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Performances and Opportunities of an Engine 2012-01-0638

Cooling System with a Double Circuit at Two 04/16/2012
Temperature Levels

Roberto Cipollone and Davide Di Battista

University of L'Aquila

Copyright © 2012 SAE International


reduced significantly and a further reduction is imposed by

ABSTRACT Euro 6 (−55% of NOx and −10% particulate mass with
In the last years, the design of internal combustion engines respect to Euro 5). This represented a strong incitement for
(ICE) has evolved significantly, mainly because of the the technological innovation. To this reduction also followed
changing demand of mobility, the need to limit the pollution an increase of the engine performances traditionally attended
produced by vehicles, and recently, the opportunity to reduce (torque, acceleration, specific power, fun to drive etc.)
emissions of climate-altering gases. realizing unexpected general results.

Among the more interesting technologies, those connected to

a revision of the engine cooling, as well as, in general, of the
thermal needs on board vehicle (oil cooling, intercooling of
the turbocharging air, EGR cooling, cabin conditioning…)
appear very promising, also because characterized by a lower
cost increase per unit of CO2 saved.

In this paper, the Authors present a mathematical model of an

internal combustion engine physically consistent that
appraises the performances of conventional and
unconventional engine cooling systems and the integration of
vehicle thermal needs. In particular, the Authors studied a
double cooling circuit, at two different temperature levels,
that allows several improvements in terms of engine warm Figure 1. carbon dioxide emissions on the fleet at 2010
up, fuel saving and air boosting.

The model has been applied to an existing engine whose With reference to European commitment on carbon dioxide
experimental characterization was done concerning the heat emissions, Figure 1 shows that the distance from the target
rejection toward the cooling fluid. On this engine a double (130 g/km) of the European industry is still significant ([2]).
circuit at two temperature levels has been proposed, So important innovations are to introduce in various areas:
according to a layout which redistribute in an optimal way the vehicle, engine, power transmission systems, auxiliary,
engine and vehicle thermal requirements. rolling resistance tires and drive behavior.

The introduction of such technologies, even though not really

INTRODUCTION clearly defined, requires important additional costs for
In the last two decades the emissions of primary pollutants by
ICEs, respecting the limits imposed by Euro standards are
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manufacturers (Figure 2) to reduce CO2 emissions, without for its natural warm up inside the engine. Cost reduction has
considering the additional costs for Euro 6 fulfillment. also stimulated the conception of “intermediate”
The technical options regarding engine cooling and
optimization of on board thermal needs, seem to be among A significant example is given by the electrification of the
the first practices to reach these targets. In fact, optimized water pumps which would give a wide possibility to control
cooling and advanced cooling have an additional cost of engine warm up, till a complete and successful thermal
20÷40 € per point percent of CO2 saved. At the same time, management. Due to the excessive cost increase, other
these options can manage more quickly engine warm-up, technological improvements have been proposed and are on
reducing, also, the emissions of primary pollutants, so the market yet. They reach, more or less, the same
successfully participating at two targets. performances of fully actuated electric pump but have a
lower cost. So, considering the performances/cost increase
There are several papers that refer to the engine cooling ratio they were preferred: this is the case of the pump
sector which investigate about the benefits on pollutant engaged by a friction wheel proposed by Dayco Europe s.r.l.
reduction ([3]) and fuel consumption ([4], [5], [6]), as well as or the mechanical water pump by GPM GmbH with an on/off
reduction of warm-up time ([7], [8]) and improving controlled flow rate, or, again, the electromagnetic switchable
auxiliaries efficiency ([9], [10]). water pump clutch actuated by Litens Automotive Group
s.r.l. These solutions have the benefit to reduce warm up
time, even though they accept some energetic losses which
reduce the benefit. Those technologies are not widely
diffused and they still keep a unique cooling circuit which
introduces several limitations.

On the contrary, a slight interest has been reserved to the

concept of splitting the cooling circuit in order to have
different cooling temperature levels. Valeo and Fiat Research
Center presented in recent years very promising solutions -
Ultimate Cooling™ [11, 12], dual level heat rejection system
[18]- which realize a significant reduction of fuel
consumption but these technologies did not yet appear on the

So, the cooling circuit even though it has an important

potential in terms of CO2 reduction and emission abatement,
Figure 2. additional manufacturer costs of technical remained almost “untouched” as it was several decades ago.
options to reduce CO2-emissions for an average As known, it is usually designed for the needs of engine and
passenger car oil cooling; more recently for those of the EGR cooling too.
The heat removed is used for the cabin heating; the remaining
part is exchanged outside through the radiator. To this needs,
One key point is an alternative drive for the cooling pumps modern engines add the cooling of the turbocharged air (one
and a robust innovation concerning the temperature or two stages) and the heat removal of the condenser. Putting
regulation. Water pumps remained almost unchanged since together all these thermal requirements it would be very
several decades (i.e. the water pump mechanically linked to difficult to fulfill them by a unique circuit at optimal
the engine shaft); similarly for the temperature control conditions. The temperature levels of these different thermal
(thermostat wax controlled). needs cannot be properly matched each other.
New possibilities are offered by new components universally Multiple cooling circuit would allow to reorganize all these
used in other engineering sectors: their introduction in ICEs thermal requirements joining different function more
suffers some difficulties. Such components - electric water efficiently. Concerning this chance, the Authors present a
pumps, multi-way valves, etc. - would allow to refer to the physically consistent mathematical model that allows to
concept of “engine thermal management” instead of having, represent engine cooling circuits, with single or multiple
as actually done, a pure passive engine cooling system. The temperature's level. So, it evaluates the performances of a
conviction that almost 65% of the harmful emissions are double temperature's level system varying the position of the
produced in the “cold phase” of an ECE-EUDC cycle various heat exchangers and exploring the possibilities
resorted the attention toward the warm up time reduction, so related to different component layouts.
inviting to control the cooling temperature instead of waiting
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Thanks to the physical representation of the process, the

model is also able to represent different engine cooling
layouts which reorganize the cooling flow passages inside the
engine. A preliminary cooling of the engine head followed by
a subsequent cooling of engine block would keep the head
colder and the block warmer with additional potential benefit
(split cooling system).

A cooling circuit with two temperature's levels can be

sketched as in Figure 3.

Figure 4. electric analogy of one cylinder: from the left,

the burned gas, the first metallic wall, the refrigerant, the
second metallic wall and external conditions. In the
Figure 3. double temperature level of engine cooling
upper side, the engine's head (two thermal equivalent
circuit: all the thermal needs can be reorganized in
masses) in thermal contact with the block.
relation to the most appropriate temperature's level

One of the two masses (M1) represents the inertia of the

The mathematical model was developed in a modular way on
metallic parts facing gases and cooling liquid; thermal
an oriented software platform (Matlab - Simulink ®) and it is
resistances allow to represent heat exchanges between burned
easily opened to a model based control. This model goes deep
gas and coolant. The other thermal mass represents the inertia
in terms of physical representation with respect to previous
of the metallic parts facing cooling liquid and external air
works done by the Authors ([13, 14, 15, 16, 17]) and enriched
and, through two thermal resistances, the heat exchanged
in modularity to predict multiple engine cooling temperature
between coolant and environment.
levels and layouts.
Figure 4 presents these thermal connections which allow to
THE ENGINE THERMAL MODEL move from gases to environment through equivalent
In the mathematical model, the engine is described through a resistances (R). Relatively to the head, for example, the
discrete lumped parameter model. Each cylinder is mathematical model allows to represent the convective forced
represented by 4 metallic masses. Figure 4 shows an process ( ), the conductive one ( ) and the metal's
equivalent scheme that illustrates, for one cylinder, through
an electric analogy, the properties of the thermal masses and capacitive properties ( ), the conductive ( ) and
their connections. convective ( ) process on the refrigerant fluid, which,
normally, fills a hollow space between cylinder and block.
The two couples of thermal masses, “M1” and “M2”, typify Following the thermal flux direction, the considered
engine's head and block, and they act as four thermal capacity
phenomena repeat themselves ( , , , , ). The
( , , and ). The differentiation between head same processes can be referred to the block.
and block is useful to describe situations in which head's
cooling and block's cooling are separated (split system). It is The heat exchange between head and block is realized only
known, in fact, that an engine head a little bit colder would with the conductive phenomenon, that is described by
allow an increase of the compression ratio, as well an engine
thermal resistances .
block a little bit warmer some potential benefits in terms of
friction losses.
On the side of the burned gases, the heat transfer is more
complex, due to the gas to wall forced convective coefficient.
This work considers Woschni correlation. The variation of the
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heat exchange surfaces (linked to the piston's motion) can be where S is the contact surface between head and block, L is
evaluated with a modified Eichelberg approach [16] that an equivalent length of conductive heat transfer.
defines an average cycle heat transfer coefficient (n,
Thermal resistances R2, R3, R4 and R5 and thermal masses
Cm) and an equivalent temperature of the gas (n, Ce).
M1 and M2 allow to represent heat exchanges through
surfaces and capacitive properties from the gas and the
cooling fluid.

A multi-cylinder engine can be represented replicating both

(1) thermal masses and resistances. The model treats in the same
way the heat transfer between cooling fluid and environment
that happens through two correspondent masses whose
capacitive properties are lumped in and . Thermal
resistances which represents convective heat transfer between
(2) cooling fluid and metal and metal and environment are
defined in similar way.
Therefore, the thermal resistance can be expressed as:
Thermal energy storage is allowed by the capacities. For the
first thermal mass, equation (8) applies:


Relatively to the head, the equation (1) and (2) can be (8)
simplified being the surfaces constant during time.
The thermal flux exchanged are calculated according to:
Thermal resistances related to conductive fluxes are defined
considering a cylindrical geometry with properly defined
metallic thicknesses. They are:

where Ri are, respectively, R2, R3, R6 and R7, Di and Dj are
external and internal diameter of the cylinder part considered,
L represents the cylinder height.

Concerning heat transfer between metal and water, equation

(5) is used:


Coolant moving inside the engine was considered without
capacity. There are two thermal states of the coolant for each
cylinder ( and ), so the values can be calculated
(6) after have defined the sequences of passes through the
engine, between the cylinders and, for each cylinder, between
The heat transfer between head and block is represented by head and block. The thermal power transferred to the coolant

considering the conductive resistance given by: and is (Figure 4):

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increase inside the engine is determined. Starting from the

correspondent steady quantities, thermal capacities of metals
(11) are considered (eq. 8) and the dynamic model can be solved.
The solution of the heat transfer in the engine requires the
(12) knowledge of the coolant flows. These flows are the result of
the hydraulic equilibrium between pump head and the
pressure losses of the circuit. The only variable is the pump
speed, once this is specified, its characteristic curve is known.
(13) Moreover, pump speed is obviously linked to engine speed.
being ΔTcool the temperature rise of the coolant during the
Pressure losses inside tubes or related to flow passages are:
pass-through the engine. and can be calculated by:

The pump characteristic curves, on the other end, is
expressed as in equation:
Wall temperatures are calculated according to a similar
approach. Relatively to the head, for example:
The pressure losses inside the thermostat will be:

where K depend on opening degree of thermostat itself, ϕ,
requires a specific model.

Following the rules for defining equivalent circuit of parallel

(17) and series branches, it is possible to define the overall engine
circuit as a single hydraulic resistance; from this, it is
possible to calculate the working point of the pump and the
coolant flow rate at each branch.
The thermostat model requires the knowledge of the
temperature of starting (TTh Start) and full opening (TTh End)
of the stem. Considering that it behaves like a 3-way valve,
the opening degree ϕ toward the radiator and the bypass
branch must be specified (ϕbypass, ϕrad). Knowing the
Relevant temperatures in the equations cannot be calculated
temperature inside the thermostat TTh it is possible to
without specifying the coolant flow rate (eq. 12-13): such
calculate T% as:
flow rates depend on the hydraulic equilibrium between the
pump and the equivalent cooling circuit. Once flow rates are
known, temperature can be calculated according to the
following physical sequence. For a fixed engine speed and
torque, using a zero dimensional model average heat transfer (23)
and coefficient and temperature are calculated (eq. 1 and 2).
and the percent stem position (Figure 5) x% as:
When coolant flow rates are known, all the thermal
resistances can be calculated (eq. 3,4,5,6,7) and,
consequently, the thermal powers exchanged towards the
coolant (eq. 9,10,11,12,13,14,15). Coolant temperature (24)
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being: The first one was expressed as in equation:

The second one come from the equilibrium between the fan
The knowledge of x% permits to determine the opening ratios head of the radiator and the pressure losses during its pass-
towards bypass and radiator according to: through.

Where coefficients arad, brad and crad are function of the fan
speed. This equilibrium permits to calculate the air flow rate
Correspondent values for ϕ allow to specify in eq.22 pressure forced by the fan. In case of coexisting of both contributes:


Coefficient α < 1 when fan is on consider the disturb of the

fan itself to the dynamic contribute (Figure 6).

Figure 5. opening positions of the thermostat stem

THE RADIATOR THERMAL MODEL Figure 6. air flow rate passing through the radiator
The thermal model of the radiator is in equation (27). Coolant
flow rate Q and temperature drop of the cooling fluid inside
radiator, which are proportional to the power exchanged THE HEAT EXCHANGERS THERMAL
inside radiator, are linked to temperature increase of the air MODEL
flowing through by a coefficient Arad, which depends on the EGR cooler, air conditioning condenser and intercooling
air mass flow rate and cooling flow rate. The former requires exchanger are described as in equation (27).
the solution of an aerodynamic model of the air which crosses
the radiator. Relatively to the cabin heater equation (27) becomes:

An aerodynamic model solves the equilibrium between
pressure losses of the air crossing the radiator and pressure
The air flow rate mcab is the result of a balance between the
increase produced by the ram effect and, eventually, by the
fan when it is switched on. The flow rate is therefore given fan head and the pressure drop of the air across the exchanger
by two contribution: a dynamic contribute related to the itself. It is expressed in an equivalent form of the equation
vehicle speed, mrad,ram, and a fan contribute, mrad,f. (29).

EGR cooler and air intercooler are expressed by:

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(32) Traditional circuit is represented in Figure 7. Only one circuit
is present and different components realize a typical layout.
The circuit layout correspond to a real vehicle, previously
(33) characterized by the Authors ([13,14,15,16,17]). The
temperature levels that characterize all the elements depend
where mEGR and ma are the flow rate of re-circulated gas and on the position on the circuit and the amount of the heat
charge air. A/C condenser is represented according to the exchanges.
following equation:

where kcond is a constant which in a simple way takes into
account the heat transferred in the A/C condenser in the
superheated and sub-cooling phases of the A/C refrigerant. In
fact, the refrigerant entering the condenser is a superheated Figure 7. traditional cooling circuit layout of the engine
vapor and the relative heat must be extracted by the 1.4 DV4-TED on a Citroen C3
condenser before the condensation takes place. After the
condensation of the refrigerant, a subsequent sub-cooling can In Figure 8 the layout proposed by the Authors. The original
be done inside the condenser too, mainly in off design circuit is split in two separate circuit. The high temperature
conditions. The first contribution (de-super-heating and the cooling needs have been placed on the first circuit whose
second one sub cooling are from a quantitative point of view temperature is thermostat-controlled; the second circuit fulfill
smaller than the heat of condensation: equation (34) considers the low temperature thermal requirements and the proposal
this introducing a factor kcond which usually increases the does not include a temperature controlling device. The
heat of vaporization/condensation. following considerations apply:
• The circuit at high temperature supplies the EGR cooler, the
THE COOLANT THERMAL DYNAMICS first stage of intercooler, the parallel of the oil cooler and the
The tank, always present in a circuit, introduces an inertial engine and, finally, the first radiator. The circuit at low
thermal effect. It was represented as: temperature provide at the cooling of the A/C condenser, the
cabin heater and the eventual second stage of intercooler.
• Concerning the A/C condenser, it has a non-negligible
negative impact on traditional layout: the condenser is in the
(35) vehicle's front end, while the evaporator in under the
dashboard. This necessarily requires long refrigerant lines,
Tin is the temperature of inlet flow to the tank; Tcoolant the and the probability that the refrigerant leaks to the ambient is
temperature of the water that goes out of the tank. The real. A liquid cooler condenser, with respect to the traditional
heating of the water is, so, instantaneous during the heat air cooler is also characterized by reduced dimension with
transfer phases (inside the engine, across the heat exchangers, respect to the traditional solution in which the condenser was
etc.); it leads to Tin and equation (34) introduces a delay with a radiator placed in front of the engine. So, the management
respect the exit temperature. of the heat surfaces in the front end is quite easier; a unique
low and high temperature radiator is needed having a
conventional technology. An interesting room of
MODEL INTEGRATION improvement is expected if the two temperature levels are
Engine thermal model (eq. integrated [11, 12].
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19), engine
hydraulic model (eq. 20,21,22,23,24,25,26.), heat exchangers • The two pumps in Figure 8 have working conditions
thermal model (eq. 27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34) have been varying in more limited range and, so, their efficiency is
simultaneously solved in order to represent the thermal and closer to maximum efficiency conditions. This applies, more
hydraulic equilibriums. The sequence of the heat exchangers, significantly, for the first high temperature circuit in which
the cooling circuit layout and the distribution of the coolant pressure losses and flow rates are higher; on the other hand,
flow inside the engine can be specified to represent different the second circuit could be easily managed by a proven
design solutions. technology of an electrical water pump.
• Eventually, the two cooling loops permit a double level of
intercooling, because of the two temperature level of the
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loops. This will produce a high degree of intercooling,

improving the volumetric efficiency of the engine.

• During engine warm up, starting from a cold engine (and

vehicle), the cabin interior heating represents a problem
because it requires heat which is unavailable. The cabin
heating itself will decrease the temperature of the coolant, so
delaying the engine warm up which is taking place. The
presence of a second circuit (even though the temperature is
low) could improve the cabin warm up being this circuit
separated from that which refers to the engine and being the
heat removed from the compressed air still present. Figure 9. engine torque vs speed: thermal power
exchanged for head and block

In Figure 10 a comparison between measured and predicted

power exchanged toward the coolant is presented. Predicted
curves refer obviously to the sum of the data in Figure 9. In
spite of the great complexity of the model and several
uncertainties (theoretical and experimental) seems quite
satisfactory demonstrating the model's capability in
representing real engine behavior.

Figure 8. double temperature layout

A preliminary validation of the model has been done in order
to verify the capability to reproduce the main thermal aspects.
Reference has been made to 1.4 DV4-TED whose thermal
power was measured in steady state condition. All the engine
operating conditions were predicted using the mathematical
model, so reproducing the experimental activity done on a
test bench. All the maps stored inside the ECU, which control Figure 10. engine torque vs speed - comparison between
main engine processes (fuel injection, EGR rate, boost measured and calculated data for thermal power
pressure, etc…) were used inside the model to represent real exchanged inside the engine
engine behavior.

Figure 9 shows the results concerning the thermal power An additional critical comparison is shown in Figure 11 in
exchanged in engine head and block as a function of engine which the coolant temperature increase inside the engine
speed and torque as predicted by the model. For a given measured and predicted have been represented. The overall
engine speed and torque, eq. uncertainty was ± 2 %. The comparison is also a very severe
(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23, test: cooling fluid temperature is predicted with an error of
24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35) are solved and relevant 5%.
processes predicted. Among them, the thermal power
exchanged by engine head and block (four contribution, So the modeling can be used as a virtual engine in order to go
being a 4 cylinder engine). Isopower lines have been fitted. deep into the single or double cooling temperature level.
The thermal powers exchanged in Figure 9 have been
evaluated by measuring the flow rate and temperature
differences at head/block exit and inlet, respectively. The
uncertainty when measuring flow rate by means of a turbine
flow meter was ± 3 % and ± 2 % that concerning the chrome
vs constantan thermocouple sensor, in the temperature range
in which the sensor operates. So, the overall uncertainty can
be estimated ± 5 %.
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resistance coefficient and Cx the vehicle aerodynamic


The mission profile specifies how the velocity vehicle

changes during time. For a proper set of data, Figure 13
shows the mechanical power requested to run the ECE-
EUDC cycle.

Figure 11. torque vs speed - comparison between

measured and calculated data for water temperature
increase inside the engine

Figure 12 shows a comparison between coolant temperature

in case of an engine with cast iron head and one with an
aluminum head. A warm up time reduction of 15% is
demonstrated in the second case due to the reduced thermal
capacity when aluminum is used.

Figure 13. instantaneous and mean propulsive power of

a Citroen C3 based on a ECE-EUDC cycle

At a given power value, knowing the engine speed (from the

gear ratio) the instantaneous torque is determined and the
percent load calculated. By specifying engine load and speed
changing during time, the model calculates all the quantities
related to the engine thermal states, cooling circuits and
component behavior (eq.
4,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35). So, starting from an
Figure 12. comparison between an engine with initial cold state, temperature, flow rates, heat exchangers,
traditional cast iron head and one with aluminum head pressure drops, etc…, are calculated till to the reaching of a
steady thermal state in which relevant quantities remain
constant or change according to a periodical stabilized state.
The performances of the two cooling circuits (with respect to Following these working engine sequences, the thermostat
the conventional solutions) have been evaluated making will open so redistributing coolant flow rates toward
reference to the ECE-EUDC cycle set by the EC since 1991. branches. The equivalent pressure loss seen by the pump
A sequence of engine operating conditions (torque and engine changes during time and different hydraulic working
speed) which represents this cycle has been preliminarily equilibrium are reached. When all these quantities are
identified and therefore used in the comprehensive modeling. calculated, heat fluxes are predicted inside the engine (among
Fixing tire rolling resistance and dimensions, aerodynamic cylinders and portions of engine head) and also heat
coefficient of the vehicle, the speed ratio which correspond exchangers in terms of heat exchanged.
two different gears and the vehicle mass the mechanical
power requested to run an ECE-EUDC cycle, can be According to this, engine warm up during the EUDC-ECE
calculated according to: cycle has been predicted considering the conditioning unit
(A/C) switched off. Making reference to the cooling
temperature, Figure 14 shows the behavior of the traditional
cooling circuit and of that in Figure 8a).
The high temperature circuit (HT) and the traditional one
where m is the vehicle mass, a its acceleration, ρ the air stabilize at 80°C which is the opening thermostat
density, Sfront the vehicle frontal area, C1 the tires roll temperature; the equilibrium temperature is due to the
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radiator heat exchange. The low temperature (LT) circuit, on front area increase. The power required to drive the additional
the other hand, presents temperature oscillations inside a electric water pump is negligible, considering the low flow
range of 30-40°C. Periodicity is given by the sequence of EC- rate and head. In a mean working point, typical flow rate
EUDC cycle and the absence of a regulating device. The could be lower than 30 l/min, and pressure drop close to 0.7
intervention of a 3 kW A/C condenser produces a mean bar. So, the fluid dynamic power requested is about 30-35 W.
temperature increase keeping the same temperature For a pump efficiency equal to 0.45, the shaft power will be
oscillations. It is evident the benefit in terms of main cooling 70-80 W.
fluid warm up. Figure 14 shows the warm up time reduction
of the high temperature circuit due to:
• the presence of the first stage intercooler which warms the
cooling fluid (not present in traditional circuit);
• the reduction of the cooling flow rate obtained with respect
to the traditional circuit.

The former contribution is responsible of a warm up

reduction close to 25%; same reduction is associated with
flow rate decrease. An overall 50% of warm up time
reduction can be easily reached. In the Figure 14 the
traditional circuit and the one of high temperature - figure 8a)
- (with or without intercooler) are represented. The absence
of air intercooler reduce the need of cooling and the opening Figure 15. opening degrees of the thermostat toward
toward the radiator reduces too. Following the same concept, radiator
the traditional layout requires more cooling by the radiator.
The faster cooling water warm up drives a faster metallic
component heating which improves the combustion process.
Figure 16 shows for cylinder 1 and 4 the head temperature:
an engine warm up time decrease is reached of the order of
50% with respect to the traditional circuit. The same figure
shows also an additional feature which is strictly related to
the flow rate reduction. Considering that the maximum
temperature difference inside the engine is between cylinder
1 and 4, this temperature difference is increased when
considering the high temperature cooling circuit. Being the
same thermal power exchanged at the gas side, this
phenomenon can be related only to the flow rate reduction. It
is important to remark that the temperatures of the metallic
parts of the engine and that of the oil remain almost
unchanged due to the split of the two circuits: so, as
Figure 14. cooling water's temperature of the high preliminary consideration it can be excluded a modified wear
temperature and low temperature circuits compared with rate of the components in relative motion. Nevertheless, the
the one of the traditional case aspect is so important that a more detailed study should be
done, but being the problem close to aspects that difficultly
can be theoretically approached, an experimental activity
Thermal stabilization of the high temperature and
seems to the Authors more appropriate.
conventional circuits is due to the thermostat opening whose
dynamics is represented in Figure 15, the radiator branch is
In the case shown the mean temperature difference associated
not fully opened due to the reduced thermal power exchanged
to the traditional circuit is close to 3°C which doubles when
by the engine.
the other option is used. Care must be taken if the flow rate
reduction became greater, mainly when the engine run at
The second circuit goes naturally toward its equilibrium
higher load conditions.
without any thermostat being the heat requirements of the
second stage intercooler (if present), A/C condenser, cabin
heater and LT radiator well balanced. In the case studied LT
radiator can be designed at 10 kW, so it can be easily
integrated with the high temperature one without significant
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compare the two layout: the head's temperature decreases,

while the block temperature remains almost constant. This
produces a decrease of the temperature difference between
head and block and also this is a positive effect.

One aspect of the double cooling layout must be further

investigated. With respect to the original situation, the double
circuit produces a decrease in the mass flow rate cooling the
engine: this aspect can be seen in Figure 19 which refers to
the hydraulic equilibrium of the two circuits when a NEDC
cycle is done. Being the engine cooled by a smaller flow rate
this could require a radiator with enhanced performance. In
fact, keeping the same radiator, when the flow rate decreases
the convective heat transfer decreases too and a bigger
Figure 16. metal “M1” temperature of the head for radiator or an enhanced one could be needed. The behavior of
cylinders 1 and 4 in both cases (single and double existing radiator in off design condition is taken into account
circuit) by the term Arad (Q, mrad) in eq.27. So, the simulation of the
engine cooling, when a reduced flow rate crosses the radiator,
Same consideration applies when considering a temperature considers this off design situation.
difference between head and block. The circuit characterized
by a lower flow rate exhibits a higher temperature difference
between head and block. Figure 17 shows the behavior for
the first cylinder.

Figure 18. metal “M1” temperature of the first cylinder

with a different sequence of cooling inside engine
between head and block (single circuit layout).

Figure 17. metal “M1” temperatures of head and block

for first cylinder in both cases studied Figure 20 reports the temperature difference of the cooling
water across the radiator. The figure has been evaluated
keeping fixed the engine working point (the thermal power
Figure 18 shows the behavior of the metal temperature when exchanged by the radiator remains constant), switching off
the sequence of cylinder cooling inside engine is changed the radiator fan (considering the only ram effect which carries
with respect to the original one. In this case, the original one, air toward the radiator) and changing the cooling flow rate in
the water entering the engine block is divided in four parts: order to understand the existing radiator's capability to
each part cools the cylinder and, after, the head. Inside the properly work even in presence of very low flow rate. For
head the four streams join and exit from the engine. The each flow rate, of course, corresponds a different steady
modified sequence corresponds to a single stream which engine temperature, being the thermal resistances modified
cools the head and after returns inside the engine to cool the by the cooling flow rate. It is evident that the temperature
block. This reverse sequence tends to cool a little bit more the difference increases as the flow rate decreases, matching the
head and to have the block a little bit warmer. Both these correct heat exchanged by the engine to the cooling water and
effects are positive, permitting a slight increase of the by this to the external air. The radiator used in the simulations
compression ratio (efficiency) and a higher oil temperature (which corresponds to a theoretical modeling of the real one)
which means lower friction losses. Figure 18 catches this is, therefore, able to realize a thermal stabilization of the
aspect: it is referred to the first cylinder of the engine and
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engine even considering a great cooling flow rate variation temperature around 70°C, increasing, consequently, the COP
(from 40 l/min to 140 l/min). of the refrigerating cycle, reducing its compression work. A
detailed analysis of this feature is outside of the aim of this
paper and it is under analysis by the Authors. Nevertheless, a
preliminary result could be done. Making reference to a
Citroen C3 car, the mean mechanical power of the ECE-
EUDC cycle is equal to 6 kW (equation 36). Considering a
conditioning power of 5 kW, the double temperature level
system could produce a compressing work reduction of 250
W and a fuel consumption decrease of about 4%.

Cooling technologies of reciprocating internal combustion
engines could be significantly improved in order to
participate to pollution reduction, fuel economy and CO2
reduction as well. The intervention in this area is feasible,
reliable and characterized by all the requirements requested
Figure 19. pumps flow rates by an engine application. The cost increase, also, seems to be
attractive, being the possible new cooling technologies
So, in the case under study, when the engine load would among those characterized by the lowest cost-performance
increase and the coolant flow rate would decrease below than ratio.
40 l/min, the need of an enhanced radiator could be justified.
Thanks to a comprehensive engine modeling, the paper
One additional interesting feature of a double circuit cooling describes the advantages produced by a double cooling
is the opportunity to put on the second circuit the A/C circuit, set up at two temperature levels.
condenser. In the traditional system, the condenser is cooled
by ambient air and it takes place in front of the vehicle, where In usual cooling circuits the temperature level is fixed at
enough air speed is available. So, the condensing temperature 80-100 °C and the overall layout is designed for the needs of
of the fluid cannot be lowered; this requires an excessive size engine, that is remove heat from it, from lubricating oil and
radiator increase. Actual temperature of the condensing fluid from exhaust gas recirculation. The temperature stabilizes at
is between 90°C and 100°C. a value which are not suitable to fulfill all the other thermal
needs: cabin heating can be easily done too, but the A/C
condenser requirements and turbocharged air cooling (second
stage) cannot be efficiently obtained.

Two separate circuits with a double temperature level allow

to distribute more efficiently the engine and vehicle thermal
needs with a great potential energy and pollution saving.

All the high temperature thermal needs are fulfilled on the

high temperature circuit which is at the same temperature
than conventional cooling circuit: they are engine, oil and
EGR cooling. The turbocharged air cooling (first stage) and
cabin heating too, they have temperature levels which match
with this circuit. The second circuit at low temperature (35-45
°C) has the advantage to:
Figure 20. off design radiator performances
• remove heat from the A/C condenser: this allows to adopt a
liquid cooled condenser which can be mounted close to the
In this novel configuration, instead, the condenser could be engine and close to the cabin: so, the dimensions of the
liquid cooled by the circuit at low temperature, at a condenser decrease, the quantity of the refrigerating fluid is
condensing temperature significantly lower (not over 60°C). reduced. Considering that the operating pressures of the A/C
The higher heat transfer coefficient allows to use a small system match closer each other, the overall reliability
condenser which can be more easily installed on board. The increases. The risk of pollution decreases too. Thanks to the
higher specific heat of the cooling liquid (compared the one fact that the pressures at the condensed can decrease, the
of the air) would permit to decrease the condensing
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efficiency of the A/C system increases, saving mechanical and main thermal data such as heat exchanged toward cooling
energy absorbed from the shaft; fluid vs. engine speed and load, cooling temperature increase
• the presence of the second circuit allows to reduce the liquid through the engine, etc… The good level of representation
cooling flow rate of the first circuit and this reduces warm up the model has toward all relevant thermal processes gave to it
times of the oil and of the engine, producing a strong benefit the possibility to be used as virtual engine.
during the test for engine approval.
A double cooling circuit at two temperature levels has been
So, the double temperature technology will allow to consider implemented and compared with the traditional cooling
all the thermal needs of a car (engine & vehicle) within a circuit. Main improvement are:
system approach and it invites to optimize the thermal needs
• a sensible reduction in warm up time of the metallic masses
together, instead of searching for different and separate
(and cooling fluid) of the order of 20 % which is further
optimums. Considering that, for instance, the A/C system
increased to 50 % if a liquid charged air inter cooling is
requires mechanical energy from the shaft, any optimization
which increases COP reflects in terms of fuel saving. Cabin
comfort is, as well, an important marketing element of a • a rearrangement of the low and high heat exchangers
vehicle, so any technology which rises up cabin warm up (or temperature on the two circuits: the radiator of the low
cooling) would be appreciated. temperature circuit can be integrated in the high temperature
one, avoiding the use of additional front area;
The architecture of the high temperature circuit is not very
different from the traditional one (in particular regarding its • the low temperature circuit does not require a thermostat,
pump, radiator, thermostat) so it would not be so difficult to being its equilibrium reached among the different thermal
set it. Moreover, the low temperature circuit could make use requirements;
of a small (electric) water pump resorting the very proven
• the presence of a low temperature cooling circuit allows a
technologies of mass production circulating pumps. The more
dual stage air intercooling with several benefits on engine
critical aspect which is related to the need of two radiators
performance and, mainly, a liquid cooled condenser of the
could be partially solved by integrating them in a unique
A/C unit: the lower condensation temperature produces a
component with a frontal area requirement not greater than
COP increase and an energy saving close to 5% of the energy
the actual situations. The power absorbed by this electric
required to run a NEDC cycle.
water pump does not contribute significantly in terms of fuel
No relevant engine or vehicle modifications are requested, so
the double circuit technology appears really suitable to
The model is comprehensive and it has been developed in
participate to the ICE evolution.
order to keep the main engineering aspects of engine cooling
and cooling circuit layout. Multi-cylinder engines are
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EGR mass flow

A/C refrigerant flow rate

Coolant mass

Vehicle velocity

Condensing latent heat of A/C refrigerant

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