Browse Publications Technical Papers 2022-01-0133

Impact of the Vehicle Environment on the Thermal Behavior of the Electrical Wiring 2022-01-0133

The thermal behavior of wires within the electrical distribution system (EDS) has a strong impact on the conductor cross section, the type of insulation, the derating, and the fusing system, and therefore on weight, cost, and reliability. Consequently, significant efforts have been made to develop sound static and dynamic thermal models for single wires and wire bundles. However, these models are based on the simplifying assumption that the object is completely surrounded by air, where, with the exception of free convection, airflow can be neglected, and where no interaction with other objects is considered.
The approach presented in this paper takes into account the actual environment and routing within a vehicle, where some objects such as metal sheets can be considered as heat sinks and other objects, e.g. a motor block, as heat sources. For this reason, measurements were performed using an experimental set-up that allows any desired positioning and alignment of the DuT (device under test, here: wire, cable, bundle) and of two temperature-controlled heat source/sink objects. These objects are a large rectangular surface and a small sphere, in order to be able to emulate as many spatial configurations as possible. The overall set-up is protected against externally-induced airflows. Because the exact modelling of the heat transfer processes (radiation, conduction, and free/forced convection) would require time-consuming FEM calculations for the investigated complex geometries, a simplified and partially data-driven model is proposed. The paper describes the theory and the modeling approach, and presents initial simulation and measurement results.


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