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The ability to predict something before it happens is something most of us wish we had in our arsenal. Weather forecasters think they have this ability, but we all know better.

While it may be nice to know the answers to some questions ahead of time, it is essential for car manufacturers to be aware of any possible design roadblocks as early as possible in the development process.

Virtual thermal analysis is a process used during vehicle development to determine whether components in close contact with hot surfaces - such as the engine or exhaust - exceed recommended temperatures. Possessing this knowledge is vital as it allows engineers the opportunity to preserve functionality and prevent accelerated aging in these components.

Running a full virtual thermal analysis is ideal because it provides the most accurate results, but it is a method that because of time and cost can ideally only be run once, and at the end of development for validation only. Of course, by that point in the process it is too late in the game (or too expensive) to make major changes.

After a recent review of their virtual thermal analysis process, the thermodynamics computational fluid dynamics (CFD) team at global automobile manufacturer Volvo found that Siemens PLM Software’s STAR-CCM+® software allowed them to run full vehicle thermal models at earlier stages than possible with competitors’ software.

In November of 2016, over 190 countries approved the Paris agreement with the intent of reversing and mitigating the trend for growing greenhouse emissions. This is an ambitious undertaking and, if successful, would have a significant influence on global warming since about a quarter of the emissions come from the transport industry. Without changes in transportation, reversing this trend would not be possible.

Matthew Godo
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Stephen Ferguson
Marketing Director
Brigid Blaschak
Communications Specialist
James Clement
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Dr Mesh
Meshing Guru
Joel Davison
Lead Product Manager, STAR-CCM+
Sabine Goodwin
Director, Product Marketing
Deborah Eppel
Technical Marketing Engineer