Towards the control of car underhood thermal conditions
APPLIED THERMAL ENGINEERING
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The present paper reports an experimental study of the aerothermal phenomena in the vehicle underhood compartment as investigated by measuring temperature, convective heat flux, and radiative heat flux. Measurements are carried out on a passenger vehicle in wind tunnel S4 of Saint-Cyr-France. The underhood space is instrumented by 120 surface and air thermocouples and 20 fluxmeters. Measurements are performed for three thermal functioning conditions while the engine is in operation and the front wheels are positioned on the test facility with power-absorption-controlled rollers. In the thermal analysis, particular attention is given to measuring absorbed convective heat fluxes at component surfaces. It is shown that, in some components, the outside air entering the engine compartment (for cooling certain components) can in fact heat other components. This problem arises from the underhood architecture, specifically the positioning of some components downstream of warmer components in the same airflow. Optimized thermal management suggests placing these components further upstream or isolating them from the hot stream by deflectors. Given style constraints, however, the use of air deflectors is more suitable than underhood architectural changes. Much of the present paper is devoted to heat flux analysis of the specific thermal behaviours in the underhood compartment (especially the absorption of convective heat fluxes) and to a description of a new control approach exploiting air deflectors to optimize underhood aerothermal management. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.