Simulate for Optimal Vehicle Thermal Design and Performance

Energy Efficient Vehicle Design 

Automotive design is extremely challenging. It needs to account for multiple competing design objectives while at the same time supporting faster turnaround times for the design process. As part of automotive design, thermal management design has become increasingly important particularly due to regulations mandating higher vehicle energy efficiency to meet stricter environmental standards. An optimized thermal design results in lower emissions.  

A Better Driving Experience with Optimized Thermal Design

Comfort in all climates and optimized vehicle acoustics, among others, are essential for a good passenger experience. The significance of the thermal system for passenger safety must also be considered and thermal protection ensured, as any negligence in that field could seriously damage the vehicle’s brand reputation. Besides, the positive effect of thermal design on the electric vehicle range cannot be overstated.  

Optimizing the cooling system layout, including heat exchangers, fans and fan shrouds, helps to meet temperature limits and ensure that the vehicle functions well in all conditions.

Virtual Thermal System Testing

Thermal performance is difficult to assess in early design stages, since prototypes for testing are not available yet.  Hence virtually testing and optimizing the vehicle thermal design early in the product development phase is key to ensuring faster development cycles and go-to-market.     

A good thermal management design ensures reliability, durability, efficiency, performance, comfort and safety in all operating conditions.


In recent years, Dassault Systèmes has established thermal simulation workflows with proven  accuracy that  have helped to significantly reduce turnaround time. Furthermore, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform® offers multi-objective and multi-physics workflows for close collaboration in an integrated environment.

The Vehicle Thermal Performance process takes the realistic operational boundary conditions and transient dynamics into consideration and thus allows the thermal system to be designed and validated before the first prototypes are build.

Vehicle Thermal Management Workflows

Get in contact with us to learn about additional workflows – some of which can be applied to simulation of standard test procedures in Thermal Management.

Thermal Protection

Identify at risk components that exceed design temperatures
under steady driving conditions

  • Propose and evaluate design changes
  • Optimize shielding


Identify temperature spikes in a key-off/soak test procedure

  • Provide complete transient temperatures for root cause evaluation
  • Fix thermal issues and confirm optimal design

Cooling Airflow

Optimize cooling system layout concepts including heat exchangers, fans and fan shrouds

  • Trade-off with drag and noise of vehicle
  • Ensure design temperature limits are met for the cooling system

Thermal Duty Cycle

Evaluate complex and transient vehicle thermal testing

  • City traffic and test tracks
  • Driving schedule in hot and cold weather

Vehicle Thermal Management Resources