Investigation of Airflow Induced Whistle Noise by HVAC Control Doors Utilizing a ‘V-Shape’ Rubber Seal 2011-01-1615
Doors inside an automotive HVAC module are essential components to ensure occupant comfort by controlling the cabin temperature and directing the air flow. For temperature control, the function of a door is not only to close/block the airflow path via the door seal that presses against HVAC wall, but also control the amount of hot and cold airflow to maintain cabin temperature. To meet the stringent OEM sealing requirement while maintaining a cost-effective product, a “V-Shape” soft rubber seal is commonly used. However, in certain conditions when the door is in the position other than closed which creates a small gap, this “V-Shape” seal is susceptible to the generation of objectionable whistle noise for the vehicle passengers. This nuisance can easily reduce end-customer satisfaction to the overall HVAC performance.
The goal of this paper is to establish (1) contributing factors, (2) correlation of the whistle noise generation to the Strouhal number, and (3) an empirical equation to predict the whistle frequency as a function of fan speed and door gap geometry. Several potential solutions are also presented.