A New Approach to Model the Fan in Vehicle Thermal Management Simulations
Vehicle thermal management (VTM) simulations constitute an important step in the early development phase of a vehicle. They help in predicting the temperature profiles of critical components over a drive cycle and identify components which are exceeding temperature design limits. Parts with the highest temperatures in a vehicle with an internal combustion engine are concentrated in the engine bay area. As packaging constraints grow tighter, the components in the engine bay are packed closer together. This makes the thermal protection in the engine bay even more crucial. The fan influences the airflow into the engine bay and plays an important role in deciding flow distribution in this region. This makes modelling of the fan an important aspect of VTM simulations. The challenge associated with modelling the fan is the accurate simulation of the rotation imparted by the fan to the incoming flow. Currently, two modelling approaches are prevalent in the industry.