Behr GmbH & Co. KG is a leading supplier in the automotive industry in the field of thermal management. Radial blowers are a central component of the air-conditioning system of a passenger compartment. The target for the development of a radial blower is to increase the efficiency of the blower while reducing the noise level. This enables the provision of adequate air flow in all operating points.
For supporting the development of radial blowers a CFD method based on transient DES simulations with STAR-CCM+ was developed. The development of the method was accompanied with various validation measurements, where in specially prepared blower systems the flow field was measured using PIV (particle image velocimetry).
In order to validate the method, various studies on, e.g. the best turbulence model or the best reasonable mesh size were carried out. The comparison of CFD results with the flow field measurements and performance characteristics showed very good agreement. The method is integrated into the Behr automatic workflow for CFD analysis of HVAC units. The high level of automation leads to significant improvement in the ease of use. The main application of the new method is the development of new radial blower systems and the analysis of complex HVAC unit concepts.