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Technical Paper

Cooling Airflow Simulation for Passenger Cars using Detailed Underhood Geometry

Air flow in the underhood area is the primary source of engine cooling. A quick look at the vehicle underhood reveals exceptionally complex geometry. In addition to the engine, there are fans, radiator, condenser, other heat exchangers and components. The air flow needs to have adequate access to all relevant parts that require cooling. Due to complex geometry, the task to ensure sufficient air cooling is not a simple one. The air flow entering from the front grille is affected by many components on its path through the underhood. Even small geometry details affect the flow direction and can easily cause recirculation regions which reduce the cooling efficiency. Therefore, air cooling flow analysis requires detailed treatment of the underhood geometry and at the same time accurate air flow modeling. Recent advances in the lattice-Boltzmann equation (LBE) modeling are allowing both.
Technical Paper

Simulation of Cooling Airflow under Different Driving Conditions

Presented are simulations of cooling airflow and external aerodynamics over Land Rover LR3 and Ford Mondeo cars under several driving conditions. The simulations include details of the external flow field together with the flow in the under-hood and underbody areas. Shown is the comparison between the predicted and measured coolant inlet temperature in the radiator, drag and lift coefficients, temperature distribution on the radiator front face, and wake total pressure distribution. Very good agreement is observed. In addition, shown is the complex evolution of the temperature field in the idle case with strong under-hood recirculation. It is shown that the presented Lattice-Boltzmann Method based approach can provide accurate predictions of both cooling airflow and external aerodynamics.
Technical Paper

Full Vehicle Aero-Thermal Cooling Drag Sensitivity Analysis for Various Radiator Pressure Drops

Simulations are presented which fully couple both the aerodynamics and cooling flow for a model of a fully engineered production saloon car (Jaguar XJ) with a two-tier cooling pack. This allows for the investigation of the overall aerodynamic impact of the under-hood cooling flow, which is difficult to predict experimentally. The simulations use a 100 million-element mesh, surface wrapped and solved to convergence using a commercially available RANS solver (STARCCM+). The methodology employs representative boundary conditions, such as rotating wheels and a moving ground plane. A review is provided of the effect of cooling flows on the vehicle aerodynamics, compared to published data, which suggest cooling flow accounts for 26 drag counts (0.026 Cd). Further, a sensitivity analysis of the pressure drop curves used in the porous media model of the heat exchangers is made, allowing for an initial understanding of the effect on the overall aerodynamics.
Technical Paper

Method Development and Application of Thermal Encapsulation to Reduce Fuel Consumption of Internal Combustion Powertrains

Under bonnet thermal encapsulation is a method for retaining the heat generated by a running powertrain after it is turned off. By retaining the heat in the engine bay, the powertrain will be closer to its operating temperatures the next time it is started, reducing the warm up time required. This reduces the period of inefficiency due to high friction losses before the engine reaches it operating temperature, and as a result reduces the vehicles fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. To develop an integrated and efficient encapsulation design, CAE methods can be applied to allow this work stream to start as early in a vehicles development cycle as possible. In this work, the existing test methods are discussed, and a new Thermal CFD method is presented that accurately simulates the fluid temperatures after a customer representative 9 hour park period.
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

Active Grille Shutters Control and Benefits in Medium to Large SUV: A System Engineering Approach

Whilst the primary function of the active grille shutters is to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the car, there are some secondary benefits like improving the warm up time of engine and also retaining engine heat when parked. In turbocharged IC engines the air is compressed (heated) in the turbo and then cooled by a low temperature cooling system before going into the engine. When the air intake temperature exceeds a threshold value, the engine efficiency falls - this drives the need for the cooling airflow across the radiator in normal operation. Airflow is also required to manage the convective heat transfer across various components in the engine bay for its lifetime thermal durability. Grill shutters can also influence the aerodynamic lift balance thus impacting the vehicle dynamics at high speed. The vehicle HVAC system also relies on the condenser in the front heat exchanger pack disposing the waste heat off in the most efficient way.