Modeling and Validation of Automotive “Smart” Thermal Management System Architectures
The functionality and performance of an internal combustion (spark or compression ignition) engine's thermal management system can be significantly enhanced through the application of mechatronics technology. The replacement of the conventional thermostat valve and mechanical coolant pump in the heating/cooling system by a servo-motor driven smart valve and variable flow pump permits powertrain control module regulated coolant flow through the engine block and radiator. In this paper, a dynamic mathematical model will be created for a 4.6L spark ignition engine to analyze various thermal management system architectures. The designs to be studied include the factory configuration, a smart valve upgrade, and the smart valve combined with a variable flow pump and radiator fan. Representative results are presented and discussed to demonstrate improvements in the engine warm-up time, temperature tracking, and component power consumption.