CFD and Experimental Optimization of Formula SAE Race Car Cooling Air Duct 2013-01-0799
Engine overheating problems have been the major cause for vehicle breakdown during FSAE endurance runs. Therefore, it is crucial to study the cooling performance, which is affected by the air flow through the side-pod. CFD is used as a tool for this study and simulation based on the complete race car 3D model (NITK Racing 2012 formula student race car - NR XII) is carried out for different cases. Further, Wind Tunnel Experiment is carried out to validate these results.
The results obtained for different cases are analyzed to decide the best configuration of the cooling duct. CFD analysis helped in calculating the mass flow rate through the radiator at various velocities. Pressure distribution and velocity distribution were also obtained along the length of the side-pod for different velocities of the car. Area of flow separation and turbulence is visualized and thus smooth airflow into the radiator core area is ensured. The amount of drag force generated due to the side-pod geometry and radiator configuration is also measured. This significantly increased the heat rejection and reduced drag.