Aircraft Passenger Cabin Thermal Comfort Analysis by Means of Integrated Mono Dimensional/CFD Approach

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Alenia Aeronautica is pursuing the virtual prototyping roadmap as a fundamental brick of the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) approach. The key issues foreseen in this context are related to multi-disciplinary optimization, system engineering and experimental platform integration. The simulation architecture relies on Computer Aided Engineering technologies where CD-adapco provides the standard for internal fluid-dynamics and thermal transmission. This capability is enhanced by the links to the remaining environment, in order to build complex infrastructures and methodologies aimed at the on-board systems simulations. In the frame of system simulation, the aim of the present paper is the evaluation of the capability to simulate the thermal comfort in aircraft passenger cabin environment by means of an integrated mono dimensional/computational fluid dynamic approach. Thermal comfort analyses in an aircraft environment involve different simulation tasks. Specifically, in the simulation detailed in the present paper, the Environmental Control System (ECS) distribution system is simulated by means of an integrated CFD/system level mono-dimensional approach. As a matter of fact, due to system complexity and size the virtual validation of a system such as the ECS distribution system, its simulation is not practically achieved by means of computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) alone. On the other hand, a pure system-level approach based on the mono-dimensional simplification of the system cannot guarantee accuracy when describing the thermal-fluid dynamic behaviour of complex three-dimensional sub-systems. Hence, for the ECS distribution system simulation, an integrated CFD/system level mono dimensional approach has been selected. This simulation methodology takes the advantages of the above mentioned approaches by integrating the mono-dimensional analysis of the complete system, performed by means of dynamic system modelling, simulation and analysis tool, with CFD analysis of those system components where the flow complexity exceeds the scope of the 1D approach. Furthermore, the human thermal simulation is performed by means of a 1D model, linked with the environmental simulation in the aircraft cabin. Such 1D model receives inputs (such as temperature and humidity distribution, conditioned air velocity in the vicinity of the passenger) from the aircraft cabin CFD model and feeds back into the aircraft cabin CFD model the heat load produced by the passenger, its humidity production, its skin temperature. The proposed approach is applied to the thermal comfort evaluation in a regional jet passenger cabin. The platform supports the simulation process by integrating 1D and 3D models with the opportunity of optimization and geometry shaping, also opened to the experimental correlation. In accordance with the trend of strategic research agenda, the evolution leads to the “virtual passenger” who is able to value all the feelings and to asses all the comfort parameters appreciated in the cabin environment in order to drive the trade-off and selection of the alternatives for the product and its optimization.

Author Company: 
Alenia Aeronautica
Author Name: 
P. Borrelli
A. Romano
D. Cannoletta