Energy efficiency in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) affects the vehicle mileage and battery durability. Air conditioning is the most energy consuming system after the electric motor in HEVs. Air flow distribution and thermal comfort in an HEV is studied and simulations are performed to investigate the optimum air distribution pattern for providing thermal comfort while maintaining energy efficiency. To acquire a preliminary understanding of the problem, an analytical model is developed for air flow in a cavity. In the next step, a testbed is developed and different air conditioning scenarios are experimented. For numerical simulations, several turbulence models are verified with the experimental data and the realizable k-epsilon model is selected. After validation, the numerical model is applied to various air conditioning scenarios inside the eVaro cabin. It is concluded that optimum air distribution patterns exist for different thermal loads and personalized ventilation can improve energy efficiency by 30% when only driver is on board.
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Thesis advisor: Bahrami, Majid
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