Introduction to Commercial and Off-Road Vehicle Cooling Airflow Systems Webinar
I.D. # WB1240 Duration 12 Hours
Vehicle functional requirements, diesel emission regulations, and subsystem thermal limits all have a direct impact on the design of a powertrain cooling airflow system. Severe duty cycles, minimal ram air, fouling, and sometimes unconventional package layouts present unique challenges to the designer. This webinar introduces many airflow integration issues and vehicle-level trade-offs that effect system performance and drive the design.

The goal of this six-session webinar is to introduce engineers and managers to the basic principles of diesel cooling airflow systems for commercial and off-road vehicles. Participants will learn about vehicle/product constraints, integration issues, cooling airflow, system resistance, fans, shrouds, radiators, coolers, estimating heat rejection, thermal recirculation, and overall system performance. Basic concepts will be reinforced with examples and a cooling performance calculation of a diesel cooling system.

SAE Papers 2002-01-0256, 850281, 900001 and 740691 are included as references in the course materials.

Note: A similar course is available as a classroom seminar.

Learning Objectives
By connecting with this webinar, you will be able to:
  • Define vehicle requirements and many cooling airflow system integration issues
  • Describe heat exchanger sizing considerations, design alternatives, and thermal effectiveness
  • List fan/shroud aerodynamic design parameters, guidelines, and installation effects
  • Apply the fan laws to evaluate alternative designs
  • Calculate fan operating point and airflow using component pressure-loss coefficients
  • Estimate engine heat rejection to coolant, including Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)
  • Calculate steady-state thermal performance of a diesel cooling airflow system
Who Should Attend
OEM and supplier engineers and managers who are involved with vehicle cooling systems, or who interface with vehicle program management on these issues, will benefit from this seminar. Graduate-level students interested in cooling systems will also find it instructive.
Participants should have an undergraduate engineering degree. Exposure to thermal product development is helpful, but not required.
Seminar Content
Session 1: Vehicle Perspective
  • Overview Typical Cooling Airflow Systems
  • Design Drivers
  • A Classification of Vehicle Cooling Systems
  • Industrial Air-cooled Heat Exchanger Assemblies
  • Impact of System & Sub-system Requirements
  • Thermal Recirculation
  • Design Challenges
Session 2: Key Concepts ┐ System Heat Transfer Equation and Pressure Losses
  • 1st Law of Aerodynamics
  • Radiator Heat Transfer Equation
  • Definition of Standard Air
  • Airflow Terminology and Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM)
  • Bernoulli┐s Equation and Ram Pressure
  • Pressure Loss Coefficient
  • Vehicle Air Flow Restrictions ┐ Flow Energy Losses
  • Construct a System Pressure Loss Curve
Session 3: Fan Airflow
  • Fan Classification and Specific Speed
  • Fan Characteristic Curve and System Matching
  • Air Performance Test Chambers (AMCA)
  • Axial Fan Systems, Pusher and Puller
  • Exercise the Fan Laws to Evaluate Design Alternatives
  • Shroud Design Considerations
  • Vehicle Installation Effects ┐ Fan Position, Tip Clearance, Radiator Proximity
Session 4: Fan and Ram Airflow Map
  • Ram Airflow
  • Flow Energy Balance Equation
  • Fan Operation with Ram
  • Ram Total-Pressure Recovery
  • Calculate System Loss Curve, Fan Operating Point and Cooling Airflow
Session 5: Compact Heat Exchangers
  • Thermal Classification of Heat Exchangers
  • Compact Heat Exchangers in Vehicle Applications
  • Radiator Effectiveness and Louvered Fins
  • Charge Air Coolers, Performance Calculation Against Requirements
  • Air-Side Fouling Study and Heat Exchanger Design Considerations
  • Thermal Accumulation Calculation
Session 6: Estimating Powertrain Heat Rejection
  • SAE Dynamometer Gross Power Test Procedures
  • Dynamometer Data on Engine Heat Rejection
  • Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP), A Power Density
  • Specific Heat Rejection (SHR) Characteristic Curve
  • EGR Heat Rejection to Coolant
  • Evaluation of Diesel Cooling System
  • Tools and Methods for System Development
Instructor(s): Jack Williams
Jack Williams

Jack Williams is an independent consultant specializing in the design and development of thermal management systems and vehicle aerodynamics. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in the mechanical engineering department. In addition to his consulting work, he conducts professional development courses for engineers on cooling systems, EV/HEV battery thermal management, and road vehicle aerodynamics. Mr. Williams has over 30 years engineering management experience in product development at Ford Motor Co. Additionally, he was an aerodynamics project leader with the USAF Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio where he specialized in engine/aircraft integration, gas turbine engine performance, inlet design, and aircraft mission analysis. An active member of the SAE, Mr. Williams has authored over 20 technical papers, given invited lectures at major mid-west universities, and has received professional awards and international recognition for his innovative work. He is a recipient of two Henry Ford II Technology Awards, the SAE Industrial Lectureship Award, two SAE Oral Presentation Awards, and the SAE Forest R. McFarland Award. He holds a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Detroit and an M.S. in Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering from the United States Air Force Institute of Technology.

Test your PC and connection to see if it meets the minimum system requirements for the WebEx online training center before you register. Go to and follow the onscreen instructions for "Join Meeting Test".

NOTE: The course presentation will be recorded and made available for 30 days to those who register by the deadline.

"Course material was well prepared and well executed. ...covers the basics of cooling airflow design together with some more advanced insights into this area."
Peter Gullberg
Technology Specialist
Volvo Group Trucks Technology

"This webinar gives key-concepts and a big picture of the design process of a vehicle airflow system, in a clear and detailed manner. It's perfect to understand the basics!"
Marc-Olivier Lacerte
Mechanical Engineer
TM4 Electrodynamic Systems

┐Jack Williams was an excellent instructor. He has a wealth of experience in all phases of aerodynamics and heat exchanger design. I learned more than I thought I would. This course is a must for engineers working in the area of engine cooling systems.┐
Robert W. Cummings P.E.
Robert W. Cummings

"This excellent (course) presented the whole picture of vehicle thermal management system with sufficient depth for individual components."
Shiwei Qin
Senior Engineer
Borgwarner Inc.

Fees: $855 SAE Members*: $684 - $770
* The appropriate SAE Member discount will be applied through the Registration process.  Discounts vary according to level of membership: Elite Member 20%; Premium Member 15%; Classic Member 10%
CEU 1.2