An experimental and numerical study of an automotive cooling module

Abstract: Heavy vehicles are major emitters of noise. Especially at idle or low vehicle speeds a large portion of the noise emanates from the fan that forces the flow through the cooling module. The aim of this work is to investigate and reveal aerodynamic and acoustic installation effects linked to the cooling package. This introduces a multidisciplinary approach involving examination of the flow field, sound generation and sound propagation. The work includes two main parts: an experimental and a numerical part. The cooling module used throughout this work, named reduced cooling module, primarily includes a radiator, a shroud, a fan and a hydraulic engine to simplify the aeroacoustics analysis.The experimental part comprises measurements of the sound emanated from the cooling package. A new approach to the spectral decomposition method is developed yielding the fan sound power or spectrum to be formulated as a product of a source part and a system part scaling with the Strouhal number and the Helmholtz number. Also, a separate determination of the transmission loss of the radiator is performed. The impact of the radiator on the transmitted noise was found to be negligible.The numerical part incorporates comparisons from two aeroacoustics studies; a configuration where the fan is forced to operate at a fixed operation point and measured flow and turbulence statistics are available and the reduced cooling module. A hybrid turbulence modeling technique, IDDES, is adopted for the flow simulations. The sound propagation is calculated by the Ffowcs-Williams and Hawkings acoustic analogy when assuming a free-field sound propagation and by a finite element solver in the frequency domain to capture the installation effects. The simulated SPL conforms to the measured SPL and the blade response to the turbulent inflow and to the tip resolution, respectively, produce noise which spectral shape distribution is modified in accordance with earlier experimental findings published. Furthermore, the influence of an upstream radiator in close contact with the fan on the flow and sound fields is investigated. Here, the simulated aeroacoustic characteristics were found to change similarly to the acoustic measurements with and without radiator.