Assessment of Closed-Wall Wind Tunnel Blockage using CFD 2004-01-0672
Effects of the wind tunnel blockage in a closed-wall wind tunnel were investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Flow over three generic vehicle models representing a passenger sedan, a sports utility vehicle (SUV), and a pickup truck was solved. The models were placed in a baseline virtual wind tunnel as well as four additional virtual wind tunnels, each with different size cross-sections, providing different levels of wind tunnel blockage. For each vehicle model, the CFD analysis produced an aerodynamic drag coefficient for the vehicle at the blockage free condition as well as the blockage effect increment for the baseline wind tunnel. A CFD based blockage correction method is proposed. Comparisons of this method to some existing blockage correction methods for closed-wall wind tunnel are also presented.