Assessment of Cabin Leakage on Thermal Comfort and Fuel Efficiency of an SUV 2016-01-0259
The main function of an air conditioning system in a vehicle is to provide the thermal comfort to the occupant at minimum possible energy consumption in all environmental conditions. To ensure the best possible thermal comfort, air conditioning system is optimized on various parameters like heat load, air flow distribution, glass area, trim quality, insulations and cabin leak rate. A minimum cabin leakage is regulatory requirements to ensure the air quality of cabin. Anything above the minimum cabin leak rate ultimately turn into reduced thermal comfort and additional energy consumption. The additional energy consumption to maintain the required thermal comfort in the cabin due to cabin leakage affects the fuel efficiency severely.
In the present study, the effect of cabin leakage on fuel efficiency and thermal comfort is studied in details by varying the cabin leakage through mechanical means. The experiments are carried out in normal environmental condition and road condition. It has been found from the study that at higher ambient temperature and vehicle speed, unwanted cabin leakage severely affects the fuel efficiency and thermal comfort of the vehicle.