thermal loads mentioned above are examples only. The coolant system 10 could alternatively include different thermal loads, and could have fewer or more thermal loads. The functions of these thermal loads will be readily understood by one skilled in the art.

[0041] Figures 2A, 2B, 3, 4A and 4B show the thermal management module 30 in greater detail. The thermal management module 30 includes a module housing 32 that defines a pump chamber 34 (Figures 3 and 4A) in which a pumping element 36 is disposed. The module housing 32 has a plurality of ports 40 (Figure 2B), which include at least one inlet port and at least one outlet port. These ports 40 will be described further below. In the present embodiment, the thermal management module 30 includes a pump flow restriction member 38 (Figures 3 and 4A).

[0042] In the present embodiment, the thermal management module 30 incorporates two valves: a first, disc-type valve, which has as its valve element an aperture plate 42, and a second valve, shown at 62 in Figures 4A, 4B, 6A, 6B 8C-11C, which has a valve element 65. The first valve which is described in further detail below, controls flow via the aperture plate 42 through a plurality of the ports 40 into the pump chamber 34. In the present example, the second valve 62 is a ball valve and accordingly, the valve element 65 is a ball- type valve element. The second valve 62 includes a plurality of ports (Figure 6B) including a first inlet port 60a, a second inlet port 60b and an outlet port 60c in the present example, and, like the first valve, is fluidically connected to the module housing 32.

[0043] A motor 44 controls the thermal management module 30 as described in greater detail below.

[0044] In the example shown, the module housing 32 is made from a first module housing portion 32a, a second module housing portion 32b, and a third module housing portion, which are sealingly joined together via bolts or the like with suitable gaskets therebetween. In an alternative embodiment, the module housing 32 may be made from two or more module housing portions that are welded or joined together in any other suitable way.

[0045] The ports 40 communicate with associated conduits 12 in the coolant system 10. In the example shown, the ports 40 include a first port identified at 40a, a second port identified at 40b, a third port identified at 40c, a fourth port identified at 40d, a fifth port identified at 40e, and a sixth port identified at 40f. The first port 40a is an inlet port that is connected to a first conduit 12a in the coolant system 10 and draws coolant into the module housing 32 from the engine (specifically, from the conduit shown at 12j in Figures 1 and 4A). In the present example, the conduit 12j connects to the engine block 14, but it is alternatively possible for it to be connected to any other suitable part of the engine. The second port 40b is an inlet port that is connected to a second conduit 12b in the coolant system 10 and draws coolant into the module housing 32 from an engine oil heat exchanger 50, which itself draws coolant from the engine block 14. The third port 40c is an inlet port that is connected to a third conduit 12c in the coolant system 10 and draws coolant into the module housing 32 from a surge tank 52 for the coolant system 10. The fourth port 40d is an inlet port that is connected to a fourth conduit 12d in the coolant system 10 and draws coolant into the module housing 32 from the radiator, shown at 54. The fifth port 40e is an outlet port that is connected to a fifth conduit 12e in the coolant system 10 and directs coolant from the module housing 32 to several thermal loads including a transmission oil heat exchanger 56, the engine block 14 and cylinder head 16, a turbo 58, an engine oil heat exchanger 50, a cabin heat exchanger 68 and a surge tank 52. A sixth port 40f (Figures 2A and 2B) can be seen and is an inlet port which is connected to a sixth conduit 12f so as to receive coolant from several sources including the turbo 58 and the transmission oil heat exchanger 56. Additionally, it can be seen that a conduit 12g in the coolant system 10 carries coolant from the engine (specifically the engine block 14 in the present example but which could be any portion of the engine) to a first second-valve port 60a (which, as noted above, is an inlet port) of the second valve 62. A conduit 12h (Figure 3) in the coolant system 10 (which, in the present example, is internal to the module housing 32, carries coolant from the pump chamber 34 to a second second-valve port 60b (which, as noted above, is an inlet port) of the second valve 62. The outlet port 60c from the second valve 62 carries coolant from the second valve 62 to the transmission oil heat exchanger 56 along a conduit 12i. The second valve 62 includes a second-valve housing 63 (Figure 6A and 6B), in which there is a valve element 65. In the present example, the second valve 62 is a ball valve (and the valve element 65 is therefore a ball), however it may be any other suitable type of valve.

[0046] For completeness, it can also be seen, that the conduit 12j, which leads from the engine to the inlet port 60a of the second valve 62, also leads to an inlet of the radiator 54 via a conduit 12k, and to a cabin heat exchanger 68 via a conduit 12m for heating the cabin of the vehicle. It will be understood that the coolant system 10 shown is just an example, and that many of the thermal loads may be changed or eliminated, and that the routing of the coolant-carrying conduits 12 may be changed as needed based on the particular application that the coolant system 10 is to be used with.

[0047] Figure 2B includes dashed arrowed lines which indicate flows into and out of the thermal management module 30.

General structure of pump

[0048] While the module housing 32 in the present example includes four controlled inlet ports 40a-40d for the first, disc-type valve, an uncontrolled inlet port 40f, and an outlet port 40e, the module housing 32 could alternatively have any suitable number of inlet ports and outlet ports. For example, in some alternative embodiments, the module housing 32 could have a single inlet port and a single outlet port. In still other embodiments, the module housing 32 could have more than four controlled inlet ports, and/or more than four outlet ports. [0049] The pumping element 36 is shown more clearly in Figure 3. The pumping element 36 positioned in the pump chamber 34 and is movable to drive a flow of coolant through the pump chamber 34 and out at least through the port 40e. The pumping element 36 in the present example is an impeller 70 which has an impeller inlet 72 configured for drawing in liquid during rotation of the impeller 70, and an impeller outlet 74 configured for discharging liquid in a generally radial direction. Thus, the module housing 32 and the impeller 70 together form a centrifugal pump. The module housing 32 has an impeller outlet receiving chamber 76, which is a portion of the pump chamber 34 that is radially outside the impeller 70 for transporting coolant from the impeller outlet 74 to the outlet port 40e.

[0050] In the present example, the impeller 70 is connected to a toothed pulley 77 (Figure 4A) so as to be driven by a timing belt (not shown) from the engine. In an alternative embodiment, the impeller 70 could be driven by an electric motor.

[0051] It will be understood that the pumping element 36 may be any other suitable type of element that moves coolant. For example, in an alternative embodiment, the pumping element 36 may be a piston that is movable so as to form a positive-displacement pump with the module housing 32.

[0052] The pump flow restriction member 38 is movable to a plurality of pump flow restriction member positions to control a size of the flow of coolant through the pump chamber 34. In the present example, the pump flow restriction member 38 is a tongue 78 that is pivotably mounted to the module housing 32 by virtue of shafts 48 (Figure 4A) that extend from the tongue 78 into receiving apertures 49 (one of which is shown in Figure 4B) in the module housing 32. The tongue 78 is pivotable to a first tongue position in which the tongue 78 occludes a first amount of cross-sectional flow area in the pump chamber 34, and is pivotable to a second tongue position in which the tongue 78 occludes a second amount of cross-sectional flow area in the pump chamber 34, wherein the second amount of cross- sectional flow area is greater than the first amount of cross-sectional flow area. For example, the position of the tongue in Figure 10B may be considered the first tongue position, wherein the line 80a represents the first amount of cross-sectional area of the pump chamber 34 that is occluded by the tongue 78, and the position of the tongue 78 in Figure 8B may be considered the second tongue position, wherein the line 80b represents the second amount of cross-sectional area of the pump chamber 34 that is occluded by the tongue 78. As can be seen, in the position shown in Figure 8B, the tongue 78 occludes the entirety of the cross- sectional area of the pump chamber 34 such that there is only a leakage flow that passes out of the pump chamber 34. In some embodiments, if the tongue 78 and the module housing 32 are suitably configured, the leakage flow is substantially zero. In some embodiments, the leakage flow may be less than some selected value, such as 100ml/minute, or 50 ml/minute.

[0053] In another example, the position of the tongue 78 in Figure 1 1 B may be considered the first position for the tongue 78 (in which case it occludes a zero amount of the cross-sectional area of the pump chamber 34), and the position of the tongue 78 in Figure 10B may be considered the second position for the tongue 78.

Discussion of volute

[0054] In the embodiment shown in Figure 3, the tongue 78 is similar to the element referred to as a diverter in PCT publication WO2017/124198, the contents of which are incorporated herein fully by reference. The tongue 78 thus forms at least a portion of a volute 82 around at least a portion of the impeller 70. A volute is a region of the impeller outlet receiving chamber 76 that has a cross-sectional area that increases progressively from an upstream end (shown at 84) to a downstream end 85 (as shown in Figure 3). In the presently shown embodiment, the volute 82 occupies substantially the entire impeller outlet receiving chamber 76, apart from the outlet region shown at 86. In some embodiments, the volute 82 has a cross-sectional area that increases progressively from the upstream end 84 of the tongue 78 towards the downstream end 85 of the tongue 78 sufficiently that a speed of the coolant flowing through the volute 82 remains substantially constant during rotation of the impeller 70 at a selected rpm. It will be noted that the speed of the coolant flowing through the volute 82 (or through substantially any passageway) will vary over the cross- sectional area of the volute 82. Flowever, at any point along the length of the volute 82, the coolant has an average speed taking into account the speed profile over the cross-sectional area. Thus, when it is stated that the speed of the coolant flowing through the volute 82 remains substantially constant, it is meant that the volute 82 may be shaped such that the average speed of the liquid remains substantially constant along the circumferential length of the volute 82.

[0055] The advantages of this configuration for the tongue 78 are described in PCT publication WO2017/124198. In particular, the flow rate through the centrifugal pump with the tongue 78 can be varied over a large range of flow rates with little impact on the efficiency of the pump.

[0056] In an alternative embodiment, shown in Figures 12A and 12B, the pump flow restriction member 38 may be a tongue 87 that does not form part of a volute around the impeller 70. For example, the tongue 87 may be generally straight, and may thus reduce the efficiency of the pump progressively as it restricts coolant flow through the module housing 32.

Discussion of ports and aperture plate apertures [0057] With reference to Figures 5A, 5B, 6A and 6B, the aperture plate 42 has a port side 88 that faces and engages the first, second, third and fourth ports 40a-40d. Based on this engagement, the ports 40a, 40b, 40c and 40d may be referred to as controlled ports, since flow through these ports is controlled by the aperture plate 42, while the remaining ports 40e and 40f may be referred to as uncontrolled ports. The aperture plate 42 further has a pump chamber side 90 that faces the pump chamber 34, and a plurality of aperture plate apertures 92 that extend through from the port side 88 to the pump chamber side 90. The aperture plate apertures 92 control coolant flow through the ports 40. Put another way, each aperture plate aperture 92 controls coolant flow through at least one of the ports 40. In the example shown, the aperture plate 42 has four aperture plate apertures 92 including a first aperture plate aperture 92a, a second aperture plate aperture 92b, a third aperture plate aperture 92c, and a fourth aperture plate aperture 92d. Flowever, it will be noted that, for the purposes of the present disclosure, any of the aperture plate apertures 92 could be considered the first aperture plate aperture; any could be considered the second aperture plate aperture, and so on. Similarly, any of the ports 40 could be considered the first port; any could be considered the second port, and so on.

[0058] While there happens to be four aperture plate apertures 92 and four ports 40a- 40d that are engaged with the aperture plate 42, it will be noted that there does not need to be the same number of aperture plate apertures 92 as there are ports 40 engaged with the aperture plate 42. In the example embodiment, each aperture plate aperture 92 is not associated in a one-to-one relationship with one of the ports 40. As will be described in further details below, the aperture plate aperture 92a controls flow through the ports 40a and 40b. The aperture plate aperture 92b controls flow through the port 40d, and the aperture plate apertures 92c and 92d both control flow through the port 40c. Accordingly, there does not need to be any particular relationship between the number of aperture plate apertures 92 and the number of ports 40 engaged with the aperture plate 42.

[0059] Each aperture plate aperture 92 may have any suitable size and shape, which need not match the size and shape of the one or more ports 40 that the aperture plate aperture 92 permits flow through. As can be seen in Figures 5A and 6B, the ports 40a-40d are all circular, while the apertures 92a and 92b both have a semi-circular end and a tapered end and have varying degrees of elongation, and the apertures 92c and 92d are both elongate, but with two semi-circular ends.

[0060] In the embodiment shown, the aperture plate 42 may be rotatable to a single flow position for a selected one of the aperture plate apertures 92 in which that first one of the aperture plate apertures 92 permits flow through a single one of the ports 40, and a plural flow position in which that selected one of the aperture plate apertures 92 permits flow through a plurality of the ports 40. An example of this is shown in Figures 8A and 9A, wherein the aperture plate aperture 92a permits flow through a single one of the ports 40 (i.e. port 40a) when in the position shown in Figure 8A, and permits flow through a plurality of the ports 40 (i.e. ports 40a and 40b) when in the position shown in Figure 9A.

[0061] Advantageously, as shown in Figure 5A the aperture plate aperture 92c is radially spaced inwardly from the aperture plate apertures 92a and 92b. This facilitates increasing the number of ports 40 that can fit on the aperture plate, thereby permitting the thermal management module 30 to handle a relatively high number of ports while maintaining a compact size, relative to other thermal management modules of the prior art.

[0062] The aperture plate 42 is movably mounted in the module housing 32. In the example shown, the aperture plate 42 is rotatably mounted in the module housing 32 by means of a stub shaft 96 that extends from the module housing 32 through a hole 98 in the aperture plate 42 to rotatably support the aperture plate 42 in the module housing 32. The aperture plate 42 is thus rotatable about an aperture plate rotation axis A. Face seal between ports and aperture plate

[0063] During movement of the aperture plate 42, the port side 88 of the aperture plate 42 slides against a face seal 99 (Figures 7A and 7B) at an end of each of the ports 40 so as to present at least a portion of at least one of the aperture plate apertures 92 to at least one of the ports 40. The port side 88 and the face seals 99 substantially prevent coolant flow therebetween, such that flow through any given one of the ports 40 into the pump chamber 34 is governed by the amount of overlap there is between the aperture plate apertures 92.

[0064] More specifically, each of the ports 40 includes a tubular port body 100 which is movably positioned in a recess 102 in the module housing 32. The port body 100 has a port body pass-through aperture 104 that communicates with an associated housing pass- through aperture 106 at a base 108 of the recess 102 on the module housing 32. The housing pass-through aperture 106 in turn communicates with an associated one of the conduits 12. [0065] The port body 100 has an exterior surface 110 with a peripheral sealing member

112 that seals between the port body 100 and a wall 1 14 of the recess 102. The peripheral sealing member 1 12 may be, for example, an o-ring or some similar polymeric sealing member with a selected cross-sectional profile.

[0066] The port body 100 may be made from any suitable material such as PTFE so as to seal while maintaining relatively low friction during sliding movement with the aperture plate 42. Alternatively, it may be made from some other suitable material. The face seal 99 at the free end of the port body 100 may be formed directly from the material of the port body 100 itself, or alternatively it may be formed from a suitable seal member such as an o- ring or otherwise profiled seal member. [0067] A port biasing member 115 urges the port body 100 towards sealing engagement between the face seal 99 and the port side 88 of the aperture plate 42. The port biasing member 115 may be a compression spring that acts between the base 108 of the recess 102 and the port body 100 to urge the port body 100 away from the base 108, and into engagement with the aperture plate 42. Connection between motor and aperture plate, second valve and pump flow restriction member

[0068] The aperture plate 42 is movable by means of a main gear 116 that is integral with the aperture plate 42 and that is provided on a periphery thereof. The main gear 116 is drivable by the motor 44 (Figures 8A, 9A, 10A, 11A). In the present embodiment the motor 44 drives a pinion 118 that in turn drives the main gear 116. In the present embodiment, the motor is bidirectional, and may be an electric motor, or any other suitable type of motor, such as, for example, a hydraulic motor, a pneumatic motor, a multi-position linear or rotary solenoid, which are intended, for the purposes of the present disclosure, to be considered as kinds of motors.

[0069] The aperture plate 42 drives a pump cam 120, which can be seen in Figures 4A, 4B, 6A and 6B). In the present embodiment, the pump cam 120 is integral with the aperture plate 42. A pump cam follower 122 is engaged with the pump cam 120 and is driven by the pump cam 120 to pivot through a range of positions. A pump cam follower shaft 124 extends through a pass-through aperture 125 (a small portion of which is shown in Figure 4B) in the second housing portion 32b. The pump cam follower shaft 124 is connected to a pump flow restriction member driver 126 on an opposing side of the second housing portion 32b. The pump flow restriction member driver 126 is engaged with the pump flow restriction member 38. In the present example, pivoting of the pump cam follower 122 due to pivoting of the pump cam 120 in a first rotational direction drives the pump flow restriction member 38 towards a closed position to flow through the module housing 32. Pivoting of the pump cam follower 122 due to pivoting of the pump cam 120 in a second rotational direction drives the pump flow restriction member driver 126 away from the pump flow restriction member 38. Fluid flow in the module housing 32 urges the pump flow restriction member 38 towards a fully open position, and therefore into engagement with the pump flow restriction member driver 126, which in turn, may drive the pump cam follower 122 in engagement with the pump cam 120. Optionally, the pump flow restriction member 38 further includes a pump flow restriction member biasing member 127, which may be, for example, a cantilever leaf spring that urges the pump flow restriction member 38 towards the fully open position shown in Figure 11 B. As a result, of the urging from the coolant flow in the pump chamber 34 and from the pump flow restriction member biasing member 127, the pump flow restriction member driver 126 effectively acts as a limiter for the pump flow restriction member 38. Nonetheless, the pump cam follower 122 may still be considered to be operatively connected to the pump flow restriction member 38 and may be said to drive the pump flow restriction member 38 to the plurality of pump flow restriction member positions.

[0070] While the pump cam 120 is shown as being integral with the aperture plate 42, it is alternatively possible for the pump cam 120 to be a separate member that is driven by the main gear, or in parallel with the main gear 116. [0071] The aperture plate 42 may further include a valve member driver that drives the valve element 65 of the second valve 62. In the present embodiment, the valve member driver includes a plurality of sector gears 130 spaced circumferentially from one another about the axis A. The sector gears 130 are positioned to engage a valve input gear 132 that is on the valve element 65. The sector gears 130 change the position of the valve element 65 between one of three positions, as shown in Figures 8C, 9C, 10C and 11C. The position shown in Figure 8C is a closed position in which there is no flow through the second valve 62 to the transmission oil heat exchanger 56. The position shown in Figure 9C is a transmission oil heat exchanger heating position, in which the second valve 62 directs flow from the conduit 12g (and therefore from the engine via the conduit 12j) to the transmission oil heat exchanger 56, in order to heat the transmission oil. This can help to bring the transmission oil up to a temperature quickly in which its viscosity is relatively low, thereby reducing power loss through the vehicle’s transmission. The position shown in Figures 10C and 11C is a transmission oil heat exchanger cooling position, in which the second valve 62 directs flow from the conduit 12h (and therefore from the pump) to the transmission oil heat exchanger 56, in order to cool the transmission oil. This can be carried out when coolant is being transported into the pump chamber 34 from the radiator 54 through the conduit 12d, for example. This can help to prevent overheating of the transmission oil, so as to prolong the operating life of the transmission oil. Optionally, additional positions may be provided for the second valve 62 so as to permit partial flows from the conduits 12g and 12j and/or from the conduits 12h and 12d, and/or to permit flows therethrough from other conduits 12 in the coolant system 10.

[0072] As can be seen in Figures 6A and 5A, the aperture plate 42 includes rim regions 131 that extend circumferentially between the regions on its periphery where the sector gears 130 are positioned. These rim regions 131 permit the aperture plate 42 to rotate while cooperating with the gear teeth of the input gear 132 to hold the input gear 132 in its position until the next sector gear 130 rotates by the input gear 132 to rotate the input gear 132, so as to rotate the valve element 65 to a new position.

[0073] While it has been described for the motor 44 to be operatively connected to the aperture plate 42 via a plurality of gears, to the second valve 62 via a plurality of gears and to the pump flow restriction member 38 via a plurality of gears as well as the pump cam and the pump cam follower, the operative connection between the motor 44 and the aperture plate 42, the second valve 62 and the pump flow restriction member 38 may be by any suitable alternatively means. For example, the connection between the motor 44 and the pump flow restriction member 38 may be solely by a plurality of gears. Such an embodiment is shown in Figure 14. In Figure 14, the motor (not shown) drives the pinion 118, which in turn drives the main gear 116 on the aperture plate 42. The aperture plate 42 further includes a plurality of sector gears 200, which drives a pump flow restriction member input gear 202. The pump flow restriction member input gear 202 connected to a shaft 204, which passes through an aperture in the module housing 32, and connects to the pump flow restriction member driver 126, which in turn drives the pump flow restriction member 38 in the same manner as shown in the embodiment in Figures 6A and 6B.

Description of example positions for aperture plate, second valve and pump flow restriction member

[0074] The aperture plate 42 is movable to a plurality of positions, some examples of which are shown in Figures 8A-11 C. In the position shown in Figure 8A, it can be seen that the aperture plate aperture 92a permits flow through the port 40a, while the aperture plate apertures 92b, 92c and 92d prevent full flow through the ports 40b, 40c and 40d. Additionally, it can be seen that the pump flow restriction member 38 (Figure 8B) is held in a closed position, wherein only a leakage flow (which in this instance is preferably greater than zero) is permitted through the pump chamber 34. Some flow also optionally passes from the engine to the cabin heat exchanger 68 so as to transmit heat to the cabin of the vehicle, if requested by the vehicle occupants. Additionally, the second valve 62 (Figure 8C) is shown with the valve element 65 in the position to prevent flow through the second valve 62. This position for the aperture plate 42, or, more broadly speaking, this position for the thermal management module 30 results in a small amount of flow (i.e. the non-zero leakage flow) out of the thermal management module 30 through the port 40e to the engine, and then back from the engine to the thermal management module 30 through the port 40a. This position for the thermal management module 30 may be used during start up of the engine when the engine is cold, so as to permit the engine to warm up to a desired temperature where combustion takes place in the cylinders more efficiently, producing greater power and fewer emissions. This position for the thermal management module 30 may thus be referred to as an engine warm-up position.

[0075] In the position shown in Figure 9A, it can be seen that the aperture plate aperture 92a permits full flow through the port 40a, and permits a partial flow (i.e. a portion of the full flow) through the port 40b, while the aperture plate apertures 92b, 92c and 92d prevent flow through the ports 40c and 40d. The pump flow restriction member 38 (Figure 9B) is opened just slightly such that a small flow (which is greater than the leakage flow) is permitted through the pump chamber 34. Additionally, the second valve 62 (Figure 9C) is shown with the valve element 65 in the position to permit flow through the second valve 62 from the engine. This position for the aperture plate 42, or, more broadly speaking, this position for the thermal management module 30 results in some flow out of the thermal management module 30 through the port 40e to the engine, and then back from the engine to the thermal management module 30 through the port 40a, whereby some of the flow from the engine passes through the second valve 62 and is transported to the transmission oil heat exchanger 56. Some flow again optionally passes from the engine to the cabin heat exchanger 68 so as to transmit heat to the cabin of the vehicle, if requested by the vehicle occupants. This position for the thermal management module 30 may be used to continue heating the engine, and to start heating the transmission oil, once the engine has warmed up by some amount, so as to start bringing the transmission oil up towards a temperature where its viscosity is significantly reduced, as described above. This position for the thermal management module 30 may thus be referred to as an engine and transmission warm-up position.

[0076] In the position shown in Figure 10A, it can be seen that the aperture plate aperture 92a permits partial flow through the port 40a, and permits full flow through the port 40b; the aperture plate aperture 92c permits full flow through the port 40c from the surge tank 52 while the aperture plate aperture 92d permits a partial flow through the port 40d from the radiator 54. The pump flow restriction member 38 (Figure 10B) is opened nearly to its fully open position such that a flow (which is a majority of the flow when in the fully open position) is permitted through the pump chamber 34. Additionally, the second valve 62 (Figure 9C) is shown with the valve element 65 in the position to permit flow through the second valve 62 from the port 40e of the module housing 32. This position for the aperture plate 42, or, more broadly speaking, this position for the thermal management module 30 results in flow out of the thermal management module 30 through the port 40e to the engine, and then back from the engine to the thermal management module 30 through the port 40a, whereby some of the flow from the engine passes through the radiator 54 and back to the thermal management module 30 through the port 40d, and whereby some of the flow that exits the pump chamber 34 through the port 40e passes to the transmission oil heat exchanger 56 to cool the transmission oil instead of going to the engine. Some flow from the engine passes through the engine oil heat exchanger 50 to cool the engine oil to prevent overheating thereof. Some flow again optionally passes from the engine to the cabin heat exchanger 68 so as to transmit heat to the cabin of the vehicle, if requested by the vehicle occupants. This position for the thermal management module 30 may be used to control the temperature of the engine, while also cooling the transmission oil in the event that the transmission oil has reached a maximum permissible threshold. This position for the thermal management module 30 may thus be referred to as an engine temperature regulation and transmission cooling position. [0077] In the position shown in Figure 11 A, it can be seen that the aperture plate aperture 92a permits no flow through the port 40a, and permits full flow through the port 40b; the aperture plate aperture 92c permits full flow through the port 40c from the surge tank 52 while the aperture plate aperture 92d permits full flow through the port 40d from the radiator 54. The pump flow restriction member 38 (Figure 10B) is opened to its fully open position such that a full flow is permitted through the pump chamber 34. Additionally, the second valve 62 (Figure 9C) is shown with the valve element 65 in the position to permit flow through the second valve 62 from the port 40e of the module housing 32. This position for the aperture plate 42, or, more broadly speaking, this position for the thermal management module 30 results in flow out of the thermal management module 30 through the port 40e to the engine, and then from the engine to the radiator 54, and then back to the thermal management module 30 through the port 40d. Some of the flow that exits the pump chamber 34 through the port 40e passes to the transmission oil heat exchanger 56 to cool the transmission oil instead of going to the engine. Some flow from the engine passes through the engine oil heat exchanger 50 to cool the engine oil to prevent overheating thereof. Some flow again optionally passes from the engine to the cabin heat exchanger 68 so as to transmit heat to the cabin of the vehicle, if requested by the vehicle occupants. This position for the thermal management module 30 may be used to provide as much cooling for the engine as possible, while also cooling the transmission oil in the event that the transmission oil has reached a maximum permissible threshold. This position for the thermal management module 30 may be referred to as a maximum engine and transmission cooling position.

[0078] While the positions shown in Figures 8A-1 1C constitute some example positions for the thermal management module 30, it will be noted that a plurality of other positions may be possible for the thermal management module 30.

[0079] Based on the above description, the aperture plate 42 may be said to be movable (e.g. rotatable) to a first aperture plate position in which the aperture plate 42 presents a first amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture 92a to the first port 40a, and is movable (e.g. rotatable) to a second aperture plate position in which the aperture plate 42 presents a second amount of aperture area from the first aperture plate aperture 92a to the first port 40a, wherein the second amount of aperture area is different than the first amount of aperture area. For example, the first position of the aperture plate 42 may be the position shown in Figure 11 A (in which there is zero flow through the first port 40a), and the second aperture plate position of the aperture plate 42 may be the position shown in Figure 10A, in which there is some flow through the first port 40a. The first and second positions of the aperture plate 42 may be referred to as first and second aperture plate positions, respectively. Furthermore, the pump flow restriction member 38 is in a different position in Figure 11 B than it is in Figure 10B. Thus, when the aperture plate 42 has been moved from the first position (e.g. the position shown in Figure 11 A) to a second position (e.g. the position shown in Figure 10A), the motor 44 has driven the pump flow restriction member 38 from a first pump flow restriction member position in which the pump flow restriction member 38 occludes a first amount of cross sectional flow area of the pump chamber 34, to a second pump flow restriction member position in which the pump flow restriction member 38 occludes a second amount of cross sectional flow area of the pump chamber 34 that is different than the first amount of cross sectional flow area.

[0080] Thus the motor 44 may be said to be operatively connected to the pump flow restriction member 38 and to the aperture plate 42 such that driving of the aperture plate 42 between the first and second aperture plate positions by the motor 44, drives the pump flow restriction member 38 between the first and second pump flow restriction member positions.

Graph of flow rate and position of aperture plate

[0081] As explained herein, it can be seen that the coolant flows that take place through various components in the coolant system 10 vary based on the position of the aperture plate 42. A graph shown in Figure 13 represents the cross-sectional flow area to or from various components based on the position of the aperture plate 42. More specifically, the curve 150 represents the cross-sectional flow area at the port 40d, which is representative of the flow from the radiator 154. The curve 152 represents the cross-sectional flow area at the downstream end of the pump flow restriction member 38. The curve 154 represents the cross-sectional flow area at the port 40b, which is representative of the flow through the engine oil heat exchanger 50. The curve 156 represents the cross-sectional flow area at the port 40c which is representative of the flow from the surge tank 52. The curve 152 represents the cross-sectional flow area at the port 40a, which the representative of the flow to the pump from the engine. The curve 160 represents the flow through the port 60b for coolant used to cool the transmission oil. The curve 162 represents the flow through the port 60a for coolant used to heat the transmission oil. It will be understood that the position of the aperture plate 42 impacts the positions of the pump flow restriction member 38 and the valve element 65 from the second valve 62 and is therefore representative of their positions too.

[0082] Lines 164a, 164b, 164c and 164d represent the position of the aperture plate 42 in the positions shown in Figure 8A, 8B, 8C and 8D, respectively.

Alternative without pump flow restriction member

[0083] While it has been shown for the thermal management module 30 to have a pump flow restriction member to control the flow through the pump chamber 34, it is alternatively possible for the thermal management module 30 to omit that element. In such an alternative the thermal management module 30 may simply lack a way of throttling flow through the pump chamber 34. Alternatively, a suitable valve may be provided downstream from the port 40e that controls the flow out of the pump and therefore controls flow through the pump chamber 34. As yet another alternative, the impeller (or more broadly, the pumping element) may be driven by an electric motor, which can provide the pump with the capability of controlling flow through the pump chamber 34 by controlling the speed of the electric motor. Figure 15 shows a portion of the module housing, specifically the housing portion 32b, modified so as not to include a region for a pump flow restriction member, nor a pass-through aperture for a shaft of a driver for a pump flow restriction member. In this example, a fixed volute 170 is shown about the impeller. In an embodiment where there is no pump flow restriction member, the aperture plate 42 would not need to have a cam thereon, and accordingly no cam follower would be needed. The motor 44 would control the rotational position of the aperture plate 42 and the second valve 62 if provided. Reduced pressure drop entering pump impeller and channels in second wall of module housing

[0084] As noted above, the aperture plate 42 and the arrangement of the axially oriented ports 40a-40d provide a reduced amount of pressure drop to the coolant flow entering the pump impeller 70 as compared to some thermal management modules of the prior art. To further reduce the pressure drop, the module housing 32 includes some additional optional features. The module housing portions 32a, 32b and 32c define a respective first wall 172a, a second wall 172b, and a third wall 172c, as can be seen in Figures 4A and 4B in particular. The module housing 32 defines an aperture plate chamber 174 between the first and second walls 172a and 172b, and defines the pump chamber 34 between the second and third walls 172b and 172c. As can be seen in Figures 4A and 4B, the second wall 172b has a pump chamber facing side 176 that faces the pump chamber 34 and an aperture plate chamber facing side 178 that faces the aperture plate chamber 174. The impeller 70, as noted above, is rotatably supported in the pump chamber 34 for rotation about an impeller axis (which may be the same axis as the aperture plate axis A.

[0085] As can be seen in Figures 4A and 4B, the aperture plate 42 is positioned in the aperture plate chamber 174. Given that the impeller axis is the same as the aperture plate axis A, it will be understood that the aperture plate 42 extends in a plane that is generally perpendicular to the impeller axis. As can be seen in Figures 4A, 4B and 16, the The first aperture plate aperture 92a and the second wall 172b are shaped to direct coolant to the impeller inlet 72. In the present example, this is provided by shaping the aperture plate apertures 92 so that they permit flow through the aperture plate 42 in an axial direction, and by configuring the second wall 172b so that the aperture plate facing side 178 of the second wall 172b to have at least one channel 180 therein that has a first end 182 that faces (and is aligned with) the first controlled inlet port 40a and that has a second end 184 at a chamber pass-through aperture 186 in the second wall 172b between the pump chamber 34 and the aperture plate chamber 174.

[0086] Figure 17 shows a sectional view of a port 40 which is axially oriented and which conveys coolant through the aperture plate aperture 92 which extends axially and which faces the first end 182 of one of the channels 180. [0087] Figure 18 shows a face view of the module housing portion 32b, with the channels 180 and dashed circles that are representative of the ports 40a and 40b. Figures 17 and 18 illustrate that the first ends of the channels face and are aligned with the ports 40.

Advantages of thermal management module

[0088] Many advantages may be realized by the thermal management module 30 described herein. For example, the aperture plate 42 provided with the pump permits a great deal of flow control to a large number of conduits while maintaining a small overall size as compared to at least some thermal management modules of the prior art. The aperture plate 42 facilitates the use of complex aperture shapes, which are more difficult to provide on cylindrical or ball members as seen in some valves of the prior art. The direction of flow of the coolant coming into the thermal management module 30 is generally axially oriented, which has a reduced pressure drop as compared to some thermal management modules of the prior art. In embodiments where the tongue 78 forms part of the volute 82, the efficiency of the pump remains very high even in situations where flow from the pump varies. Providing a single actuator, which drives the aperture plate 42, the second valve 62 and the pump flow restriction member 38 through a sequence of positions during operation of the vehicle is computationally very easy for a controller such as an ECU, since all the components (the pump, the aperture plate 42 and the second valve 62) are moved by movement of a single element (the motor 44). The motor 44 may include an encoder or some other means for sensing its movement, so that the ECU can determine the position of the aperture plate 42, the valve element 65 for the second valve 62 and the pump flow restriction member 38. Even though a single element is moved (the motor 44), which drives the movement of a plurality of flow control members (the aperture plate 42, the valve element 65 for the second valve 62, and the pump flow restriction member 38), the thermal management module 30 provides good performance in terms of permitting the engine to warm up to an efficient operating temperature, permitting the transmission oil to warm up to an efficient operating temperature, permitting the transmission oil to be heated and cooled during heating and cooling of other elements in the coolant system, and other actions. [0089] It will be noted that the controlled ports 40 (namely ports 40a-40d) of the thermal management module 30 shown in the figures are all inlet ports. However, it is alternatively possible to provide a thermal management module in which the controlled ports are all outlet ports, or in which the controlled ports are a combination of at least one inlet port and at least one outlet port. For example, the coolant system 10 could be configured with the aperture plate 42 mounted at the outlet port 40e and could be used to direct coolant flow into a plurality of further conduits so as to direct coolant flow to any of several elements such as the radiator 54, the engine, the engine oil heat exchanger 50, the cabin heat exchanger 68 and/or other elements. [0090] While the second valve 62 is shown in the example illustrated in Figures 1-11C, it will be noted that the second valve 62 is optional. In other words, it is alternatively possible to provide the coolant system 10 with a valve that is similar to the valve 62 but which is controlled by a dedicated actuator that is separate from the motor 44. As a further alternative, the coolant system 10 could be configured to omit such a valve entirely. [0091] Additionally, it will be noted that other valves may be provided in the coolant system to control flow as needed or desired, based on the particular parameters of the application.

[0092] Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that there are yet more alternative implementations and modifications possible, and that the above examples are only illustrations of one or more implementations. The scope, therefore, is only to be limited by the claims appended hereto and any amendments made thereto.

List of reference numerals