Multi-objective Optimization of a Charge Air Cooler using modeFRONTIER 2008-01-0886
In order for an automotive charge air cooler (CAC) to function efficiently, the flow of air through the cross tubes should be as uniform as possible. The position of the inlet and outlet, as well as the shape of the header tanks, are generally the most important determinants of the flow uniformity, and therefore of the cooling performance of the system. In an attempt to achieve this goal of flow uniformity, however, the effect on pressure loss in the system must also be considered. Further, the cost of the CAC tanks, which is directly related to the amount of material, should be minimized. Finally, the physical space in which the CAC can be located is limited by other underhood components and vehicle styling features. This presents an optimization problem with four conflicting objectives: to reduce the pressure loss in the system, to increase the uniformity of flow in the tubes, to minimize the tank material and to conform to the package volume. In this work, CATIA v5 was used to define the package volume to which the optimized CAC must conform, and a commercial CFD tool was used to create the geometry and mesh, and to run the analysis; modeFRONTIER was used as the multi-objective optimization tool to automatically drive the process of modifying the parameters controlling the shape of the tanks, and position of the inlet and outlet, in order to achieve the above objectives.