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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.
Technical Paper

Long Term Transient Cooling of Heavy Vehicle Cabin Compartments

A newly developed simulation methodology for a long term, transient tractor cabin cool-down is presented in this paper. The air flow was simulated using a Lattice-Boltzmann Equation (LBE) based 3-dimensional flow solver. The conduction and radiation effects on the solid parts as well as the average cabin air temperature evolution were solved by the thermal solver, which also includes a human comfort model. The simulation results were compared with the measured experimental test data and good agreement was observed validating the developed simulation approach. The developed methodology can be applied to all other ground vehicles cabin comfort applications.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Study of a Production Tractor Trailer Combination using Simulation and Wind Tunnel Methods

The importance of fuel economy and emission standards has increased rapidly with high fuel costs and new environmental regulations. This requires analysis techniques capable of designing the next generation long-haul truck to improve both fuel efficiency and cooling. In particular, it is important to have a predictive design tool to assess how exterior design changes impact aerodynamic performance. This study evaluates the use of a Lattice Boltzmann based numerical simulation and the National Research Council (NRC) Canada's wind tunnel to assess aerodynamic drag on a production Volvo VNL tractor-trailer combination. Comparisons are made between the wind tunnel and simulation to understand the influence of wind tunnel conditions on truck aerodynamic performance. The production VNL testing includes a full range of yaw angles to demonstrate the influence of cross wind on aerodynamic drag.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Simulations of a Generic Tractor-Trailer: Validation and Analysis of Unsteady Aerodynamics

Aerodynamic simulations of a 1:8-scale simplified tractor-trailer, designated as the Generic Conventional Model (GCM), were conducted using a Lattice-Boltzmann based solver. Comparisons were made to experimental measurements from the NASA Ames 12-Foot Pressure Wind Tunnel, including drag coefficients as a function of yaw, static and transient surface pressures, and three-component particle image velocimetry. The baseline model configuration was tested at yaw angles from 0 to 12 degrees, allowing the calculation of the wind-averaged drag coefficient. Results demonstrated that the simulation predicted body-axis drag within experimental uncertainty and also resolved the correct pressure distribution and flow structure in the separated flow regions including the tractor-trailer gap and trailer wake regions. The comparison of the experimental transient pressure spectra showed good agreement with the simulation results, both in magnitude and identification of dominant spectral peaks.
Technical Paper

Under-hood Thermal Simulation of a Class 8 Truck

A validation study was performed comparing the simulation results of the Lattice-Boltzmann Equation (LBE) based flow solver, PowerFLOW®, to cooling cell measurements conducted at Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA). The experimental conditions were reproduced in the simulations including dynamometer cell geometry, fully detailed under-hood, and external tractor geometry. Interactions between the air flow and heat exchangers were modeled through a coupled simulation with the 1D-tool, PowerCOOL™, to solve for engine coolant and charge air temperatures. Predicted temperatures at the entry and exit plane of the radiator and charge-air-cooler were compared to thermocouple measurements. In addition, a detailed flow analysis was performed to highlight regions of fan shroud loss and cooling airflow recirculation. This information was then used to improve cooling performance in a knowledge-based incremental design process.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Simulations of a Class 8 Heavy Truck: Comparison to Wind Tunnel Results and Investigation of Blockage Influences

The accuracy of the Lattice-Boltzmann based simulation method for prediction of aerodynamic drag on a heavy truck was evaluated by comparing results to twenty percent scale model wind tunnel measurements from the University of Washington Aeronautical Laboratory (UWAL). A detailed preproduction Kenworth T2000 tractor trailer was used as the scale model. The results include a comparison of normalized drag between simulation and wind tunnel as well as percentage drag change with the addition of a radius to the rear edge of the trailer. Significant effort was involved to model all of the wind tunnel details affecting the tractor-trailer drag. These are discussed along with the results of additional simulations which were performed to study the impact of the UWAL tunnel geometry relative to a tunnel with the same blockage and constant cross-sectional area, and a case with negligible blockage.
Technical Paper

Simulation of Class 8 Truck Cooling System: Comparison to Experiment under Different Engine Operation Conditions

More stringent heavy vehicle emissions legislation demands considerably higher performance for engine cooling systems. This paper presents a study of cooling airflow for a Freightliner Class 8 truck. The predicted radiator coolant inlet and charge-air-cooler outlet temperatures are in very good agreement with the measured data. The under hood flow behavior is described and potential areas of improvement leading to better cooling airflow performance are highlighted. The airflow simulation approach is based on the Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM) and is described in detail. It is shown that the presented simulation approach can provide accurate predictions of cooling airflow and coolant temperature across different fan speeds.