Design and Development of Cooling System for a Formula SAE Race Car 2018-01-0079
In Formula Student, the vehicle working parameters are quite disparate from that of a commercially designed vehicle. The inability of teams to incorporate the atypical running conditions in their design causes multiple unforeseen issues. One such condition where the teams fail to improvise upon is the cooling system. Due to the high performance requirement of the competition, multiple teams participating face recurring heating problems. Maximum efficiency from a combustion vehicle can only be achieved when the cooling system is designed to handle the increasing power demand.
This paper brings forth a detailed study on the intricate design of the cooling system. The problem has been approached using both theoretical and simulation models. Firstly, NTU-ℇ method was used to calculate the overall heat transfer coefficient and the temperature drop through the radiator core. Various parameters like core size, mass flow rate of water and air, fan configurations etc., were taken into consideration. Star CCM+ software was used to perform full body analysis to study the positioning of the radiator on the race car. Following this, the theoretical calculations were validated by performing thermal analysis on the same software.
The results obtained from these models were validated experimentally on the vehicle using data acquisition. Temperature sensors placed at inlet and outlet of the radiator were used to record the data. The study not only resulted in designing an efficient cooling system but also laying out a systematic approach for further development.