Design and Optimization of Powertrain Components
Ever-increasing environmental regulations, as well as strong competition in the market, demand a very high level of performance in current powertrain design, with typical goals such as reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Modern CFD solvers for reactive and non-reactive flows allow the designers a good insight into the performance measures of interest, but can be challenging and time-consuming to employ on a wider scale, especially when performing parameter studies. A proven way to overcome these challenges is automated design exploration and optimization.
Optimization and automated design exploration augment the development process by leading to better and optimized designs, shortening development times and reducing design cycles, as well as increasing the knowledge about the product’s behavior, i.e., the influence of various parameters on its performance, early in the design process, when the freedom for making decisions is largest.
Apart from the aforementioned simulation tools, two crucial components are needed to achieve the desired process automation: a driver of the optimization process with appropriate systematic variation and optimization strategies, and a suitable CAD tool that can reliably produce the different geometry variants that should be analyzed.
CAESES® is a comprehensive software solution for exploring and optimizing complex powertrain components. CAESES bridges the gap between traditional CAD and simulation. It provides intelligent geometry models for robust variation of the shape, and CFD automation to conduct design explorations and optimization. In particular, the focus of CAESES is the CFD-ready and variable CAD.
Why Would I Need an Additional CAD System?
In our experience, the primary bottleneck in setting up and running an automated design exploration or optimization process is related to the handling of geometry:
- Geometry variation with traditional CAD systems is often tedious or prone to failure, i.e., some or even many of the variants fail to regenerate when changing parameter values.
- It is difficult to consider, or even automatically fulfill, given constraints.
- Simulation engineers depend on the CAD department to provide geometry (variants).
- The quality of the CAD model might not be suitable for simulation (e.g. w.r.t. watertightness, level of detail).
For the most part, CAESES® is a highly specialized CAD system that specifically tackles these problems. It is focused on parametric modeling and variation of complex geometries for design studies and optimization. It provides efficient parameterization methods that offer a high degree of flexibility while using less parameters, comprehensive capabilities for integrating constraints, and simulation-ready exports that require no manual processing.
Powertrain Design Capabilities
CAESES® comes with an extensive set of capabilities to support the design and optimization of powertrain components:
- Comprehensive parametric modeling of arbitrary geometries based on fully user-defined parameterizations, with a special focus on complex – often free-formed – geometries that are typically difficult to parameterize in traditional CAD systems.
- Alternatively, flexible and powerful morphing capabilities for quick but controlled modification of imported geometries (discrete or NURBS based).
- Robust variation with little to no failed variants.
- Full consideration of constraints, e.g., due to manufacturing and packaging reasons.
- Geometry exports in several different formats suitable for your CFD/meshing tools. Most of the formats support patch naming, so that downstream tools can correctly identify surface patches for the assignment of individual mesh settings or boundary conditions.
- Generic interface to easily connect CAESES® to external solvers (typically CFD, but also structural and other disciplines).
- Fully-featured optimization environment with a wide selection of DoE and optimization strategies, as well as data management and post-processing capabilities.
- Full scriptability, to easily integrate CAESES® in third-party optimizers like modeFRONTIER, Optimus, optiSLang, and more.
Typical applications for CAESES® in powertrain design are:
- Intake and exhaust ports
- Piston bowls
- Intake and exhaust manifolds
- EGR systems
- Fuel injectors and delivery systems
- Exhaust after-treatment, catalytic converters, mufflers
- Water and oil pumps
- Engine coolant jackets
- Electric powertrain components, especially w.r.t. battery, electronics and motor cooling
Who Uses CAESES?
Leading players in the powertrain sector, such as automotive OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, heavy duty engine manufacturers, research organizations, and engineering consultants use CAESES® for the optimization of powertrain components. This includes companies like VW, MAN, Cummins, BMC Power, BRP, Aramco, Garret Motion, and ZF.
Case Studies and Blog Posts for Powertrain Applications
A piston bowl is a recess in the piston crown primarily used in (direct injection) Diesel engines, where it basically forms the combustion chamber. The design and shape of the piston bowl influences the movement of air and fuel during…
Intake ports are the final part of an engine’s air induction system. They connect the intake manifold with the combustion chamber and are opened and closed with the intake valves. This blog post gives you a short introduction of the relevant intake port design capabilities within CAESES®. In addition, a recent project is outlined where CAESES® and STAR-CCM+ were coupled to fully automate the shape optimization of an intake port.
The design of engine components for cars is a tricky task, because there are so many constraints involved. An example is the duct that is located right before the catalytic converter. This component is often bent quite heavily due to space constraints. As a result, this makes it a tough challenge to design it in a way that the flow distribution is sufficiently uniform. In other words, bad flow characteristics in the catalytic converter lead to poor performance, and possibly higher emissions.
FRIENDSHIP SYSTEMS regularly watches out for interesting design challenges on which to check CAESES® for bugs and missing functionality. Last week one of our IT guys stumbled across an interesting device to improve emissions as introduced by VW. After watching…
Diesel Piston Bowl Optimization Today‘s car manufacturers inevitably have to focus on the reduction of fuel consumption while maintaining high performance standards. In this respect, turbocharged direct injection diesel engines represent an appealing solution. The challenge in developing these engines…
When it comes to the optimization of e.g. diesel engines, we have another interesting component for you: the fuel injector! Basically, this component takes care that the fuel is optimally sprayed into the combustion chamber. This pretty sophisticated product is…
In our research project GAMMA we closely work together with MTU Friedrichshafen to optimize components of large turbochargers. Nicolas Lachenmaier, one of the leading aerodynamics engineers at MTU, uses CAESES® for the design of the turbine components. He provides a…
With CAESES version 4.4.2, we introduced a set of new features to automate the CFD software CONVERGE for the purpose of conducting design explorations and shape optimization. This short article gives you an update on the existing CAESES capabilities and their function in the context of using CONVERGE as your CFD software.
Here at FRIENDSHIP SYSTEMS, we recently carried out a case study for an automated optimization process based on the shape sensitivities computed by an adjoint CFD solver. The open-source optimization toolkit Dakota by Sandia National Labs, that is integrated in…
In this short blog post, we want to focus on the design of piston bowls for diesel engines – from a geometrical point of view … as we usually do as Upfront CAD enthusiasts � In our recent powertrain-related projects…
Turbine Blade Optimization including Scallops for a Turbocharger For the research project GAMMA, we developed a robust and variable geometry for a turbocharger turbine wheel, together with our customer MTU and the University Darmstadt (GLR). Aim of the project GAMMA…
When you design high performance engines in the field of motors sports, you can find a variety of complex duct geometries, air intake manifolds and other weird-shaped components. In order to increase the horse power of the engine, you can…
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have questions in the context of your specific application. We look forward to discussing it together with you!