Prediction of cooling flow rate through the front grille using flow analysis with a multi-level mesh system 2000-05-0306
A flow analysis method with quick turnaround time has been studied for application to flows in the engine compartment of vehicles. In this research, a rapid modeling method based on the Cartesian mesh system was developed to obtain flow field information quickly. With this modeling method, the original shape is approximated by many small cubic cells, allowing automatic mesh generation in significantly less time. Moreover, a hierarchical mesh system that reduces the total number of meshes has been introduced. This multi-level mesh system is also highly capable of representing shapes in detail. Another important issue in flow calculations in the engine bay is the treatment of the boundary conditions such as the radiator and cooling fan. With the proposed method, the fluid dynamics characteristics of such components are measured, and characteristics such as the pressure loss/gain and the rotational vector of the fan are reflected in the flow field as empirical models. Using this method, the flow fields in an engine compartment were computed for several different grille shapes and the airflow rates through the radiator were predicted. In a typical analysis, it took about one hour to make the analytical model and five hours to run the flow computation.