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Numerical Simulation-Based Topology Optimization Leads to Better Cooling of Electronic Components in Toyota Hybrid Vehicles

Toyota Research Institute of North America, MI, USA

The Toyota Research Institute in Ann Arbor drives cutting-edge research in energy efficiency, mobility infrastructure, and safety. Here, Ercan Dede and his team are designing heat sinks (or cold plates), which are affixed to fragile electrical systems and other applications in Toyota’s hybrid vehicles.

Their simulations simulate the cold plate’s topology for improved cooling efficiency while minimizing pressure drop. Previous designs provided good heat transfer, but at the cost of significant pressure drops across the plate. Making use of branching channels, the heat sinks provide the same heat transfer but with an optimized flow path. Using LiveLinkTM for SolidWorks®, they were able to create fast and accurate design iterations, leading to an optimal cold plate topology.

SolidWorks is a registered trademark of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.

The Toyota Research Institute of North America's topology optimization team includes (from left) Ercan Dede Ph.D., principal scientist; Jaewook Lee Ph.D., researcher; and Tsuyoshi Nomura Ph.D., senior principal engineer.