Feasibility of Intelligent Control Strategies to Reduce Cooling System Size 2001-01-1759
As specific engine power output increases so does the heat rejected to the coolant. The resulting need to increase radiator size is counter-productive due to the lack of package space, and a strong desire to reduce, not increase, vehicle drag. Current tendency is to size the radiator to reject sufficient heat at extreme operating conditions (full engine power, high ambient). However, this “oversized” cooling system may only be needed by a small number of vehicles. A better approach could be to size the radiator for the majority, but not all, operational conditions and manage the coolant temperature by actively controlling coolant flow and engine output. This will need to be done without compromising durability or driveability. This approach sounds highly beneficial in principle, but how sound would it be in practice ? The authors have investigated the feasibility of active control by considering the details of radiator performance and engine heat rejection. A simulation model representing a minivan type vehicle has been created. This model is capable of analyzing the effect of active control on coolant temperature under different vehicle operating conditions. The paper shows that there is indeed merit in deploying active control of the cooling system.