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Technical Paper

e-Thermal: A Vehicle-Level HVAC/PTC Simulation Tool

This paper describes a vehicle-level simulation model for climate control and powertrain cooling developed and currently utilized at GM. The tool was developed in response to GM's need to speed vehicle development for HVAC and powertrain cooling to meet world-class program execution timing (18 to 24 month vehicle development cycles). At the same time the simulation tool had to complement GM's strategy to move additional engineering responsibility to its HVAC suppliers. This simulation tool called “e-Thermal” was quickly developed and currently is in widespread (global) use across GM. This paper describes GM's objectives and requirements for developing e-Thermal. The structure of the tool and the capabilities of the simulation tool modules (refrigeration, front end airflow, passenger compartment, engine, transmission, Interior air handling …) is introduced. Model data requirements and GM's strategy for acquiring component data are also described.
Technical Paper

e-Thermal: Automobile Air-Conditioning Module

e-Thermal is a vehicle level thermal analysis tool developed by General Motors to simulate the transient performance of the entire vehicle HVAC and Powertrain cooling system. It is currently in widespread (global) use across GM. This paper discusses the details of the air-conditioning module of e-Thermal. Most of the literature available on transient modeling of the air conditioning systems is based on finite difference approach that require large simulation times. This has been overcome by appropriately modeling the components using Sinda/Fluint. The basic components of automotive air conditioning system, evaporator, condenser, compressor and expansion valve, are parametrically modeled in Sinda/Fluint. For each component, physical characteristics and performance data is collected in form of component data standards. This performance data is used to curve fit parameters that then reproduce the component performance.