Airflow Measurement of the Car HVAC Unit Using Hot-wire Anemometry
Department of Thermodynamics and Environmental Engineering, Energy Institute, Faculty of mechanical engineering, Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic.
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Published online: 28 March 2016
Thermal environment in a vehicular cabin significantly influence drivers’ fatigue and passengers’ thermal comfort. This environment is traditionally managed by HVAC cabin system that distributes air and modifies its properties. In order to simulate cabin thermal behaviour, amount of the air led through car vents must be determined. The aim of this study was to develop methodology to measure airflow from the vents, and consequently calculate corresponding air distribution coefficients. Three climatic cases were selected to match European winter, summer, and spring / fall conditions. Experiments were conducted on a test vehicle in a climatic chamber. The car HVAC system was set to automatic control mode, and the measurements were executed after the system stabilisation—each case was independently measured three times. To be able to evaluate precision of the method, the airflow was determined at the system inlet (HVAC suction) and outlet (each vent), and the total airflow values were compared. The airflow was calculated by determining a mean value of the air velocity multiplied by an area of inlet / outlet cross-section. Hot-wire anemometry was involved to measure the air velocity. Regarding the summer case, total airflow entering the cabin was around 57 l s-1 with 60 % of the air entering the cabin through dashboard vents; no air was supplied to the feet compartment. The remaining cases had the same total airflow of around 42 l s-1, and the air distribution was focused mainly on feet and windows. The inlet and outlet airflow values show a good match with a maximum mass differential of 8.3 %.
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