CFD Analysis of Non-Symmetrical Intake Manifold for Formula SAE Car 2006-01-1976
CFD simulations were first performed on the inlet manifold of the 2004 University of Sydney (USYD) FSAE competition car. For years prior to 2004, the FSAE team used classical techniques such as Helmholtz method to tune the intake manifold for their competition car. This traditional method can only predict the engine speed and tuned peaks. In 2004, one dimensional simulation package was used to analyse the dynamics of pressure waves, the flow characteristics and energies in the intake and exhaust manifolds.
With three dimensional CFD simulations, unsteady flows were visualised, allowed the explorations of the flow characteristics in the manifold in such a way that geometrical designs can be improved. Due to the absence of a plane or axis of symmetry in the entire manifold design, partial or 2D simulations were not possible. The non-symmetrical inlet manifold design is not common due to more complicated flows and unpredictable effects compared to the symmetrical manifolds.
Besides examining the flow in the manifold, the simulation also aimed to test the response to the pressure fluctuation due to the reciprocating pistons. Also to the constraint of the venturi attached near the inlet, the simulations were made in the interest of evaluation of the current venturi design.