INTERIOR SOLUTION

Reduce Cabin Energy Consumption While Maintaining Optimal Comfort & Safety

As the automotive landscape continues to shift towards electric, hybrid, and autonomous vehicles, new factors must be carefully considered to create an optimal passenger experience leading to more sales. More specifically, the range of these electric vehicles is a critical hurdle to overcome in broadening their adoption. Typically, range is tested for average weather conditions but, varying conditions, such as heat or cold, can prompt the cabin’s HVAC or climate system to activate, which can reduce range by up to 40%. Therefore, it is not surprising that reducing the energy consumption of all systems is a critical concern.

Additionally, engineering teams face an arduous challenge as they must reinvent the cabin design while maintaining occupant safety, comfort, and performance. With the advent of revolutionary interior layouts and the many possible uses of a car’s cabin, thermal and climate systems must be revamped to be consistent with cabin configuration and the demand for individualized comfort. To overcome these challenges, interior and seat engineers must develop new, innovative cabin designs and iterate quickly on different scenarios without impacting their final delivery schedule.

ESI Interior Solution offers a unique capability for interior engineers to virtually test and optimize the cabin layout of electric and autonomous vehicles, while simultaneously improving the car’s range for real driving conditions. Furthermore, engineering teams can test occupant thermal comfort, accounting for heated and ventilated seats, and the overall cabin HVAC system. These modifications, relevant from the early stage of the development cycle, support designers and engineers in engineering the thermal equipment of the cabin and seat, assuring optimum passenger comfort and energy consumption for both nominal and in-operation conditions.

Benefits of Our Interior Solution

  • Iterate at the earliest point in your design phase, virtually and more cost-effectively, on different thermal scenario: interior layout, occupancy rate, season/weather, clothes, passenger anthropometries, seat, and cabin functionalities

  • Optimize your thermal equipment and thermostat to enhance comfort and energy consumption

  • Anticipate thermal performance issues early in the development process and make the right trade-offs

  • Easy-to-use, dedicated solution for interior, for both non-CFD or FE Experts

  • Integrated coupling between human, seat, and cabin facilitates the right thermal interactions (conduction, convection, radiation), without sacrificing speedy simulation

Thermal Management: Range Vs. Comfort

With ESI Interior Solution, engineering teams can test occupant thermal comfort, consider heated or ventilated seats, and the overall cabin HVAC system, with virtual prototypes. They can realistically predict seat and cabin thermal behavior and occupant comfort, thanks to human models embedded in the software, including human thermal modeling and thermal comfort criteria. With all this modeled accurately, you can predict the air movement and fluctuation in temperature inside the cabin using CFD techniques. This modeling provides continuously up-to-date information to ensure the right thermal exchanges between the seat, the occupant, and the cabin.

Additionally, engineers can go as far as setting thermostat rules and sensor locations, create the air movement inside the cabin and temperature fluctuations to optimize and calibrate their thermal devices. ESI Interior Solution is useful from the start of the development cycle and offers manufacturers possibilities to reduce the risk related to innovation.

Safety on Board

Highly automated driving features and autonomous vehicles are bringing tremendous freedom for completely reshaping cabin design. The driver, spending increasingly less time driving as automated driving features are implemented, should be able to enjoy more relaxed positions. Front passengers should be free to swivel around the cabin and backseat passengers given a choice to work or relax.

Test all variants with real tests to ensure safety is an extremely difficult task to achieve.

Simulation can be used to explore different options, and more specifically, virtual prototyping can deliver significant benefits to reduce the delays and cost of product development when working towards specific safety requirements.

Thanks to accurate seat modeling, including airbags and realistic seating of the dummies, tests made with ESI Interior Solution are entirely reliable. Not only do they reduce the number of hardware prototypes needed, but they can work with the same seat used for others process and deliver a virtual pre-certification for standard protocols. The solution evolves with ever-changing regulations.

Passenger Well-being

With the advent of autonomous vehicles, many automotive manufacturers and suppliers will integrate seats that enable the passenger to change its inclination. This option will permit someone to switch from an upright to a lying-down position. Also, the changes will allow for the interior layout could be changed during the journey. It will now be possible to be face-to-face or remain in a traditional position. Finally, with the democratization of car sharing, comfort must be individualized even more.

Usually, companies use human volunteers to analyze pressure map distribution to test and certify all parameters linked to seating comfort. However, this technic has several drawbacks. That's why interiors must adapt to several anthropometries, both in terms of seating and living space. Additionally, results also depend on the volunteer's mood that day. It is necessary to build a real prototype of the interior and corresponding seats. As this step comes late in the development process, if the seat does not deliver the right performances, modifying design at this stage could require costly countermeasures and associated delays.

ESI Interior Solution makes it possible to virtually test passenger available living space, seat static, and dynamic comfort. Using our Single Core Model for the interior, engineers and designers can iterate quickly, test virtually multiple scenarios, and make the right trade-offs between the seat and interior performance, including safety requirements.

ESI Interior Solution is embedded with human models from different anthropometries and populations for you to choose from. They have been developed specifically for comfort evaluation. Virtually measure pressure mapping in a fully repeatable process; pre-defined and customizable comfort criteria are available as well. This way, you can evaluate comfort for several anthropometries, and easily compare seat variants. Consistent chaining of seat manufacturing, occupant seating, and vibration tests ensures a predictive evaluation of how the seat absorbs the road vibration and ensures a long haul comfort. You can also virtually test thermal and acoustic comfort.

ESI Virtual Seat Solution was used to determine the exact position of an occupant settling into the seat. We also used the software to simulate the inflation of the bladders and to determine how the bladders could change the posture of the seated occupant. This information allowed us to place the multi-contour bladder positions appropriately in the seat. Thanks to ESI Virtual Seat Solution we have been able to model the seat behaviour and how it impacts the occupant’s position.

Missy A. Pereny, Seat Comfort Manager Lear Corporation

 

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