Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Russell Westphal, Joseph Mello


This project required the development of a rig that could experimentally determine the efficiency of an Electronic Speed Controller (ESC). The selected design focuses on measuring the losses due to heat from the device and comparing this to its input power. The selected design is a flow rig that utilizes the heat equation q=ṁcpΔT. The rig provides a steady state measurement of the ESC heat output by passing a known mass flow rate of air across the ESC and measuring the temperature difference. It uses a flowmeter to determine ṁ, thermocouples to determine ΔT, and a table lookup to determine cp. After testing with a known heat source of a DC-powered silicon heater, It was found that at a flowrate of 30 L/min, the rig is able to capture greater than 90% of the heat emitted from a range of 2.5 to 10 Watts. This rig is recommended for use in testing the heat losses of an Electronic Speed Controller as well as any other small form factor, constant heat-emitting devices.