Home        Store        Learn        Blog

Basic ESCs in Heat Shrink Tubes

We use Basic ESC with T200 and we have 6 ESCs for 6 T200s.
We have a 4" enclosure, so it was hard to fit R.Pi, Pixhawk, ESCs, and much more circuits into the enclosure.
So we put the ESCs in heat shrink tubes and grouped them with cable ties to make it easier to fit them in the enclosure.
But now we are suspected of a potential heat problem because ESCs are squeezed into a small space with heat shrink tubes around them.
Do you think this may cause to overheating or is this not a problem?

Hi @electromeow, welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

In the Learn Tab of our Basic ESC product page we specify the following:

We also use a 4" electronics enclosure, but we ensure the ESCs are open to the air - they’re actually partly beneath the terminal block we use to connect them to the thruster cables, and the pixhawk is mounted on top of the raspberry pi. I took the following diagram from our assembly guide as an indication. Note that it shows the ESCs with the MOSFETs visible (little black squares), whereas in reality there’s a blue aluminium heat spreader over them.

If your ESCs are grouped together and have heat-shrink around them it’s very possible they’ll overheat.

If they need to be close together because there isn’t any other room then I’d suggest you attach the heat spreaders to a metal heat sink that can draw the heat away from the ESCs, or at least have them spaced apart a bit and have a small fan blowing air over them. If you’ve got an aluminium enclosure you can try to pass some of the heat off to that, or possibly to the end cap.

Note: If it’s helpful, we sell the 4" Series Electronics Tray as a freestanding product (including an option with the raised terminal blocks).

Thanks for your answer.
We use a 4" enclosure with an electronics tray. But not with an actual BR electronics tray, we downloaded the design files and 3D-printed them. We use a terminal block we bought as “grounding terminal”(I hope translated it true) which is made of brass and used for grounding. Here is a similar photo:

We have some space there but we group them in heat shrink tubes because we scare them to touch themselves and cause a short circuit etc.
BTW, placing Pixhawk at the space over R.Pi makes sense. We are placing them side by side. If we do that, we could have much more space.
I’ll try to place ESCs open to air.
How much heat is produced by Basic ESC? Do you recommend using extra heat sinks or is the heat speader bundled with ESC’s are enough?
Thanks from now for your answer.

For ours they’re secured with the components against the plastic tray, and heat spreader facing up, so there’s not a way for components to touch each other and cause short circuits.

The ESCs have thermal protection in their firmware which starts reducing the available throttle when they get above 140℃, but it’s definitely preferable to not let them get to that point (especially if your 3D printed electronics tray has a low melting point). The heat spreader should be fine if it has decent access to air. As mentioned, if they need to be close together (e.g. bundled) and without much air access then heat sinks or more active cooling (e.g. from a fan) would be recommended.