Coolant Flow Control Strategies for Automotive Thermal Management Systems
The automotive thermal management system is responsible for maintaining engine and passenger compartment temperatures, which promote normal combustion events and passenger comfort. This system traditionally circulates a water ethylene glycol mixture through the engine block using a belt-driven water pump, wax pellet thermostat valve, radiator with electric fan, and heater core. Although vehicle cooling system performance has been reliable and acceptable for many decades, advances in mechatronics have permitted upgrades to powertrain and chassis components. In a similar spirit, the introduction of a variable speed electric water pump and servo-motor thermostat valve allows ECU-based thermal control. This paper examines the integration of an electric water pump and intelligent thermostat valve to satisfy the engine's basic cooling requirements, minimize combustion chamber fluctuations due to engine speed changes, and permit quick heating of a cold block.