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Technical Paper

Three Dimensional Transient Analysis of the Climate Inside a Passenger Vehicle Cabin under Solar Load

The climate inside a vehicle cabin is affected by the performance of the vehicle HVAC system, the thermal characteristics of the vehicle structure and the components, as well as the external environmental conditions. Due to the complex interactions among these various factors, the flow field and the temperature distribution can be very complicated. The need for a fully three-dimensional transient analysis is increasing in order to provide sufficiently detailed information that can be used to improve the vehicle design. In this study, a numerical simulation methodology to predict the local climate conditions in a passenger vehicle cabin is presented. The convective heat transfer from both the exterior and the interior of the cabin were calculated by three dimensional CFD simulations using a Lattice-Boltzmann method based flow solver. The conduction and the radiation effects including the solar loading were solved using a finite-difference based radiation-conduction thermal solver.
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulation of Transient Thermal Convection of Heated Plate

Accurate simulation of long term transient thermal convection is critical to automotive related thermal and fluid flow applications. For instance, long term thermal transients are relevant to “key-off” situations in which a moving vehicle brought to a stop leads to a usual initial spike in temperature followed by a drop as the heat sources are turned off. Presented are simulations of a simple tube and plate configuration that captures the contribution of all heat transfer effects and complexities of a vehicle key-off process. The simulations were performed using a coupling between the flow solver and the thermal simulation package that includes conduction and radiation effects. The simulation results were compared with the test data for steady state forced convection cases and transient natural convection cases. Good agreement was observed for both steady and transient simulations.
Journal Article

Options for Coupled Thermal-Electric Modeling of Battery Cells and Packs

Integration of advanced battery systems into the next generation of hybrid and electric vehicles will require significant design, analysis, and test efforts. One major design issue is the thermal management of the battery pack. Analysis tools are being developed that can assist in the development of battery pack thermal design and system integration. However, the breadth of thermal design issues that must be addressed requires that there are a variety of analysis tools to address them efficiently and effectively. A set of battery modeling tools has been implemented in the thermal modeling software code PowerTHERM. These tools are coupled thermal-electric models of battery behavior during current charge and discharge. In this paper we describe the three models in terms of the physics they capture, and their input data requirements. We discuss where the capabilities and limitations of each model best align with the different issues needed to be addressed by analysis.
Journal Article

Optimization of Active Grille Shutters Operation for Improved Fuel Economy

The airflow into the engine bay of a passenger car is used for cooling down essential components of the vehicle, such as powertrain, air-conditioning compressor, intake charge air, batteries, and brake systems, before it returns back to the external flow. When the intake ram pressure becomes high enough to supply surplus cooling air flow, this flow can be actively regulated by using arrays of grille shutters, namely active grille shutters (AGS), in order to reduce the drag penalty due to excessive cooling. In this study, the operation of AGS for a generic SUV-type model vehicle is optimized for improved fuel economy on a highway drive cycle (part of SFTP-US06) by using surrogate models. Both vehicle aerodynamic power consumption and under-hood cooling performance are assessed by using PowerFLOW, a high-fidelity flow solver that is fully coupled with powertrain heat exchanger models.
Technical Paper

Drive Cycle Simulation of A Tiered Cooling Pack Using Non-Uniform Boundary Conditions

In a tiered cooling pack, the airflow through the individual heat exchangers is determined by the package and aperture lay out. Each heat exchanger rejects heat as a function of the internal coolant flows, the cooling airflow and the air temperature. In a typical automotive cooling pack, the cooling airflow will be non-uniform in velocity and temperature due to fans, aperture geometry, exterior flows, heat exchangers and recirculation. In a drive cycle, these boundary conditions will change with vehicle operating conditions like vehicle speed, engine speed, ambient temperature, and altitude. These non-uniform conditions on the cooling pack can lead to significant errors when uniform boundary conditions are assumed in a transient simulation. This error is commonly corrected using vehicle test data. A predictive approach, which eliminates the need for correlation vehicle testing, is presented.
Technical Paper

Brake Duty Cycle Simulation for Thermal Design of Vehicle Braking System

Successive braking of the vehicle, hereinafter referred as brake duty cycle, can elevate the temperature of the brake disc to a very high level. Such high temperatures reached in brake discs can lead to vaporization of the brake fluid if the vehicle is at rest after the brake duty cycle. Excessive temperature operation of the brake disc can also lead to thermal cracks, judder, brake fade, wear and reduce braking effectiveness. Simulation tools can be used to predict the excessive temperature reached during successive braking event. After visualizing the complex flow field over the brake system and analyzing the heat transfer from brake system, simulations can be employed at the early design stage to optimize the design for more airflow over brake discs thus reducing the high temperatures and associated brake fade. In this paper, a CFD model of the vehicle with brake system is coupled with a thermal solver at braking and acceleration velocities.