This paper describes a vehicle-level simulation model for climate control and powertrain cooling developed and currently utilized at GM. The tool was developed in response to GM's need to speed vehicle development for HVAC and powertrain cooling to meet world-class program execution timing (18 to 24 month vehicle development cycles). At the same time the simulation tool had to complement GM's strategy to move additional engineering responsibility to its HVAC suppliers. This simulation tool called "e-Thermal" was quickly developed and currently is in widespread (global) use across GM. This paper describes GM's objectives and requirements for developing e-Thermal. The structure of the tool and the capabilities of the simulation tool modules (refrigeration, front end airflow, passenger compartment, engine, transmission, Interior air handling …) is introduced. Model data requirements and GM's strategy for acquiring component data are also described. The paper includes an example of a typical application of the tool with sample output from the simulation and some comparison to actual test data from a vehicle under the same test scenario.

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SAE Technical Paper Series
Todd M. Tumas, Balaji Maniam, Milind Mahajan, Gaurav Anand, Nagendra Jain