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Journal Article

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.
Technical Paper

Thermal Characterization & Management of PHEV Battery Packs

Battery cell temperature affects the life and performance of the battery pack, including available power. Temperature variation between cells in a pack can lead to different charge/discharge behavior for the cells that may lead to electrical imbalance and degraded system performance. Flow balancing of the coolant has a significant impact on the performance of the system. This paper studies overall system flow balancing, focusing on various cooling fin designs & their pressure drops. Given a pump performance curve, an optimal fin pressure drop is estimated. This estimation is then tested in the lab to validate the “optimal” fin pressure drop necessary to achieve balanced flow.