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TECHNICAL PAPER: Automotive Cabin Infotainment System Thermal Management

The high-tech features in today’s vehicles – like infotainment systems and other electronics – have complicated cooling needs at peak temperatures. Simulating thermal key off and soak - a peak temperature event at vehicle shut-down when cooling airflow from operation stops but residual engine heat remains - can help engineers reach optimal design solutions to address the impacts of these high temperatures on vehicle systems early during product development, eliminating lengthy testing and rework later. 

Presented at the SAE 2015 World Congress, this technical paper demonstrates the use of simulation with Exa technologies to manage extreme thermal conditions for in-cabin infotainment systems, ensuring their full operation at peak temperatures. Solar load and long soak conditions present a challenge to conventional CFD techniques. But simulations with Exa technologies significantly accelerate the analysis of these fully transient conditions, delivering accurate results sooner

The level of infotainment in today's vehicles and the customer expectation of the functionality imply a significant effort is required on thermal management of the systems, to guarantee their full operation under all operating conditions. The worst case thermal conditions the system will get exposed to are caused by solar loading on the cabin or heat up as a result of cabin heating.Simulation of a solar load driven case will be discussed in this paper. The long soak conditions during these tests result in the modelling requirement for long natural convection periods. This is creating a challenge for the conventional CFD simulations in turnaround time. New simulation methodology has resulted in significant speed up enabling these fully transient simulations in a reasonable turnaround time to enable programme support. A two phase approach to simulating this problem is proposed in this paper.Results for both phases and the comparison against vehicle climatic wind tunnel tests are discussed in the paper. The newly developed methodology will enable early assessment in the programme development of the environmental conditions in the vehicle cabin. This will support the package of infotainment units through better positioning in low ambient areas in the vehicle cabin and reducing the forced cooling requirement.




Thermal Key-Off & Soak

VIDEO: Thermal Key-Off and Soak Simulation

BLOG: How to Keep your Vehicle Brain Cool and Avoid Getting Stuck on a Hot Summer Day

WEBINAR: Simulating Thermal Key-Off and Soak Conditions

WHITE PAPER: Thermal Management with Simulation Software

VIDEO: Experience a Thermal Management Simulation

TECHNICAL PAPER: Automotive Cabin Infotainment system Thermal Management

CASE STUDY: SDF | Thermal Engineering Through Simulation Off-Highway Equipment