Automobile Radiator Design and Validation

Cooling System Assembly

The purpose of this research was to primarily design a cooling system for a formula styled race-car and validate the system using real-time performance. This research has been published in International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET). Following is the procedure for the research conducted.

A). Design (Experiments and Calculations)

The approach towards the design of the cooling system was not only a theoretical one, but also a pragmatic one. The primary requirements of the vehicle were to have high acceleration, low weights and an ability to endure. Keeping in mind the following requirements and some governing rules made by the sanctioning bodies, we began the design procedure. The engine used for the vehicle is a 4-stroke single cylinder 390 cc one, opted for its excellent power to weight ratio. This research begins with experimentally determining some important data of the engine such as engine mass flow rate and engine load. This data is used to determine the quantified requirements of the system during the various modes of vehicle operation. Based on the targeted values, the sizing of the radiator is done using conduction and convection heat transfer concepts.

Radiator Computer Aided Design

Comparison of the Calculated and Experimental Data for Cooling Load

B). CFD and Thermal Analysis

Further optimization is done using CFD analysis. I carried out fluid as well as thermal analysis on the system in Star CCM+. The core of the radiator was represented by a cuboid which was then given a porous media. Trimmer and Surface Remesher were used as meshing models. A steady flow, k-epsilon turbulence and Reynolds- Average Navier- Stokes were used to model the regions. The boundary conditions were applied to determine the temperature change and heat transfer across the radiator surface.

Radiator Analysis Model

Radiator Model Mesh (Trimmer)

Analysis Result: Air-Region Temperature Variation

Analysis Result: Coolant-Region Temperature Variation

C). Real-Time Validation

The reason for not opting for a conventional wind tunnel is that it does not holistically validate the system's capability. This research involves the development of a procedure to validate the system in its operational state on the vehicle. Various sensors such as thermistors, pressure and engine sensors were deployed around the vehicle to acquire real time data which is further processed to determine the actual efficiency of the system. Based on the above approach, a fruitful way of validating the cooling system has been established and the co-relation between the expected and acquired results showed that both the values commensurate. The theoretical and CFD results were able to accurately predict the actual heat transfer at higher RPM and at lower RPM the predicted values were more than the actual heat rejection.

Pressure Sensor Mounting on the Radiator Core

Thermistors Positioning

Comparison between the Data obtained from the Design, Analysis and Validation

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