Aero-Acoustic Predictions of Automotive Instrument Panel Ducts
The air noise generated by automotive climate control systems is today emerging as one of the main noise sources in a vehicle interior. In the confined instrument panel (I.P.) ducts, that lead the air flow from the HVAC outlets to the cabin, the highly constrained geometry generally leads to flow separation and to complex flow structures that contribute to the noise perceived in the car. Numerical simulation offers a good way to analyze these mechanisms and to identify the aerodynamic noise sources, in an industrial context driven by permanent reduction of programs timing and development costs, implying no physical prototype of ducts before serial tooling. This paper presents an example of aero-acoustic study of simple I.P. ducts performed with the finite element code ACTRAN to estimate the sound produced by the turbulent flow. For this type of configuration, the acoustic propagation is decoupled from the noise generation mechanism that is essentially of aerodynamic nature.