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Technical Paper

The Effects of Wheel Design on the Aerodynamic Drag of Passenger Vehicles

Approximately 25 % of a passenger vehicle’s aerodynamic drag comes directly or indirectly from its wheels, indicating that the rim geometry is highly relevant for increasing the vehicle’s overall energy efficiency. An extensive experimental study is presented where a parametric model of the rim design was developed, and statistical methods were employed to isolate the aerodynamic effects of certain geometric rim parameters. In addition to wind tunnel force measurements, this study employed the flowfield measurement techniques of wake surveys, wheelhouse pressure measurements, and base pressure measurements to investigate and explain the most important parameters’ effects on the flowfield. In addition, a numerical model of the vehicle with various rim geometries was developed and used to further elucidate the effects of certain geometric parameters on the flow field.
Technical Paper

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

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

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

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.
Journal Article

A Computational Investigation of Ground Simulation for a Saloon Car

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

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

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

Investigation of the Influence of Tyre Geometry on the Aerodynamics of Passenger Cars

It is well known that wheels are responsible for a significant amount of the total aerodynamic drag of passenger vehicles. Tyres, and mostly rims, have been the subject of research in the automotive industry for the past years, but their effect and interaction with each other and with the car exterior is still not completely understood. This paper focuses on the use of CFD to study the effects of tyre geometry (tyre profile and tyre tread) on road vehicle aerodynamics. Whenever possible, results of the numerical computations are compared with experiments. More than sixty configurations were simulated. These simulations combined different tyre profiles, treads, rim designs and spoke orientation on two car types: a sedan and a sports wagon. Two tyre geometries were obtained directly from the tyre manufacturer, while a third geometry was obtained from our database and represents a generic tyre which covers different profiles of a given tyre size.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Transient Compressible Gas Jets Using High Speed Schlieren Imaging

Transient compressible gas jets, as encountered in direct injection gas fuel engines, have been examined using Schlieren visualization. Helium has been injected into air in a pressure chamber to create the jets examined. The structure of the jets is studied from the mean and coefficient of variation of the penetration length, jet width and jet angle. The quantities are calculated by digital image processing of Schlieren images captured with a high-speed camera. Injection pressure and chamber pressure have been varied to determine whether they have an effect on the response variables. Design of experiments methods have been used to develop the scheme employed in performing the experiments. The mean normalized penetration length of the jets is found to scale with injection to chamber pressure ratio and is in agreement with a momentum conserving relation given in the literature. The dispersion of the penetration length has been found to be in agreement with a normal distribution.
Technical Paper

Effect of Semi-Active Front Axle Suspension Design on Vehicle Comfort and Road Holding for a Heavy Truck

Semi-active suspension systems for ground vehicles have been the focus of research for several years as they offer improvements in vehicle comfort and handling. This kind of suspension has attracted more interest compared to active suspension systems especially due to lower cost and energy consumption. In this paper the capabilities of a semi-active front axle suspension are investigated for a commercial vehicle. A half-truck model of a 4x2 tractor and semitrailer combination is developed in Matlab/Simulink for this purpose. Also, a 2 DOF roll plane model is considered to capture the roll motion of the vehicle body mass. Employing the above-mentioned models, results from on-off and continuous variable semi-active damping systems are compared to the ones from the passive suspension system according to ride comfort and handling safety characteristics.
Technical Paper

Interaction of Downforce Generating Devices and Cooling Air Flow - A Numerical and Experimental Study on Open Wheeled Race Cars

This study reflects on two areas of vehicle aerodynamics, optimising cooling performance and features that will improve the handling of the car. Both areas will have a significant impact on the overall performance of the car and at the same time these areas are linked to each other. The considered vehicle in this study was the Chalmers Formula Student 2011 Formula SAE car and the flow field was analysed using both numerical simulations as well as performing wind tunnel experiments on a 1:3-scale model of the car. The focus on increasing downforce without increasing the aerodynamic drag is particularly good in Formula SAE since fuel economy is an event at the competition. Therefore, the intention of this work is to present a study on how undertrays with different design such as added foot plates, diffuser and strakes can improve the downforce and reduce the drag.
Technical Paper

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

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

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

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

Improving the Cooling Airflow of an Open Wheeled Race Car

In this case study the cooling airflow of an existing open wheeled racecar has been improved with the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics. The race team in context had at several occasions experienced overheating of their racecar and was looking for ways to improve the cooling performance without changing the bodywork radically. As the car is used for autocross events on tight and twisty courses it spends most of a lap in yawed condition. Therefore, a novel approach was taken to model these yawed conditions with the numerical method. The simulation was based on the fully detailed race car. Through the study it was possible to locate problem areas, and hence, give indications to where the bodywork should be modified. With subtle changes to the bodywork the cooling performance of the car was significantly improved and the drag kept at the same level.
Technical Paper

The Role of Aerodynamics in the 1955 Le Mans Crash

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.
Technical Paper

A Process Membership Service for Active Safety Systems

This paper describes a process membership protocol for distributed real-time systems that use both time-triggered and event-triggered message passing for communication between its processing nodes (ECUs). TTCAN and FlexRay are examples of communication networks that support such systems. The membership protocol supports redundancy management in architectures where distributed applications such as braking, stability control, and collision mitigation share a common set of processing nodes. We assume that each such application consists of several processes executing on different nodes and that each node executes processes belonging to different applications. The protocol allows a group of co-operating processes to establish a consistent view of each other's operational status, i.e. whether they function correctly or not.
Technical Paper

Identifying Time-Consuming Human Modelling Tool Activities

The aim of this study was to identify and measure time-consuming human modelling tool activities. Five human modelling tool users at Volvo were observed for five days each. The results showed a wide distribution of both indirect and direct working tasks, as well as non-value added tasks such as waiting time. Most of the activities identified appear to be necessary to perform human modelling simulations of high quality. However, the time distribution could be questioned to some extent. There are many activities associated with communication, including a variety of contacts and meetings, where there appears to be potential to increase efficiency.
Technical Paper

CFD Modelling of Gasoline Sprays

A comprehensive model for sprays emerging from high pressure swirl injectors for GDI engine application has been developed. The primary and secondary atomization mechanism as well as the evaporation process both in standard and superheated conditions are taken into account. The spray modelling after the injection is based on the Liquid Instability Sheet Atomization (LISA) approach, modified to correctly predict the liquid sheet thickness at the breakup length. The effect of different values of the superheat degree on evaporation and impact on the spray distribution and fuel-air mixing is analyzed. Comparisons with experimental data show good agreements under atmospheric conditions and with different superheated degrees, while some discrepancies occur under higher ambient pressures.
Technical Paper

Location of the First Auto-Ignition Sites for Two HCCI Systems in a Direct Injection Engine

To elucidate the processes controlling the auto-ignition timing and overall combustion duration in homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engines, the distribution of the auto-ignition sites, in both space and time, was studied. The auto-ignition locations were investigated using optical diagnosis of HCCI combustion, based on laser induced fluorescence (LIF) measurements of formaldehyde in an optical engine with fully variable valve actuation. This engine was operated in two different modes of HCCI. In the first, auto-ignition temperatures were reached by heating the inlet air, while in the second, residual mass from the previous combustion cycle was trapped using a negative valve overlap. The fuel was introduced directly into the combustion chamber in both approaches. To complement these experiments, 3-D numerical modeling of the gas exchange and compression stroke events was done for both HCCI-generating approaches.
Technical Paper

A Diesel Engine Model, including Compression Brake for, Powertrain Control

A diesel engine model, designed for studying events during automated gear shifting in a heavy duty truck is presented. It will be used for developing and evaluating powertrain control strategies. The deceleration in engine speed to the new synchronous speed, during an upshift, is of special intereset. The straightforward approach is to cut fuel and wait for the engine to slow down due to friction and pumping losses. In many cases, this approach is too slow, and the engine compression brake needs to be activated. The engine model, assuming quasi-steady, bidirectional thermodynamic flow with constant specific heat capacities, is implemented using Modelica. A simple model of the hydraulic circuit that governs the activation of the compression brake mode is incorporated in the model. Problems related to the simulation of the engine brake systems are discussed. They are handled by empirical correction factors. Measurements from rapid engine speed decelerations are used for verification.