In developing thermal management solutions, we reconcile statutory requirements with consumer wishes: We configure cooling systems for the engine and powertrain so that engine and transmission quickly reach operating temperature to keep fuel consumption and emissions as low as possible. We also make sure temperature inside the vehicle meets the demands occupants place on comfort. In the work we do, we cooperate closely with our colleagues from air-conditioning, overall-vehicle development and calibration.
For instance, we use 1D and 3D simulations early on in the development process to investigate cooling mass flows as well as heat input and dissipation. Our aim is to optimize the way heat flows are controlled, allowing the cooling system to satisfy the needs of the powertrain and overall vehicle in the best way possible. Our simulation activities are based on standard solutions and in-house developments that give us the capability, for example, of computing coolant distribution inside the powertrain and flow to the engine compartment. Using our many test benches, we can analyze the performance of cooling systems in detail – such as pressure-loss measurement and coolant flow in the engine that we can visualize with transparent cylinder heads made of plastic.
Intensive development work optimizing energy efficiency
The wish for better fuel economy as well as alternative drive systems also pose a major challenge to thermal management. We are looking in depth at ways of harnessing and utilizing lost heat in vehicles – using thermoelectric generators or cooling units (“heat to cool”) for instance. And in hybrid and electric vehicles we also make sure the electronic components are perfectly integrated into the overall system.