Energy Efficient HVAC System with Spot Cooling in an Automobile - Design and CFD Analysis
Spot, or distributed, cooling and heating is an energy efficient way of delivering comfort to an occupant in the car. This paper describes an approach to distributed cooling in the vehicle. A two passenger CFD model of an SUV cabin was developed to obtain the solar and convective thermal loads on the vehicle, characterize the interior thermal environment and accurately evaluate the fluid-thermal environment around the occupants. The present paper focuses on the design and CFD analysis of the energy efficient HVAC system with spot cooling. The CFD model was validated with wind tunnel data for its overall accuracy. A baseline system with conventional HVAC air was first analyzed at mid and high ambient conditions. The airflow and cooling delivered to the driver and the passenger was calculated. Subsequently, spot cooling was analyzed in conjunction with a much lower conventional HVAC airflow.