Controlled air flow


Increasingly, OEMs are focusing on intelligent air flap systems, which enable high cooling capacity through maximum air flow when they are in an open position. In a closed position, they reduce drag and the time necessary to bring the engine up to operating temperatures. At the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, Röchling Automotive introduces its controllable shutter systems.

The Active Grille Shutter Evolution II – Style is controlled as needed by specially developed actuators, reducing emissions and fuel consumption. Electric vehicles are said to benefit from Röchling’s Active Grille Shutter BEVolution, which extends the driving range through improved aerodynamics and ensures better battery cooling and temperature control.

If high cooling capacity is not needed, the aerodynamic flaps close because constant air flow through the engine compartment and radiator is unnecessary in 90% of all operating situations. Due to the vehicle’s reduced drag, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions simultaneously decline during the ride. As a result, the technology is said to achieve fuel savings of 1% on average in the European driving cycle. The fuel savings impact can be even further increased by encapsulating the engine thermo-acoustically and changing the mounting position, depending on design.

Increasing the range of e-cars

The Active Grille Shutter BEVolution module, featuring a total of four air flaps, extends the range of the electric vehicle in a relatively cost-effective manner through optimised aerodynamics and also contributes to improved battery temperature control. During the design phase, the development engineers at Röchling Automotive focused particularly on achieving minimal air leakage and maximum air flow.

The Active Grille Shutter Evolution II – Style version, made from PP GF30 and PA6 GF30, is characterised by low drag. The controlled air flap systems are mounted right in the front to optimise aerodynamics. The skilful concealment of the ribs and the actuator drive behind the decorative grille keeps costs low since it is possible to avoid coating. Aerodynamic simulations help to decisively boost efficiency and optimise costs by design.

Active Grille Shutters can be used with any powertrain systems and are said to be especially effective for frequent drivers.

In-house creation

Actuators developed especially for air flaps take over control on demand. They are suitable as a standard feature for nearly all applications and are simply  adjusted to the operating conditions of a given model through the installation of customised software. The actuators process the engine control signals and relay everything that happens in the operation of the Active Grille Shutters back to the engine control unit.

Main Picture: Active Grille Shutters allow high cooling capacity in an open position while reducing drag and the time to bring the engine to operating temperatures when  closed. (photo: Röchling Automotive)
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