Browse Publications Technical Papers 2024-01-5016
2024-02-06

Integrated Numerical and Experimental Workflow for High-Performance Vehicle Aerodynamics 2024-01-5016

The high-performance and motorsport vehicle sectors are pushing the performance frontiers of aerodynamically efficient vehicles. Well-balanced use of accurate and consistent numerical simulation tools in combination with wind tunnel experiments is crucial for cost-effective aerodynamic research and development processes. Therefore, this study assesses the simulation performance of four Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) turbulence models in relation to experimental and high-fidelity delayed detached eddy simulation (DDES) data for the aerodynamic assessment of a high-performance variant of the DrivAer model (DrivAer hp-F). The influences of predominant wind tunnel conditions on the vehicle’s aerodynamic force coefficients and flow field are also investigated. Additionally, a novel CFD-based blockage correction method is introduced and applied to evaluate the accuracy of conventional blockage correction methods. Among the RANS models, the k-ω SST model exhibited notable relative accuracy in the prediction of force coefficients and demonstrated generally the best correlation with detailed DDES flow field data. The wind tunnel blockage effect caused a 9% increase in downforce and 16% increase in drag, whereas the interference effects from the overhead measurement system reduced downforce by 4% and drag by 8%. The novel CFD-based blockage correction method confirmed that conventional blockage correction methods adequately estimate the dynamic pressure in proximity of a wind tunnel model (<3%), but do not consider local effects on downforce and drag individually. Overall, the research extends beyond prior work on automotive applications, contributing to the advancement of aerodynamic research methodologies suitable for the complex flow fields of high-performance vehicles.

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