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Technical Paper

Validation Studies for an Advanced Aerodynamic Development Process of Cab-Over Type Heavy Trucks

The implementation of an advanced process for the aerodynamic development of cab-over type heavy trucks at China FAW Group Corporation (FAW) requires a rigorous validation of the tools employed in this process. The final objective of the aerodynamic optimization of a heavy truck is the reduction of the fuel consumption. The aerodynamic drag of a heavy truck contributes up to 50% of the overall resistance and thus fuel consumption. An accurate prediction of the aerodynamic drag under real world driving conditions is therefore very important. Tools used for the aerodynamic development of heavy trucks include Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), wind tunnels and track and road testing methods. CFD and wind tunnels are of particular importance in the early phase development.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Simulation of a Standalone Rotating Treaded Tire

The aerodynamics of a rotating tire can contribute up to a third of the overall aerodynamic force on the vehicle. The flow around a rotating tire is very complex and is often affected by smallest tire features. Accurate prediction of vehicle aerodynamics therefore requires modeling of tire rotation including all geometry details. Increased simulation accuracy is motivated by the needs emanating from stricter new regulations. For example, the upcoming Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) will place more emphasis on vehicle performance at higher speeds. The reason for this is to bring the certified vehicle characteristics closer to the real-world performance. In addition, WLTP will require reporting of CO2 emissions for all vehicle derivatives, including all possible wheel and tire variants. Since the number of possible derivatives can run into the hundreds for most models, their evaluation in wind tunnels might not be practically possible.
Technical Paper

CFD Water Management Design for a Passenger Coach with Correlation

Side window clarity and its effect on side mirror visibility plays a major role in driver comfort. Driving in inclement weather conditions such as rain can be stressful, and having optimal visibility under these conditions is ideal. However, extreme conditions can overwhelm exterior water management devices, resulting in rivulets of water flowing over the a-pillar and onto the vehicle’s side glass. Once on the side glass, these rivulets and the pooling of water they feed, can significantly impair the driver’s ability to see the side mirror and to see outwardly when in situations such as changing lanes. Designing exterior water management features of a vehicle is a challenging exercise, as traditionally, physical testing methods first require a full-scale vehicle for evaluations to be possible. Additionally, common water management devices such as grooves and channels often have undesirable aesthetic, drag, and wind noise implications.
Technical Paper

CFD Comparison with Wind-Tunnel for a Class 8 Tractor-Trailer

Recent regulations on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles have prompted government agencies to standardize procedures assessing the aerodynamic performance of Class 8 tractor-trailers. The coastdown test procedure is the primary reference method employed to assess vehicle drag currently, while other valid alternatives include constant speed testing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, and wind tunnel testing. The main purpose of this paper is to compare CFD simulations with a corresponding 1/8th scale wind tunnel test. Additionally, this paper will highlight the impacts of wind tunnel testing on the total drag coefficient performance as compared to full scale open road analysis with and without real world, upstream turbulence wind conditions. All scale model testing and CFD simulations were performed on a class 8 tractor with a standard 53-foot dry-box trailer. The wind tunnel testing was performed in the Auto Research Center (ARC) wind tunnel.
Technical Paper

Improved CFD Methodology for Class 8 Tractor-Trailer Coastdown Correlation

Recent regulations on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for heavy duty vehicles have prompted government agencies to standardize procedures to assess aerodynamic performance of Class 8 tractor-trailers. The coastdown test procedure is the primary reference method to assess vehicle drag and other valid alternatives include wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. While there have been many published studies comparing results between simulations and wind tunnel testing, it is less well understood how to compare results with coastdown testing. Both the wind tunnel and simulation directly measure aerodynamic drag forces in controlled conditions, while coastdown testing is conducted in an open road environment, aerodynamic forces are calculated from a road load equation, and variable wind and vehicle speed introduce additional complexity.
Journal Article

Modelling A-Pillar Water Overflow: Developing CFD and Experimental Methods

Water accumulating on a vehicle's wind screen, driven over the A-pillar by a combination of aerodynamic forces and the action of the windscreen wipers, can be a significant impediment to driver vision. Surface water film, or streams, persisting in key vision areas of the side glass can impair the drivers' ability to see clearly through to the door mirror, and laterally onto junctions. Common countermeasures include: water management channels and hydrophobic glass coatings. Water management channels have both design and wind noise implications. Hydrophobic coatings entail significant cost. In order to manage this design optimisation issue a water film and wiper effect model has been developed in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover, extending the capabilities of the PowerFLOW CFD software. This is complimented by a wind-tunnel based test method for development and validation. The paper presents the progress made to date.
Journal Article

Combined Analysis of Cooling Airflow and Aerodynamic Drag for a Class 8 Tractor Trailer Combination

Long haul tractor design in the future will be challenged by freight efficiency standards and emission legislations. Along with any improvements in aerodynamics, this will also require additional cooling capacity to handle the increased heat rejection from next generation engines, waste heat recovery and exhaust gas recirculation systems. Fan engagement will also have to be minimized under highway conditions to maximize fuel economy. These seemingly contradictory requirements will require design optimization via analysis techniques capable of predicting both the aerodynamic drag and engine cooling airflow accurately. This study builds on previous work [1] using a Lattice Boltzmann based computational method on a Volvo VNL tractor trailer combination. Simulation results are compared to tests conducted at National Research Council (NRC) Canada's wind tunnel.
Journal Article

Numerical Simulations and Measurements of Mirror-Induced Wind Noise

The high cost and competitive nature of automotive product development necessitates the search for less expensive and faster methods of predicting vehicle performance. Continual improvements in High Performance Computing (HPC) and new computational schemes allow for the digital evaluation of vehicle comfort parameters including wind noise. Recently, the commercially available Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code PowerFlow, was evaluated for its accuracy in predicting wind noise generated by an external automotive tow mirror. This was accomplished by running simulations of several mirror configurations, choosing the quietest mirror based on the predicted performance, prototyping it, and finally, confirming the prediction with noise measurements taken in an aeroacoustic wind tunnel. Two testing methods, beam-forming and direct noise measurements, were employed to correlate the physical data with itself before correlating with simulation.