Comprehensive Model-Based Design and Analysis Approach for Thermal Management Systems in Hybridized Vehicles
This research effort focuses on thermal management system (TMS) design for a high-performance, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The thermal performance for various components in an electrified powertrain is investigated using a 3D finite difference model for a complete vehicle system, including inherently temperature-sensitive components. The components include the electric motor (EM), power electronics, Energy Storage System (ESS), and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE).
A model-based design approach is utilized, where a combination of experimental work and simulation are integrated. After defining heat sources and heat sinks within the power train system, temporal and spatial boundary conditions were extracted experimentally to facilitate the 3D simulation under different road-load scenarios. Material properties, surface conditions, and environmental factors were defined for the geometrical surface mesh representation of the system. Meanwhile the finite differencing code handles the heat transfer phenomena via conduction and radiation, all convective heat transfer mode within the powertrain are defined using fluid nodes and fluid streams within the powertrain.
Conclusions are drawn through correlating experimental results to the outcome from the thermal model. The outcome from this research effort is a 3D thermal performance predictive tool that can be utilized in order to evaluate the design of advanced thermal management systems (TMSs) for alternative powertrains in early design/concept stages of the development process.
For future work, it is recommended that a full validation of the 3D thermal model be completed. Subsequently, design improvements can be made to the TMS. Some possible improvements include analysis and evaluation of shielding of the catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, and power electronics, as well as substituting for material with better thermal performance in other temperature-sensitive components, where applicable. The result of this improvement in design would be achieving an effective TMS for a high-performance PHEV.