The rising cost of energy and increasing emphasis on environmental issues in today's world make it necessary to search for energy conservation methods in automotive paint shops. Paint curing ovens consume a sizeable portion of the total energy utilized. We present here an overview of the energy consumption in paint ovens, followed by a novel method to reduce the energy consumption. Although conventional ovens are designed to operate very efficiently, the carriers used to traverse the bodies in white (BiWs) in a paint shop also take part in heat transfer in an oven, and thus waste energy. Proposed here is a concept of using a shroud to cover the carriers and partially shield them from hot air of the oven. The concept is evaluated using a semicomputational model of an actual paint oven bake process. The computational model uses a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and a thermal solver to obtain detailed metal temperatures on a BiW and carrier as they traverse in the oven. The numerical results of temperature rises in an unshrouded carrier are compared to that from a shrouded carrier. It is seen that the usage of a shroud results in a significant reduction in the energy consumption of an oven.

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