Comparison of the Accuracy and Speed of Transient Mobile A/C System Simulation Models

Tibor Kiss, Jason Lustbader

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

14 Scopus Citations


The operation of air conditioning (A/C) systems is a significant contributor to the total amount of fuel used by light-and heavy-duty vehicles. Therefore, continued improvement of the efficiency of these mobile A/C systems is important. Numerical simulation has been used to reduce the system development time and to improve the electronic controls, but numerical models that include highly detailed physics run slower than desired for carrying out vehicle-focused drive cycle-based system optimization. Therefore, faster models are needed even if some accuracy is sacrificed. In this study, a validated model with highly detailed physics, the "Fully-Detailed" model, and two models with different levels of simplification, the "Quasi-Transient" and the "Mapped-Component" models, are compared. The Quasi-Transient model applies some simplifications compared to the Fully-Detailed model to allow faster model execution speeds. The Mapped-Component model is similar to the Quasi-Transient model except instead of detailed flow and heat transfer calculations in the heat exchangers, it uses lookup tables created with the Quasi-Transient model. All three models are set up to represent the same physical A/C system and the same electronic controls. Speed and results of the three model versions are compared for steady state and transient operation. Steady state simulated data are also compared to measured data. The results show that the Quasi-Transient and Mapped-Component models ran much faster than the Fully-Detailed model, on the order of 10- and 100-fold, respectively. They also adequately approach the results of the Fully-Detailed model for steady-state operation, and for drive cycle-based efficiency predictions.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
StatePublished - Aug 2014
EventSAE 2014 World Congress and Exhibition - Detroit, Michigan
Duration: 8 Apr 201410 Apr 2014


ConferenceSAE 2014 World Congress and Exhibition
CityDetroit, Michigan

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5400-61045 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-61868

Other Report Number

  • SAE Paper No. 2014-01-0669


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