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Technical Paper

Numerical Simulation of the Transient Heat-Up of a Passenger Vehicle during a Trailer Towing Uphill Drive

In the digital prototype development process of a new Mercedes-Benz, thermal protection is an important task that has to be fulfilled. In the early stages of development, numerical methods are used to detect thermal hotspots in order to protect temperature sensitive parts. These methods involve transient full Vehicle Thermal Management (VTM) simulations to predict dynamic vehicle heat-up during critical load cases. In order to simulate thermal control mechanisms, a coupled 1D to 3D thermal vehicle model is built in which the coolant and oil circuit of the engine, as well as the exhaust flow are captured in detail. When performing a transient 3D VTM analysis, the conduction and radiation phenomena are simulated using a transient structure model while the convective phenomena are co-simulated in a steady state fluid model. Both models are brought to interaction at predetermined points by an automatized coupling method.
Technical Paper

Simulation Process of the Heat Protection of a Full Vehicle

In this paper the latest status of the Vehicle Thermal Management (VTM) simulation at the Mercedes-Benz Car Group is shown. First of all VTM is nowadays a routine simulation application and secondly it is embedded in a standard process which starts with the CAD data collection and ends with standard reporting of the simulation results and thirdly VTM is now an integrated simulation application in terms of VTM includes the classical underhood-underbody analysis, the analysis of electric/electronic components, the brake temperature analysis and last not least the thermal comfort of passengers. There is also a close link to the tests of vehicle hardware. Beside the operational simulation process there is a process installed which guarantees good quality of the results.
Technical Paper

A Numerical Methodology to Compute Temperatures of a Rotating Cardan Shaft

In this paper a new numerical methodology to compute component temperatures of a rotating cardan shaft is described. In general temperatures of the cardan shaft are mainly dominated by radiation from the exhaust gas system and air temperatures in the transmission tunnel and underbody. While driving the cardan shaft is rotating. This yields a uniform temperature distribution of the circumference of the shaft. However most simulation approaches for heat protection are nowadays steady-state computations. In these simulations the rotation of the cardan shaft is not considered. In particular next to the exhaust gas system the distribution of the temperatures of the cardan shaft is not uniform but shows hot temperatures due to radiation at the side facing the exhaust gas system and lower temperatures at the other side. This paper describes a new computational approach that is averaging the radiative and convective heat fluxes circumferentially over bands of the cardan shaft.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of Droplets Condensation on a Windshield: Prediction of Fogging Behavior

An accurate model to predict the formation of fogging and defogging which occurs for low windshield temperatures is helpful for designing the air-conditioning system in a car. Using a multiphase flow approach and additional user-defined functions within the commercial CFD-software STAR-CCM+, a model which is able to calculate the amount of water droplets on the windshield from condensation and which causes the fogging is set up. Different parameters like relative humidity, air temperature, mass flow rate and droplet distributions are considered. Because of the condition of the windshield's surface, the condensation occurs as tiny droplets with different sizes. The distribution of these very small droplets must be obtained to estimate numerically the heat transfer coefficient during the condensation process to predict the defogging time.
Technical Paper

Challenges and Opportunities of Numerically Simulating the Idle Load Case for Vehicle Thermal Management

Collective life-cycle data is needed when developing components like elastomer suspension mounts. Life-time prediction is only possible using thermal load frequency distributions. In addition to current extreme load cases, the Idle Load Case is examined at Mercedes-Benz Car Group as a collective load case for Vehicle Thermal Management (VTM) numerical simulations in early development stages. It combines validation opportunities for HVAC, cooling and transmission requirements in hot-country-type ambient conditions. Experiments in climatic wind tunnels and coupled 3D CFD and heat transfer simulations of the Idle Load Case have been performed. Measurements show steady conditions at the end of the load case. Decoupling of the torque converter, changes in ambient temperature and the technical implementation of a wind barrier for still air conditions exhibit influence on component-level results. Solar load, however, does not significantly change the examined component temperatures.
Journal Article

Experimental and Numerical Investigations of Thermal Soak

This paper summarizes a common project of Mercedes-Benz and FKFS (Research Institute of Automotive Engineering) to apply numerical methods to thermal soak issues in a very early stage of the development phase of a new car. “Thermal soak” results from driving the vehicle at high load followed by shutting off the engine and a cool down phase. After stopping, the underhood flow is only driven by natural convection. The thermal soak behaviour is discussed in principal and the numerical challenges are summarized. Four different issues are identified: the need for a transient computation including transient thermal load pattern, a method to compute natural convection in the underhood after the shutdown of the engine, the complex geometry and the lack of a single computational program to consider all three modes of heat transfer, which results in a coupled numerical approach.
Technical Paper

Underhood Temperature Analysis in Case of Natural Convection

This paper describes a method to simulate underhood temperature distributions in passenger cars. A simplified engine compartment simulation test rig is used to perform measurements with well known boundary conditions to validate the simulation strategy. The measurement setup corresponds to idle without working fan. The aim of this setup is to validate cases with strong natural convection, e.g. thermal soaking. A coupled steady-state CFD run and thermal analysis is undertaken to simulate the temperature distribution in the test rig. Convective heat transfer coefficients and air temperatures are calculated in StarCD™. The radiative and conductive heat transfer is considered in a RadTherm™ analysis. The strong coupling of flow field and wall temperature in buoyancy driven flows requires an iterative process. Calculated temperatures are compared to measured results in order to validate the simulation method as far as possible. Some of the results are reported in this paper.
Technical Paper

A New Approach to Predicting Component Temperature Collectives for Vehicle Thermal Management

There is a growing need for life-cycle data – so-called collectives – when developing components like elastomer engine mounts. Current standardized extreme load cases are not sufficient for establishing such collectives. Supplementing the use of endurance testing data, a prediction methodology for component temperature collectives utilizing existing 3D CFD simulation models is presented. The method uses support points to approximate the full collective. Each support point is defined by a component temperature and a position on the time axis of the collective. Since it is the only currently available source for component temperature data, endurance testing data is used to develop the new method. The component temperature range in this data set is divided in temperature bands. Groups of driving states are determined which are each representative of an individual band. Each of the resulting four driving state spaces is condensed into a substitute load case.
Technical Paper

Numerical Methodology for Automotive Radiator and Condenser Simulations

The paper describes a predictive tool for the determination of air and coolant temperatures and heat exchange resulting from the operation of heat exchangers, e.g., radiator or air-conditioner condenser in the underhood of automotive engines. The paper describes a detailed computational model where both the fluid streams are numerically solved and the phase change of the refrigerant is taken into account in a condenser simulation. An actual underhood simulation with interactions with a radiator is presented. A numerical simulation for a condenser is also presented. Reasonable agreement is shown with the test data.
Technical Paper

Thermal Behavior of an Electronics Compartment with Respect to Real Driving Conditions

The reliability of electronic components is of increasing importance for further progress towards automated driving. Thermal aging processes such as electromigration is one factor that can negatively affect the reliability of electronics. The resulting failures depend on the thermal load of the components within the vehicle lifetime - called temperature collective - which is described by the temperature frequency distribution of the components. At present, endurance testing data are used to examine the temperature collective for electronic components in the late development stage. The use of numerical simulation tools within Vehicle Thermal Management (VTM) enables lifetime thermal prediction in the early development stage, but also represents challenges for the current VTM processes [1, 2]. Due to the changing focus from the underhood to numerous electronic compartments in vehicles, the number of simulation models has steadily increased.