Accurate prediction of cooling airflows is required to reliably predict the performance of thermal management systems under realistic vehicle operating conditions. The flow patterns and air temperature distribution in the underhood area are highly complex and transient due to the intricate interaction of the ram air and cooling fan flows, along with variations in air density and temperature as a result of heat from the thermal systems. In addition, they are very sensitive to vehicle operating conditions and fine geometric details. Therefore, a high-fidelity simulation is necessary to capture the relevant physics associated with cooling airflow prediction.
Vehicle thermal management is a system design problem. There is a complex interaction between multiple heat exchangers commonly found in modern vehicles and with other underhood components such as cooling fans, shrouds, and the engine block, as well as with system-level controllers. The entire system must be analyzed in order to optimize system-level performance.