Further Inroads in the Shape Optimization of Radiator Tanks 2003-01-0530
Improvements in the pressure drop across and flow homogeneity in the tubes of automotive radiators are needed to reduce the power demands on the vehicle water pump and increase the lifetime of the radiator. The goal of this ongoing work is to develop a set of virtual tools coupling CFD flow simulations with numerical shape optimization methods to assist in the design and testing process of automotive heating and cooling components. In SAE paper 2002-01-0952, “Towards Shape Optimization of Radiator Cooling Tanks,” the authors developed and evaluated optimization criteria for pressure drop and mass flow rate distribution in a water-to-air automotive heat exchanger. In this follow-up paper, results based on the implementation of these optimization criteria are presented. More specifically, results concerning the placement of radiator inlets and outlets are addressed. The methodology used to automate the mesh generation, CFD simulation, and shape optimization procedures using the GAMBIT® and FLUENT® software, combined with an in-house C-language program are also discussed.