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Technical Paper

Analysis of Factors Affecting Rainwater Ingestion into Vehicles HVAC Systems

The penetration of rainwater through the heating ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) of a vehicle directly affects the provision of thermal comfort within the vehicle passenger compartment. Present vehicle designs restrict considerably the air-management processes due to reduced space and tighter packaging. The motivation for the study is to get an insight into factors affecting the water ingress phenomenon when a stationary vehicle is subjected to water loading such as heavy rain when parked or waiting in a traffic light or when in a car wash. The test programme made use of a compact closed circuit full-scale automotive climatic wind tunnel that is able to simulate wind, rain and road inclination. The tunnel was developed as part of the collaborative research between the Flow Diagnostics Laboratory (FDL) of the University of Nottingham and Visteon Climate Control Systems [1].