PWR relies on simulation not only to shorten the time to market of product development but also to improve the thermohydraulic performance of each product design, a major differentiator especially in the very competitive environment of motorsport, one of the major characteristics of which being the very short development cycles.
PWR can use different simulation methodologies which have been successfully applied in Formula 1 for helping its clients finding the appropriate cooler design, bespoke to their cooling layout and performance requirements.
For the dimensioning of radiators and heat-exchangers, PWR has access to commercial and in-house 1D CFD software which is validated against PWR’s own test data produced on its in-house test-rig. This provides PWR with the unfair advantage of being able to know precisely which parameters will drive the heat-exchanger performance and predict the performance accurately, not only in steady-state but also in transient conditions.
PWR has an extensive database of test data of heat-exchanger and radiators of different constructions and sizes which have been tested with different fluids. Should fluid properties differ from those available to PWR’s test-rig, PWR with the help of its simulation tools, can re-process or predict the performance with the required fluids within reasonable accuracy.
Performance predictions rely on the assumption of perfect and even flow distribution on each fluid side involved in the heat-exchange. To achieve the expected / predicted heat-transfer, reducing flow maldistribution as much as possible is paramount. In this regard, PWR reverts to full 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software to analyse flow distribution. From the analysis, where required, new tank geometries are designed to reduce flow maldistribution as much as possible under the different geometric and performance constraints. An interesting side effect of performing full 3D CFD analysis consists in recognizing early design features which can be a substantial contributor to the heat-exchanger pressure-drop, which would be neglected otherwise.
Beneath flow field analysis, 3D CFD is an invaluable engineering tool for the design and analysis of cold plates. The implementation of the flow and heat-transfer analysis (including heat-transfer from and into solids) early in the design process allows to evaluate and compare performance of different designs. In turn, flow path and gallery shapes can be optimised to maximise heat-transfer and /or reducing pressure-drop.
While PWR is currently focusing mainly on using simulation for improving their designs and products, PWR has the ability to provide additional support for internal aerodynamics involving radiators in ducted environments. Also, PWR has the capability to model the heat-exchange between multiple streams using a porous-medium approach, allowing to assess the impact of flow bypass and flow maldistribution on the heat-exchange.
In addition, the PWR simulation team strives to improve their simulation capabilities by being able to deliver predictions derived from state-of-the-art models based on the most recent scientific publications, including for instance phase-change of cryogenic fluids.
PWR are periodically increasing their in-house processing power to enable faster and more accurate analysis of increasingly complex heat-exchanger and radiator designs.