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Airflow through front grill questions

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by JPinzolo, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. JPinzolo

    JPinzolo New Member

    Jul 21, 2014
    United States
    Just curious and have a few questions regarding where this air goes-

    • Where is it routed?
    • Does it serve any function for anything in the car?

    Thanks all!

  2. JPP

    JPP Active Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    SF Bay Area, CA
    There are various radiators/coolers behind the front grille for the battery and drive unit as well as the HVAC system. Note that there are louvers/dampers that open and close to modulate the air flow and also to optimize aerodynamic efficiency.
  3. siai47

    siai47 Member

    Jan 23, 2014
    Deland, Fl.
    The radiators on the left and right front (the ones with the louvers) cool the drive system as necessary. They have fans mounted on the back of each radiator and the air from them exhausts into the front wheelwells. You can see the openings that the air exhausts through inside the wheelwells in front of the tires. The center cooler is the A/C condenser. There are two electric fans mounted in a case behind it that exhaust air around the "frunk" liner and then under the car.
  4. Otmar

    Otmar EV Modder

    Jul 26, 2009
    Corvallis, OR
    I think you have that a bit reversed. I am intimately familiar with the setup since it is all clearly visible on my car and this is what I've seen.
    The center radiator carries coolant in a loop with the motor, controller, charger(s) and the battery when it is in series plumbing mode. The center radiator has control flaps on either side where the air exits, this air feeds in front of the two outboard AC condensers. The condensers can also get air directly from the front when their shutters are open. Each AC condenser has a fan pulling air through it and exiting in the the wheel wells, those fans also pull the air through the center radiator when in that mode.
    The battery coolant can be cooled with the main ambient coolant loop, or switched into a parallel mode for more temperature control allowing the battery coolant to be cooled by the AC chiller, or heated by the battery heater.

    I find it's a pretty interesting system.
  5. aaroninsan

    Dec 19, 2016
    San Diego, CA
    Question: When should I see the louvers open vs closed? I was washing the car (2017 S 90D) when I noticed that they were open. It is the first time that I have ever seen them open.

    Thank you;

  6. Gforce1

    Gforce1 Member

    Jan 31, 2017
    New York

    I'm also curious about this. I have never seen mine close. Admittedly I've only had the car a week or two but I was curious when they do close.
  7. scaesare

    scaesare Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2013
    The louvers will open or close based on the amount of air the car needs to pull past the freon condensing coils (Otmar is correct in this placement).

    As the Freon chilling system provides cooling for both the battery pack/drive-unit loop, and cabin Air conditioning, there are a number of circumstances where the car will command them open based on the needs of either.

    The car will close them for better aero efficiency at speed if it doesn't need the airflow past the condenser coils. One example is that the ambient outside flow/temp is sufficient to provide "passive" battery cooling via center radiator, and there's no need for cabin A/C.

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