A Radiator is a heat exchanger which is used to cool an automobile engine. If cooling is not adequate, various problems such as knocking, piston deformation, cylinder deformation etc., can occur. An engine coolant is circulated through engine block which cools the engine parts and thereby gets heated, which subsequently passes through a radiator and loses heat to the atmosphere, and then returned to the engine.
This paper describes a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) based study performed to predict volume flow distribution of a coolant across tubes of an automobile radiator and corresponding pressure drop across the tubes. This simulation will help the designers to identify areas for improvement of radiator design. The main objective of the simulation is to assess the uniformity of coolant flow across the tubes of the radiator and identify areas to improve the current design. The simulation captured the flow split amongst multiple tubes and the corresponding pressure drop across the radiator. This simulation is a part of design optimization study aimed at enhancing the performance of a radiator. Apart from this simulation, a steady state air flow analysis with full vehicle set up including radiator, condenser etc., would help in analyzing air flow across the radiator. The simulation methodology developed eliminates the cost and time involved in actual testing, resulting in significant improvement in turnaround time and productivity. This will also enable to analyze multiple new design concepts in a shorter time. It has been observed that the flow is fairly uneven across the tubes which could cause non-uniform heating of the tubes. Download to continue reading.