Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-01-2612

Aerodynamic Simulations of a Generic Tractor-Trailer: Validation and Analysis of Unsteady Aerodynamics 2008-01-2612

Aerodynamic simulations of a 1:8-scale simplified tractor-trailer, designated as the Generic Conventional Model (GCM), were conducted using a Lattice-Boltzmann based solver. Comparisons were made to experimental measurements from the NASA Ames 12-Foot Pressure Wind Tunnel, including drag coefficients as a function of yaw, static and transient surface pressures, and three-component particle image velocimetry. The baseline model configuration was tested at yaw angles from 0 to 12 degrees, allowing the calculation of the wind-averaged drag coefficient. Results demonstrated that the simulation predicted body-axis drag within experimental uncertainty and also resolved the correct pressure distribution and flow structure in the separated flow regions including the tractor-trailer gap and trailer wake regions. The comparison of the experimental transient pressure spectra showed good agreement with the simulation results, both in magnitude and identification of dominant spectral peaks. The simulation data was further analyzed in order to gain insight into the source of drag increases at specific yaw angles and explain the unique character of the GCM drag curve. The analysis of the drag contributions and transient flow structures are directly applicable for developing and refining intelligent tractor-trailer drag reduction concepts when the same modeling approach is applied to full scale detailed tractor-trailer geometries.


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