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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

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.
Technical Paper

Investigations in a Cooling Air Flow System under the Influence of Road Simulation

This paper presents some recent results concerning the generation and minimization of cooling air drag, achieved in an integrated approach of numerical and experimental investigations. The baseline configuration of a production cars' cooling air flow system is analyzed. The analysis of the created drag shows, that most of the force changes due to the cooling air flow appear in the front region of the vehicle. However, the forces generated by heat exchangers are only a small share of the total changes. Additional drag is generated for example by the front wheels and by the components of the underhood compartment. The investigation of the influence of the vehicle rear end shape on the aerodynamics of the cooling air flow system shows, that two similar cars with different rear end shapes (notchback and squareback) can feature different cooling air drag values.
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

An Approach for Water Jacket Flow Simulations

The increasing importance of electric mobility results into the need for optimizing all power train components to further reduce the energy consumption of the vehicle. The aim of this study is to predict the thermal behavior and the pressure losses in water jackets of electric machines by use of CFD. The heat loss of electric machines in passenger cars is sufficient to let its components reach critical temperatures. For this reason, the optimization of heat dissipation plays an important role. The goal of efficient heat dissipation is a high heat transfer coefficient. At the same time, the pressure loss should be low in order to reduce the required power of the pump. Flow simulations can help to evaluate different water jacket concepts in an early stage of development. In this work, the validation of flow simulations in water jackets is based on measurements of a simplified geometry with constant boundary conditions.
Technical Paper

Reduced Model of a Vehicle Cabin for Transient Thermal Simulation

In the proposed work the transient thermal modeling of a vehicle cabin has been performed. Therefore, a reduced model has been developed based on a one-node discretization of the cabin air. The conduction in the solid parts is accounted for by a one-dimensional heat transfer approach, the radiation exchange between the surfaces is based on view factors adopted from a 3D reference and the convective heat transfer from the cabin surfaces to the cabin air is conducted with the help of heat transfer coefficients calculated in a 3D reference simulation. The cabin surface is discretized by planar wall elements, including the outer shell of the cabin and inner elements such as seats. Each wall element is composed of several homogeneous material layers with individual thicknesses. Investigations have been conducted on the temporal and spatial resolution of the layer structure of these wall elements, for the 3D model as well as for the reduced one.
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.