Thermal ManagementThermal management – some blog readers may well be wondering what this really means. I encountered this subject three years ago when I took over the role of Director Engineering Truck Business. The exciting thing about thermal management for me is that simple measures allow us to achieve significant reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions through the implementation of intelligent solutions.

The idea behind thermal management

Fuel consumption is an important factor in the operation of a truck and every percentage point saved by a haulier has a direct impact on his profitability. We meet this need with our thermal management concepts and also reduce the load on the environment at the same time.

The idea behind thermal management is to reduce fuel consumption through lower friction losses in the engine. We achieve this by using the lever of oil temperature. The viscosity of the engine oil is perceptibly reduced if the average oil temperature today of around 90 degrees Celsius is increased to between 100 and 105 degrees. The engine then runs more smoothly as a result, enabling us to achieve fuel savings of 3 to 5 percent. This also has advantages for cold starting: the engine reaches its operating temperature more quickly in the consumption-intensive starting phase – and thus saves fuel here as well. The avoided 2 to 3 grams of CO2 per kilometre also help manufacturers to comply with the statutory emission requirements in accordance with EURO VI. The particular attraction of this for me is the fact that we can achieve a great effect with simple means thanks to our innovative capabilities.

Our thermal management systems have the important task of keeping the oil temperature precisely in the defined range. Important because the distance from the engine oil failure limit at an oil temperature of 105 degrees Celsius is much smaller than at 90 degrees. Our oil filter modules therefore have very precise switching valves with wax expansion elements, which exactly maintain the defined switching temperature range and activate the radiator in good time.

Our two-stage thermostat consists of two series-connected wax actuators and also has an additional function. One actuator initiates heating of the oil at low temperatures, while the other prevents the critical temperature from being exceeded when the oil is hot. We have integrated a safety function in all systems so that the engine continues to operate reliably even in the event of a fault.

At MANN+HUMMEL, we see ourselves as problem solvers for our customers. In the case of thermal management, a truck manufacturer approached us with the request to develop a solution that would allow him to increase the oil temperature slightly. Our task was to integrate this function in the existing system in an intelligent and space-saving manner. As an engineer, development of such solutions is naturally something very close to my heart. And it is a good feeling when you see a truck on the road and can say: “That’s my product just driving by.”

At the IAA Commercial Vehicles, visitors to the MANN+HUMMEL stand can see a special presenter, which clearly demonstrates the operating principle of thermal management: This display shows an enlarged thermostat valve, in which the switching movements and oil flows are clearly visible, as well as an oil filter module in which such a thermostat valve is integrated.

Are you interested in talking to us personally about the subject of thermal management? If so, visit us this week at our exhibition stand at the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hanover. You will find us in Hall 13 at Stand B26.

Or simply use the comment function of the blog if you wish to contact me.