CAA Application to Automobile Wind Throb Prevention Design 2014-01-0593
When a window opens to provide the occupant with fresh air flow while driving, wind throb problems may develop along with it. This work focuses on an analytical approach to address the wind throb issue for passenger vehicles when a front window or sunroof is open. The first case of this paper pertains to the front window throb issue for the current Ford Escape. Early in a program stage, CAA (Computational Aeroacoustics) analysis predicted that the wind throb level exceeded the program wind throb target. When a prototype vehicle became available, the wind tunnel test confirmed the much earlier analytical result. In an attempt to resolve this issue, the efforts focused on a design proposal to implement a wind spoiler on the side mirror sail, with the spoiler dimension only 6 millimeters in height. This work showed that the full vehicle CAA analysis could capture the impact of this tiny geometry variation on the wind throb level inside the vehicle cabin. The independent wind tunnel effort came to the same conclusion, and the difference between the analysis and testing is only about 1 dB. With the implementation of this spoiler, the program target was finally met. The second case of this paper deals with the sunroof throb issue for an SUV. The work concentrates on the modeling method of wind deflectors made of meshed fabric material and carrying out CAA analysis to access the sunroof wind throb level. The result shows that CAA can predict very well the impact of the wind deflector made of meshed fabric material on the wind throb level, in line with the subjective evaluation on proving ground. In summary, this work manifests that CAA is a very effective tool for wind throb prevention design when hardware prototypes are not available.