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Technical Paper

Design and CFD Analysis of an NHRA Funny Car Body

2008-12-02
2008-01-3003
This paper describes the methodology used to design and perform a CFD analysis of a Chevrolet Impala SS Funny Car body. This body was designed for the purpose of making it available for teams to race it in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag racing series beginning with the 2007 race season. Several challenges were presented in this project: (1) This was the first time a General Motors drag racing body for use in professional classes (Funny Car or otherwise) was ever designed in CAD. (2) The body was originally designed as a 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. After the tooling was completed, changes in Chevrolet’s product lineup required that the body be changed to a 2007 Impala SS. (3) Budget constraints precluded CFD analysis until after the bodies were already being manufactured. There were several teams that raced the new body during the 2007 race season. One of these teams won the Funny Car Driver’s Championship.
Journal Article

Development of the Combustion System for General Motors' 3.6L DOHC 4V V6 Engine with Direct Injection

2008-04-14
2008-01-0132
General Motors' 3.6L DOHC 4V V6 engine has been upgraded to provide substantial improvements in performance, fuel economy, and emissions for the 2008 model year Cadillac CTS and STS. The fundamental change was a switch from traditional manifold-port fuel injection (MPFI) to spark ignition direct injection (SIDI). Additional modifications include enhanced cylinder head and intake manifold air flow capacities, optimized camshaft profiles, and increased compression ratio. The SIDI fuel system presented the greatest opportunities for system development and optimization in order to maximize improvements in performance, fuel economy, and emissions. In particular, the injector flow rate, orifice geometry, and spray pattern were selected to provide the optimum balance of high power and torque, low fuel consumption, stable combustion, low smoke emissions, and robust tolerance to injector plugging.
Technical Paper

Computational Aeroacoustics Investigation of Automobile Sunroof Buffeting

2007-05-15
2007-01-2403
A numerical investigation of automobile sunroof buffeting on a prototype sport utility vehicle (SUV) is presented, including experimental validation. Buffeting is an unpleasant low frequency booming caused by flow-excited Helmholtz resonance of the interior cabin. Accurate prediction of this phenomenon requires accounting for the bi-directional coupling between the transient shear layer aerodynamics (vortex shedding) and the acoustic response of the cabin. Numerical simulations were performed using the PowerFLOW code, a CFD/CAA software package from Exa Corporation based on the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM). The well established LBM approach provides the time-dependent solution to the compressible Navier-Stokes equations, and directly captures both turbulent and acoustic pressure fluctuations over a wide range of scales given adequate computational grid resolution.
Technical Paper

Optimization of HVAC Temperature Regulation Curves with modeFrontier and Fluent

2007-04-16
2007-01-1397
Simultaneously obtaining a linear temperature control curve along with the correct temperature stratification at module outlets is one of the most difficult tasks in developing an automotive HVAC module. Traditionally, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) development of temperature control linearity has been accomplished by iteratively adjusting the location, size and orientation of baffles which redirect warm and cold airstreams. This approach demands considerable interaction from the engineer in building the computational mesh, defining boundary and operating conditions and post processing the simulation results. The present study was conducted to investigate the optimization of HVAC temperature regulation curves using the multi-objective optimization code modeFrontier (1, 3) in conjunction with CFD code, Fluent (2). An auxiliary HVAC module was selected for the present study.
Technical Paper

CFD-based Robust Optimization of Front-end Cooling Airflow

2007-04-16
2007-01-0105
Development and integration of the cooling system for an automotive vehicle requires a balancing act between several performance and styling objectives. The cooling system needs to provide sufficient air for heat rejection with minimal impact on the aerodynamic drag, styling requirements and other criteria. An optimization of various design parameters is needed to develop a design to meet these objectives in a short amount of time. Increase in the accuracy of the numerical predictions and reduction in the turn-around time has made it possible for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to be used early in the design phase of the vehicle development. This study shows application of the CFD for robust design of the engine cooling system.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Moving Mesh CFD Study of Semi-truck Passing a Stationary Vehicle with Hood Open

2007-04-16
2007-01-0111
This paper examines the aerodynamic forces on the open hood of a stationary vehicle when another large vehicle, such as an 18-wheel semi-truck, passes by at high speed. The problem of semi-truck passing a parked car with hood open is solved as a transient two-vehicle aerodynamics problem with a Dynamic Moving Mesh (DMM) capability in commercial CFD software package FLUENT. To assess the computational feasibility, a simplified compact car / semi-truck geometry and CFD meshes are used in the first trial example. At 70 mph semi-truck speed, the CFD results indicate a peak aerodynamic force level of 20N to 30N on the hood of the car, and the direction of the net forces and moments on the hood change multiple times during the passing event.
Technical Paper

Further Assessment of Closed-Wall Wind Tunnel Blockage Using CFD

2005-04-11
2005-01-0868
The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based wind tunnel blockage correction method proposed in [1] was extended in the present study to production vehicles with detailed underhood and underbody components, fascia and grills. Three different types of vehicles (sedan, SUV, and pickup truck) were considered in the study. While the previous CFD based wind tunnel blockage correction method was for vehicle aerodynamic drag, the blockage effect on vehicle cooling airflow is also included in the present study, and a CFD based blockage correction method for vehicle cooling airflow is proposed. Comparisons were made between the blockage effects for the production vehicles and the blockage effects for the generic vehicles.
Technical Paper

Computational Analysis and Design to Minimize Vehicle Roof Rack Wind Noise

2005-04-11
2005-01-0602
This paper presents a study of roof rack wind noise using commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. The focus is to predict the noise generated from the roof rack cross bars mounted on a realistic vehicle geometry. Design iterations are created by altering the cross bar orientation. Results from the CFD simulations include frequency spectra of Sound Pressure Level (SPL) for comparison to typical wind tunnel measurements. Aerodynamic results of body lift, drag, and transient flow visualization are also produced to support the noise data. The CFD and physical experiments compare very well with respect to tonal noise generation, tonal frequency content, and relative magnitudes. It is concluded that the CFD method is suitable for predicting relative performance, ranking design concepts, and optimizing large scale geometry parameters of vehicle roof racks in a production-engineering environment.
Technical Paper

A Downforce Optimization Study for a Racing Car Shape

2005-04-11
2005-01-0545
A new process is developed for the aerodynamic shape optimization of racing cars using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The process is based on using the mesh morphing techniques to create new designs for analysis by morphing the CFD mesh of the original design. The resulting improvements in the analysis turnaround time allow a quick exploration of the design parameters for determining the optimum aerodynamic design. The approach is used to perform a parametric study to optimize a racing car shape for maximum downforce. The analysis procedure used for the CFD analysis is tuned to ensure grid independence and accuracy of the predictions. The parametric study shows that the morpher-based process can quickly and precisely create designs for the CFD analysis. This process can become the foundation for the automated aerodynamic design optimization of the racing cars.
Technical Paper

CFD Simulations for Flow Over Pickup Trucks

2005-04-11
2005-01-0547
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used to simulate the flow field over a pickup truck. The simulation was based on a steady state formulation and the focus of the simulation was to assess the capabilities of the currently used CFD tools for vehicle aerodynamic development for pickup trucks. Detailed comparisons were made between the CFD simulations and the existing experiments for a generic pickup truck. It was found that the flow structures obtained from the CFD calculations are very similar to the corresponding measured mean flows. Furthermore, the surface pressure distributions are captured reasonably well by the CFD analysis. Comparison for aerodynamic drags was carried out for both the generic pickup truck and a production pickup truck. Both the simulations and the measurements show the same trends for the drag as the vehicle geometry changes, This suggests that the steady state CFD simulation can be used to aid the aerodynamic development of pickup trucks.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of the Flow Around a Generic SUV

2004-03-08
2004-01-0228
The results of an experimental investigation of the flow in the near wake of a generic Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) model are presented. The main goals of the study are to gain a better understanding of the external aerodynamics of SUVs, and to obtain a comprehensive experimental database that can be used as a benchmark to validate math-based CFD simulations for external aerodynamics. Data obtained in this study include the instantaneous and mean pressures, as well as mean velocities and turbulent quantities at various locations in the near wake. Mean pressure coefficients on the base of the SUV model vary from −0.23 to −0.1. The spectrum of the pressure coefficient fluctuation at the base of the model has a weak peak at a Strouhal number of 0.07. PIV measurements show a complex three-dimensional recirculation region behind the model of length approximately 1.2 times the width of the model.
Technical Paper

CFD for Flow Rate and Air Re-Circulation at Vehicle Idle Conditions

2004-03-08
2004-01-0053
CFD method for the calculation of flow rate and air re-circulation at vehicle idle conditions is described. A small velocity is added to the ambient airflow in order to improve the numerical stability. The flow rate passing through the heat exchangers is insensitive to the ambient velocity, since the flow rate is largely determined by the fan operation. The air re-circulation, however, is quite sensitive to the ambient air velocity. The ambient velocity of U=-1m/s was found to be the more critical case, and is recommended for the air re-circulation analysis. The CFD analysis can also lead to design modifications improving the air re-circulation.
Technical Paper

Development of a Benchmark Problem Set for Assessing Out-of-Position Simulation Capabilities

2004-03-08
2004-01-1628
The demand for Out-Of-Position (OOP) simulation capabilities in safety/crash software increased after the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) final ruling on FMVSS 208 in 2000. However, the development of this capability involves many technical challenges. To expedite the development and manage the technical difficulties, five benchmark problems were established in this study. Each of them addresses specific technical difficulties of airbag OOP simulations. One benchmark problem has an analytical solution; one has a well-known numerical solution and others have the test results. The benchmark set was designed starting from simple Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) problems to the complicated OOP applications such that the bugs and algorithmic errors of the code can be easily identified. This paper summarizes the solutions, test results, and associated technical issues of the benchmark problems.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Closed-Wall Wind Tunnel Blockage using CFD

2004-03-08
2004-01-0672
Effects of the wind tunnel blockage in a closed-wall wind tunnel were investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Flow over three generic vehicle models representing a passenger sedan, a sports utility vehicle (SUV), and a pickup truck was solved. The models were placed in a baseline virtual wind tunnel as well as four additional virtual wind tunnels, each with different size cross-sections, providing different levels of wind tunnel blockage. For each vehicle model, the CFD analysis produced an aerodynamic drag coefficient for the vehicle at the blockage free condition as well as the blockage effect increment for the baseline wind tunnel. A CFD based blockage correction method is proposed. Comparisons of this method to some existing blockage correction methods for closed-wall wind tunnel are also presented.
Technical Paper

Automated Aerodynamic Design Optimization Process for Automotive Vehicle

2003-03-03
2003-01-0993
An automatic optimization process for the aerodynamic design of automotive vehicle shapes is presented. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) mesh generation and the analysis software packages are coupled for transfer of data and information between the two packages. This communication enables an automated process in which designs are created and analyzed for the aerodynamic drag. New designs are created by morphing the CFD model for the baseline design. The automated process is applied to perform a parametric study on a generic automobile sedan shape. The results show that the process can be used for aerodynamic optimization of any automotive vehicle shape. The turnaround for the automated process is at least an order of magnitude less than the conventional analysis process.
Technical Paper

CFRM Concept at Vehicle Idle Conditions

2003-03-03
2003-01-0613
The concept of condenser, fan, and radiator power train cooling module (CFRM) was further evaluated via three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies in the present paper for vehicle at idle conditions. The analysis shows that the CFRM configuration was more prone to the problem of front-end air re-circulation as compared with the conventional condenser, radiator, and fan power train cooling module (CRFM). The enhanced front-end air re-circulation leads to a higher air temperature passing through the condenser. The higher air temperature, left unimproved, could render the vehicle air conditioning (AC) unit ineffective. The analysis also shows that the front-end air re-circulation can be reduced with an added sealing between the CFRM package and the front of the vehicle, making the CFRM package acceptable at the vehicle idle conditions.
Technical Paper

Corrections for the Pressure Gradient Effect on Vehicle Aerodynamic Drag

2003-03-03
2003-01-0935
Effects of the pressure gradient in the wind tunnel test section on vehicle aerodynamic drag were investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The numerical study was used to obtain the aerodynamic drag of several vehicles in two virtual wind tunnels, one with a zero pressure gradient and another with a nonzero (but small) pressure gradient. A comparison of the vehicle aerodynamic drags in these two virtual wind tunnels, and investigation of the physical mechanisms causing these differences, have led to two correction formulas. These formulas can be used to correct for the pressure gradient effect on vehicle aerodynamic drag measurement in a wind tunnel that has a nonzero pressure gradient. In the first formula, the correction is given explicitly in terms of known variables. The correction is 80% accurate for passenger car, sports car, sports utility vehicle (SUV), and is 70% accurate for pickup truck.
Technical Paper

An Integrated Process of CFD Analysis and Design Optimization with Underhood Thermal Application

2001-03-05
2001-01-0637
With the revolutionary advances in computing power and software technology, the future trend of integrating design and CFD analysis software package to realize an automated design optimization has been explored in this study. The integrated process of UG, ICEMCFD, and FLUENT was accomplished using iSIGHT for vehicle Aero/Thermal applications. Process integration, CFD solution strategy, optimization algorithm and the practicality for real world problem of this process have been studied, and will be discussed in this paper. As an example of this application, the results of an underhood thermal design will be presented. The advantage of systematical and rapid design exploration is demonstrated by using this integrated process. It also shows the great potential of computer based design automation in vehicle Aero/Thermal development.
Technical Paper

Automobile Exterior Water Flow Analysis Using CFD and Wind Tunnel Visualization

1998-02-23
980035
This paper presents an innovative automobile application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) as a complement to wind tunnel experimentation for the evaluation of rain water and wiper wash flow on the exterior of a moving vehicle. In addition to calculating the air flow around a car, a multi-phase CFD code was used to simulate rain drops in the air stream, rain drops impinging on the vehicle, and the transport of the “thin liquid film” of water on the vehicle surfaces. Time-dependent results for the location, velocity, and height of the water film on the windshield, A-pillar, and side glass were obtained. The CFD results compared favorably with a wind tunnel procedure. The variation of the calculated water film corresponded with observed patterns of water streaks on test vehicles. Design iterations performed on the computational model also agreed with similar test configurations.
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