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Analytical Study of Thermal Management: A Case Study of Underhood Configurations

Due to ever-tightening CO2 regulations on passenger vehicles, it is necessary to find novel methods to improve powertrain system efficiency. These increases in efficiency should generally be cost effective so that the customer perceives that they add value. One approach for improving system efficiency has been the use of thermal energy management. For example, changing the flow of, or reusing “waste” heat from the powertrain to improve efficiency. Due to the interactions involved with thermal management, a system level approach is useful for exploring, selecting, and developing alternative solutions. It provides a structured approach to augment the right kind of synergies between subsystems and mitigate unintended consequences. However, one challenge with using these approaches early in a program is having appropriate metrics for assessing key aspects of the system behaviors.