Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-3501
2000-12-04

Computational Simulations for the External Aerodynamics of Heavy Trucks 2000-01-3501

An objective considered in designing the new generation of heavy trucks is fuel efficiency. This can be significantly improved by reducing the overall drag force on the truck when it is in motion. With this impetus, the external aerodynamics of a heavy truck was simulated using computational fluid dynamics and the external flow was presented using computer visualization. Initially, a thorough validation study was conducted on the Ahmed body. Consequently, the model and the method were selected to be the time-dependent, three dimensional, Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes equations that are solved using a finite volume method. The RNG k-ε model was elected for closure of the turbulent quantities. Finally, to help the estimation of the error due to two commonly practiced engineering simplifications, a parametric study was conducted. The external flow around the truck was computed with and without the tires (-6% drag error), then with or without ground plane motion (+9% drag error).

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