Comparison of Wind Tunnel Configurations for Testing Closed-Wheel Race Cars: A CFD Study 2006-01-3620
This paper investigates the aerodynamic simulation accuracy of several types of wind tunnel test sections. Computational simulations were performed with a closed wheel race car in an 11.0 m2 adaptive wall, a 16.8 m2 open jet, and a 29.7 m2 slotted wall test section, corresponding to model blockage ratios of 20.9%, 13.7%, and 7.7%, respectively. These are compared to a simulation performed in a nearly interference-free condition having a blockage ratio of 0.05%, which for practical purposes of comparison, is considered a free air condition. The results demonstrate that the adaptive wall most closely simulates the free air condition without the need for interference corrections. In addition to this advantage, the significantly smaller size of the adaptive wall test section offers lower capital and operating costs.