A New Automated Underhood Thermal Management CFD DoE Workflow with ModeFRONTIER

Zafer Tastan (Ford)

CHALLENGE - Ford engineers are challenged to find a cost efficient cooling system concept for the underhood thermal management that suits different powertrains and environments, respecting standards (NACA duct) and without compromising the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance. From a thermodynamics perspective, the problem to address regards the high temperatures deriving from the friction inside the PTU (Power Take-off Unit) and surrounding parts which can cause the oil to overheat.

SOLUTION - A new automated DOE based workflow for an improved Underhood Thermal Management was developed with modeFRONTIER. This approach combined a morphing CAE model, based on a parameterized full vehicle model, with the robust and highly complex 3D volume mesh and the setup of full conjugate heat transfer analysis in a unique environment. This enabled a fully automated submission of calculation to the remote supercomputer and the use of the advanced response surface and statistical analysis tools of modeFRONTIER at multidisciplinary level. 

BENEFITS - The high complexity of undershield engineering could be decreased with a cost effective solution: the adoption of the NACA duct, the removal of an expensive component (PTU fan) and the significant reduction of the PTU oil temperature. modeFRONTIER helped cut cost and time; and, from the computational point of view, the overall project turnaround was 3x faster than the previous methodology.