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Technical Paper

Investigations of the Rear-End Flow Structures on a Sedan Car

2016-04-05
2016-01-1606
The aerodynamic drag, fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions, of a road vehicle depend strongly on its flow structures and the pressure drag generated. The rear end flow which is an area of complex three-dimensional flow structures, contributes to the wake development and the overall aerodynamic performance of the vehicle. This paper seeks to provide improved insight into this flow region to better inform future drag reduction strategies. Using experimental and numerical techniques, two vehicle shapes have been studied; a 30% scale model of a Volvo S60 representing a 2003MY vehicle and a full scale 2010MY S60. First the surface topology of the rear end (rear window and trunk deck) of both configurations is analysed, using paint to visualise the skin friction pattern. By means of critical points, the pattern is characterized and changes are identified studying the location and type of the occurring singularities.
Technical Paper

Surface Flow Visualization on a Full-Scale Passenger Car with Quantitative Tuft Image Processing

2016-04-05
2016-01-1582
Flow visualization techniques are widely used in aerodynamics to investigate the surface trace pattern. In this experimental investigation, the surface flow pattern over the rear end of a full-scale passenger car is studied using tufts. The movement of the tufts is recorded with a DSLR still camera, which continuously takes pictures. A novel and efficient tuft image processing algorithm has been developed to extract the tuft orientations in each image. This allows the extraction of the mean tuft angle and other such statistics. From the extracted tuft angles, streamline plots are created to identify points of interest, such as saddle points as well as separation and reattachment lines. Furthermore, the information about the tuft orientation in each time step allows studying steady and unsteady flow phenomena. Hence, the tuft image processing algorithm provides more detailed information about the surface flow than the traditional tuft method.
Journal Article

Structures of Flow Separation on a Passenger Car

2015-04-14
2015-01-1529
The phenomenon of three-dimensional flow separation is and has been in the focus of many researchers. An improved understanding of the physics and the driving forces is desired to be able to improve numerical simulations and to minimize aerodynamic drag over bluff bodies. To investigate the sources of separation one wants to understand what happens at the surface when the flow starts to detach and the upwelling of the streamlines becomes strong. This observation of a flow leaving the surface could be captured by investigating the limiting streamlines and surface parameters as pressure, vorticity or the shear stress. In this paper, numerical methods are used to investigate the surface pressure and flow patterns on a sedan passenger vehicle. Observed limiting streamlines are compared to the pressure distribution and their correlation is shown. For this investigation the region behind the antenna and behind the wheel arch, are pointed out and studied in detail.
Technical Paper

A 1D Method for Transient Simulations of Cooling Systems with Non-Uniform Temperature and Flow Boundaries Extracted from a 3D CFD Solution

2015-04-14
2015-01-0337
The current work investigates a method in 1D modeling of cooling systems including discretized cooling package with non-uniform boundary conditions. In a stacked cooling package the heat transfer through each heat exchanger depends on the mass flows and temperature fields. These are a result of complex three-dimensional phenomena, which take place in the under-hood and are highly non-uniform. A typical approach in 1D simulations is to assume these to be uniform, which reduces the authenticity of the simulation and calls for additional calibrations, normally done with input from test measurements. The presented work employs 3D CFD simulations of complete vehicle in STAR-CCM+ to perform a comprehensive study of mass-flow and thermal distribution over the inlet of the cooling package of a Volvo FM commercial vehicle in several steady-state operating points.
Technical Paper

Effect of Rear-End Extensions on the Aerodynamic Forces of an SUV

2014-04-01
2014-01-0602
Under a global impulse for less man-made emissions, the automotive manufacturers search for innovative methods to reduce the fuel consumption and hence the CO2-emissions. Aerodynamics has great potential to aid the emission reduction since aerodynamic drag is an important parameter in the overall driving resistance force. As vehicles are considered bluff bodies, the main drag source is pressure drag, caused by the difference between front and rear pressure. Therefore increasing the base pressure is a key parameter to reduce the aerodynamic drag. From previous research on small-scale and full-scale vehicles, rear-end extensions are known to have a positive effect on the base pressure, enhancing pressure recovery and reducing the wake area. This paper investigates the effect of several parameters of these extensions on the forces, on the surface pressures of an SUV in the Volvo Cars Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel and compares them with numerical results.
Journal Article

A Computational Investigation of Ground Simulation for a Saloon Car

2014-04-01
2014-01-0615
Automotive aerodynamics measurements and simulations now routinely use a moving ground and rotating wheels (MVG&RW), which is more representative of on-road conditions than the fixed ground-fixed wheel (FG&FW) alternative. This can be understood as a combination of three elements: (a) moving ground (MVG), (b) rotating front wheels (RWF) and (c) rotating rear wheels (RWR). The interaction of these elements with the flow field has been explored to date by mainly experimental means. This paper presents a mainly computational (CFD) investigation of the effect of RWF and RWR, in combination with MVG, on the flow field around a saloon vehicle. The influence of MVG&RW is presented both in terms of a combined change from a FG&FW baseline and the incremental effects seen by the addition of each element separately. For this vehicle, noticeable decrease in both drag and rear lift is shown when adding MVG&RW, whereas front lift shows little change.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigations of the Base Wake on an SUV

2013-04-08
2013-01-0464
With the increase in fuel prices and the increasingly strict environmental legislations regarding CO₂ emissions, reduction of the total energy consumption of our society becomes more important. Passenger vehicles are partly responsible for this consumption due to their strong presence in the daily life of most people. Therefore reducing the impact of cars on the environment can assist in decreasing the overall energy consumption. Even though several fields have an impact on a passenger car's performance, this paper will focus on the aerodynamic part and more specifically, the wake behind a vehicle. By definition a car is a bluff body on which the air resistance is for the most part driven by pressure drag. This is caused by the wake these bodies create. Therefore analyzing the wake characteristics behind a vehicle is crucial if one would like to reduce drag.
Technical Paper

Influences of Different Front and Rear Wheel Designs on Aerodynamic Drag of a Sedan Type Passenger Car

2011-04-12
2011-01-0165
Efforts towards ever more energy efficient passenger cars have become one of the largest challenges of the automotive industry. This involves numerous different fields of engineering, and every finished model is always a compromise between different requirements. Passenger car aerodynamics is no exception; the shape of the exterior is often dictated by styling, engine bay region by packaging issues etcetera. Wheel design is also a compromise between different requirements such as aerodynamic drag and brake cooling, but as the wheels and wheel housings are responsible for up to a quarter of the overall aerodynamic drag on a modern passenger car, it is not surprising that efforts are put towards improving the wheel aerodynamics.
Technical Paper

Heavy Vehicle Wheel Housing Flows - a Parametric Study

2009-04-20
2009-01-1169
The drag from the underbody, including wheels and wheel housing, constitutes a significant amount of the total aerodynamic drag of heavy vehicles. A correct simulation of the underbody boundary conditions, including rotating wheels and moving ground, has turned out to be of great importance in the minimising of the aerodynamic drag. In the current study several front wheel housing design parameters have been evaluated using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Design concepts, like enclosed inner wheel housings, underbody panel and wheel housing ventilation, were evaluated by flow analysis and comparison of the drag force contribution. It was shown that changes to the wheel housing geometry had an important impact on the local flow field and force distribution. The total drag of the vehicle decreased with reduced wheel housing volume and wheel housing ventilation can reduce the aerodynamic drag significantly provided it is designed properly.
Journal Article

Detailed Flow Studies in Close Proximity of Rotating Wheels on a Passenger Car

2009-04-20
2009-01-0778
Moving ground systems with rotating wheels have been used in wind tunnel tests during the last decades. Several studies on the effects of rotating wheels and the importance of wheel aerodynamics have been published. It is well known that both the local flow field and the global aerodynamic forces are affected by rotation of the wheels. Different studies indicate that the most significant effect from rotating the wheels is interference effects between the rear wheels and the underbody and vehicle base [1], [2]. A detailed flow field investigation around the wheels in close proximity to the vehicle has been performed on a passenger car in the Volvo Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel. Two omnidirectional 12-hole pressure probes were traversed in a number of planes close to the wheels. Effects of changing different parameters such as ground simulation and rim geometry were investigated. The local flow field has been scrutinised and related to the global aerodynamic properties of the vehicle.
Technical Paper

The Role of Aerodynamics in the 1955 Le Mans Crash

2008-12-02
2008-01-2996
In the 1955 Le Mans race the worst crash in motor racing history occurred and this accident would change the face of motor racing for decades. After the crash numerous investigations on the disaster were performed, and fifty years after some interesting books were launched on the subject. However, a number of key questions remain unsolved; and one open area is the influence of aerodynamics on the scenario, since the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR involved in the crash was equipped with an air-brake and its influence on the accident is basically unknown. This work may be considered as a first attempt to establish CFD as a tool to aid in resolving aerodynamic aspects in motor sport accidents and in the present paper, CFD has been used to investigate the aerodynamics and estimate the drag and lift coefficients of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR used in the Le Mans race of 1955.
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