Underhood Thermal Management by Controlling Air Flow 951013
A series of tests were conducted to determine the potential for reducing vehicle underhood temperatures by either 1) diverting the radiator fan air flow from the engine compartment or 2) by forced air cooling of the exhaust manifold in conjunction with shielding it or 3) by a combination of the two methods. The test vehicle was a Ford F-250 Light Truck with a 7.5L V-8 engine. The vehicle was tested in a dynamometer cell equipped with cell blowers to simulate road speed conditions.
It was found that diverting the outlet air from the radiator will reduce underhood component temperatures when the vehicle is in motion and also at normal idle. However, if the vehicle is to be used for power takeoff applications requiring a “kicked” idle, then forced cooling of the exhaust manifolds is also required to maintain reduced underhood temperatures. A combination of these two techniques maximized the reduction of underhood temperatures for all operating conditions tested. These observations are of course specific to this vehicle powertrain configuration and its duty cycle. However, this investigation has indicated the potential for developing new techniques in underhood thermal management that should be applicable to most other vehicles.