Modeling & Simulation, Testing & Validation (MSTV)

Coupled CFD-Thermal Analysis

by Jing Pang


The both CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and thermal analyses are used to predict a vehicle system thermal performance during the design development. The vehicle wall temperatures and compartments temperatures under various climatic conditions are predicted in MuSES thermal analyses. The temperature and air flow distributions inside the vehicle compartment are predicted in Star CCM+ CFD analyses. Recently, GDLS, Thermal Analytics, and CD-adapco jointly developed a CFD thermal analysis panel. This panel can be used to apply all boundary conditions to MuSES model and StarCCM+ CFD model by a few button clicks. It can map convection coefficients predicted in CFD analysis to the MuSES model boundaries; and vise versa, map wall temperatures and heat rates predicted in MuSES models to the boundaries in StarCCM+ models. Using this panel, the MuSES analysis and StarCCM+ analysis can be coupled to predict vehicle thermal performance with higher accuracy. Besides, most model inputs can be combined into an Excel data file and reviewed by numerous colleagues. The tedious model set up procedure is simplified. Human data entry errors can be avoided and the design updates can be easily accommodated to the analysis models. This paper is to introduce the concept of this developed CFD-Thermal Analysis Panel, as well as the discussions about how the mapped convection coefficients and mapped temperature boundary conditions affect the analysis results.