An Innovative Modeling Approach to Thermal Management using Variable Fidelity Flow Network Models Imbedded in a 3D Analysis
Speed and accuracy are the critical needs in software for the modeling and simulation of vehicle cooling systems. Currently, there are two approaches used in commercially available thermal analysis software packages: 1) detailed modeling using complex and sophisticated three-dimensional (3D) heat transfer and computational fluid dynamics, and 2) rough modeling using one-dimensional (1D) simplistic network solvers (flow and thermal) for quick prediction of flow and thermal fields. The first approach offers accuracy at the cost of speed, while the second approach provides the simulation speed, sacrificing accuracy and can possibly lead to oversimplification. Therefore, the analyst is often forced to make a choice between the two approaches, or find a way to link or couple the two methods. The linking between one-dimensional and three-dimensional models using separate software packages has been attempted and successfully accomplished for a number of years.