Automotive Refrigerant System Induced Evaporator Hoot 2005-01-2509
The automotive refrigerant systems can occasionally exhibit a transient hoot/whistle type noise under certain operating conditions. High pressure/velocity refrigerant flow through an evaporator core can readily excite the inherent acoustical and/or structural modes, resulting in audible transient tones. This condition if present can be experienced while driving away from a short stop and can last 2 to 10 seconds. The ambient conditions suitable for creating this noise are - moderate/high air-conditioning (A/C) load during days at 85-95° F temperatures with high humidity. Possible noise generating mechanisms have been discussed in earlier publications and our findings during this study indicate that they are excited by the high velocity superheated refrigerant vapor flow through the evaporator core plates. Examples of this transient noise and its spectral characteristics are presented to characterize this refrigerant system induced issue.
This paper presents a systematic source identification study and root-cause analysis that ultimately led to an implementable design-fix for this hoot noise issue. Based on this study, an objective target was developed and cascaded.