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Technical Paper

Transient Wind Noise

Wind noise sources are described including those from the A-pillar region, cavities and bluff bodies. Hydrodynamic pressure fluctuations results from flow separations (in such areas as the A-pillars and mirrors) that generate relatively broad band in-cabin noise. The influence on local radii of the A-pillar is outlined and shown to be a dominant factor in determining hydrodynamic pressure fluctuations in the side-glass regions. Small cavities (eg. styling or water management channels on the mirror casing) generate high-frequency acoustic tones that can also be heard in the cabin and an example of tones from a whistling mirror cavity is shown. A spectrogram of in-cabin noise obtained whilst driving in strong winds is used to illustrate the variability of noise that can be heard on-road and to consider the influence of the relative wind speed.
Technical Paper

Reduced Warm-Up and Recovery of the Exhaust and Coolant Heat with a Single Loop Turbo Steamer Integrated with the Engine Architecture in a Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The paper considers a novel waste heat recovery (WHR) system integrated with the engine architecture in a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) platform. The novel WHR system uses water as the working media and recovers both the internal combustion engine coolant and exhaust energy in a single loop. Results of preliminary simulations show a 6% better fuel economy over the cold start UDDS cycle only considering the better fuel usage with the WHR after the quicker warm-up but neglecting the reduced friction losses for the warmer temperatures over the full cycle.
Journal Article

Aerodynamic Structure and Development of Formula 1 Racing Car Wakes

For the modern Formula 1 racing car, the degradation in aerodynamic performance when following another car is well documented. The problem can be broken into two parts; firstly the wake flow generated by these vehicles and the subsequent interaction a following car has with this field. Previous research [1, 2 & 3] has focused upon investigating the later without completely characterizing the former. This paper seeks to address this deficiency with initial data from a newly commissioned 30% scale Formula One wind tunnel model built to the 2011 technical regulations. Experimentation was carried out in the Industrial Wind-Tunnel (IWT) at RMIT University. In the absence of a rolling road an elevated ground plane was implemented; the results obtained show good agreement with the limited published material available. Using a high frequency response, four-hole pressure probe the aft body flow was investigated at multiple downstream locations.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Upstream Turbulence on an Exposed Wheel Wake

As open-wheeled racing cars frequently race in close proximity, a limiting factor on the ability to overtake is the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle while operating in a leading car's wake. Whilst various studies have examined the effectiveness of wings operating in turbulent flow, there has been limited research undertaken on the aerodynamic effect of such conditions on wheels. This study describes the influence of upstream turbulence on the wake flow features of an isolated wheel, since the flow field of a wheel will generally be turbulent (due to the wakes of upstream cars and/or bodywork). Pressure distributions and velocity vector plots are examined, which were obtained using a four-hole pressure-sensitive Cobra probe on a traverse 2.5 diameters downstream of the wheel axle line, in smooth and turbulent flow.
Technical Paper

Green Racing; Solar and FSAE

Green racing technologies are described with a focus on two categories of sustainable racing; solar racing, including an overview of the World Solar Challenge (WSC) held in Australia, and Formula SAE-E (Society of Automotive Engineers-Electric). Both types of cars utilise sustainably generated electricity, the former uses solar arrays integrated into the vehicle body and the latter electricity generated from a renewable energy park and stored onboard in lithium polymer cells. The design considerations of both vehicles are contrasted with a focus on energy usage minimisation. The Aurora team (which has broken many records, including winning the World Solar Challenge across Australia) is used to illustrate the importance of minimizing the power requirements by having a low aerodynamic drag, frontal area, a highly efficient powertrain and low rolling resistance. To illustrate the technology behind FSAE Electric the R10E car from RMIT is described.
Technical Paper

Wind-Tunnel and On-Road Wind Noise: Comparison and Replication

A KIA Soul was instrumented to measure the relative velocity (magnitude and yaw angle) at the front of the vehicle and in-cabin sound at a location close to the side glass near the A-pillar vortex impingement. Tests were conducted at a proving ground under a range of conditions from low wind conditions (~3 m/s) to moderate (7-8 m/s) wind speeds. For any given set of atmospheric conditions the velocity and sound data at any given position on the proving ground were noted to be very repeatable, indicating that the local wakes dominated the "turbulent" velocity field. Testing was also conducted in an aeroacoustic wind tunnel in smooth flow and with a number of novel turbulence generating methods. The resulting sounds were analyzed to study the modulation at frequencies likely to result in fluctuation strength type noise.
Technical Paper

Design of a Morphing Bi-Stable Composite Air Intake

A morphing ram-air intake, capable of deploying from a flat, closed surface to an open state is investigated. Via geometric and material optimisation, an origami-inspired folding structure is developed to exhibit bi-stable behaviour. An iterative finite element design process was conducted, noting the effects of the critical design properties of geometry, bending stiffness and material strain limits on bi-stability and the achievable geometric shape change. As a first step, thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer materials are proposed while increased stiffness by fibre reinforcements are considered at a later design stage and evaluated under aerodynamic loading. The bi-stable structure is capable of remaining in either open or closed stable configurations without sustained actuation. The ability to retract the intake when not required has the potential to reduce drag. It is envisioned that such a concept may be readily adopted within automotive and aerospace applications.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Rear Slant Angle on Vehicle Wakes and Implications for Platoons

Future Generation Intelligent Transport Systems (FGITS) will likely implement solutions to increase traffic density and thus throughput on existing infrastructures. Platooning (e.g. the close coupling of vehicles) may be a prominent feature of this solution, placing an understanding of near wake flows paramount to the FGITS case. However the notion of vehicles spaced at greater intervals is not only more commonly associated with present day conditions; it is furthermore characteristic of mixed-fleet conditions. These are likely to span the significant era between present day and complete FGITS fleets. Thus, far wake flows are similarly relevant. Near and far wake analysis of a variable geometry Ahmed Model (a research form able to replicate structured wakes pertinent to practical vehicle flows) is used to explore relevant generic flow structures.
Technical Paper

Reduced Drag and Adequate Cooling for Passenger Vehicles Using Variable Area Front Air Intakes

Engine cooling systems are usually designed to meet two rare and extreme conditions; driving at maximum speed and driving up a specified gradient at full throttle while towing a trailer of maximum permitted mass. At all other times, the cooling system operates below its maximum capacity with an incurred drag penalty. In this work it is being suggested to design the system using the existing methods and then vary the area of the cooling air intakes to permit the minimum amount of cooling air for adequate engine cooling. A full-size, Australian made Ford Falcon car (a large modern 'family' saloon) was tested at the Monash University Aero-acoustic Wind Tunnel. The cooling air intakes of the vehicle were shielded progressively until fully blocked. Four different possibilities of shielding were investigated with the aim of determining the variation of drag reduction with the shielding method employed.
Technical Paper

Design of Adaptive Airfoil Control for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles using Smart Materials

Smart material is a suitable candidate for adaptive airfoil design as it can be customized to generate a specific response to a combination of inputs. Shape memory alloy (SMA) in particular is lightweight, produces high force and large deflection which makes it a suitable candidate for actuator in the adaptive airfoil design. By attaching SMA wires inside the airfoil, they can be activated to alter the shape of the airfoil. Placement of the actuator is crucial in obtaining the desired change of the airfoil camber. This paper proposed a design for the morphing wing aimed at changing the camber of the airfoil during cruise in order to increase the lift-to-drag ratio. Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis predicted the deformed airfoil geometry when the SMA wires were fully actuated. Numerical results are presented along with issues related to the fabrication of the morphing wing and implementation of the SMA actuator.
Technical Paper

The Unsteady Wind Environment of Road Vehicles, Part One: A Review of the On-road Turbulent Wind Environment

This paper is the first of two papers that address the simulation and effects of turbulence on surface vehicle aerodynamics. This, the first paper, focuses on the characteristics of the turbulent flow field encountered by a road vehicle. The natural wind environment is usually unsteady but is almost universally replaced by a smooth flow in both wind tunnel and computational domains. In this paper, the characteristics of turbulence in the relative-velocity co-ordinate system of a moving ground vehicle are reviewed, drawing on work from Wind Engineering experience. Data are provided on typical turbulence levels, probability density functions and velocity spectra to which vehicles are exposed. The focus is on atmospheric turbulence, however the transient flow field from the wakes of other road vehicles and roadside objects are also considered.
Technical Paper

The Unsteady Wind Environment of Road Vehicles, Part Two: Effects on Vehicle Development and Simulation of Turbulence

This paper summarises the effects of turbulence on the aerodynamics of road vehicles, including effects on forces and aero-acoustics. Data are presented showing that a different design of some vehicles may result when turbulent flow is employed. Methods for generating turbulence, focusing on physical testing in full-size wind tunnels, are discussed. The paper is Part Two of a review of turbulence and road vehicles. Part One (Cooper and Watkins, 2007) summarised the sources and nature of the turbulence experienced by surface vehicles.
Technical Paper

Pressure Fluctuations on Automotive Rear View Mirrors

The function of a rear view mirror is a determining factor in its shape - resulting in a flat rear mirrored face. The resulting bluff body generates unsteady base pressures which generate unsteady forces, leading to movement of the mirror surface and potential image blurring. The objective of this paper was to experimentally determine the fluctuating base pressure on a standard and modified mirror. Half a full-size vehicle was utilised, fixed to the side wall of a wind tunnel. A dynamically responsive multi channel pressure system was used to record the pressures. The modification to the mirror consisted of a series of extensions to the mirror rim, to see if this method would attenuate the fluctuating base pressures. It was found that increasing the length of the extension changed the pressure pattern across the face, and the over all magnitude of the fluctuations reduced with increasing length of extension. It was recommended to further the work via phase measurements.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Performance of Vehicles in Platoons: The Influence of Backlight Angles

Future generation road networks are intended to feature improved throughput and significantly reduced fleet energy consumption. ‘Platooning’ arranges moving vehicles in close longitudinal convoy, and is viewed as a core aspect of such technologies. The aerodynamic performance of platoons potentially allows increased traffic throughput and a useful energy reduction; however the magnitude of this reduction varies significantly with inter-vehicle spacing. For some vehicles in platoons under specific conditions, the resulting aerodynamic performance may actually worsen [2]. This work attempts to deconstruct relationships between two key vehicle geometries and their aerodynamic performance in platoons. A study of homogeneous and heterogeneous platoons using common reference models is presented.
Technical Paper

Noise Refinement Solutions for Vehicle HVAC Systems

Noise and vibration have important influence on customer's perception of vehicle quality. Research and development have been conducted to investigate the vehicle Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) noise generation and transmission mechanism. Noise and vibration comparison tests have been completed for the proposed refinement solutions. Testing results are discussed paying special attentions to the air borne noise reduction. One of interior noise major contributors is the HVAC system, as air handling unit of the HVAC system is located behind the vehicle instrument panel within the cabin. Modifications made to internal structural geometry of the system have been conducted to provide insight into the effect of each structural feature on the overall Sound Pressure Level (SPL) and frequency spectrum components.
Technical Paper

Periodic Structures within the Formation Region of Trailing Vortices

Water tow-tank tests were performed for the Ahmed model at a range of “high-drag” backlight angles at Reynolds numbers of up to 1.3 × 105. Dye was injected just upstream of the c-pillars and visualizations were recorded with a submerged CCD camera moving with the model. Discrete sub-vortices were found to be shed periodically along the length of the c-pillar at Strouhal numbers (based on square root of frontal area) between 8 and 12. These sub-vortices were observed to undergo vortex pairing and then to roll up into the familiar c-pillar vortices. These observations are consistent with previously published observations for delta wings. Wind tunnel tests were performed in order to provide Reynolds numbers of up to 1.6 × 106. These revealed some spectral features which could be due to the shedding and pairing of discrete vortices from the c-pillar but the evidence was much less conclusive than at low Reynolds number.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Vehicle HVAC Cabin Noise

Noise and vibration have an important influence on a customer's perception of vehicle quality and cabin interior noise levels are a key criteria. The interior sound levels of automobiles have been significantly reduced over the years, with reductions in power train, tire and external wind noise. One of the highest in-cabin noise levels now arises from heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, generated by the air-rush noise at various HVAC settings. Thus quieter climate control systems are desired by car manufacturers. A systematic benchmarking study was performed to investigate the in-cabin noise of vehicles. 21 passenger cars including compact, mid-size, full-size, and a truck were selected. Tests were conducted on relatively new production vehicles in various conditions. A binaural head system was used in front passenger seat to measure noise levels. The methodology used and the experimental results were presented in this paper.
Technical Paper

On The Causes of Image Blurring in External Rear View Mirrors

Effective rear view vision from external mirrors is compromised at high speed due to rotational vibration of the mirror glass. Possible causes of the mirror vibration are reviewed, including road inputs from the vehicle body and a variety of aerodynamic inputs. The latter included vibrations of the entire vehicle body, vibrations of the mirror “shell”, the turbulent flow field due to the A-pillar vortex (and to a lesser extent the approach flow) and base pressure fluctuations. Experiments are described that attempt to understand the relative influence of the causes of vibration, including road and tunnel tests with mirrors instrumented with micro accelerometers. At low frequencies, road inputs predominate, but some occur at such low frequencies that the human eye can track the moving image. At frequencies above about 20Hz the results indicate that at high speeds aerodynamics play a dominant role.
Technical Paper

Use of a Pressure-Based Technique for Evaluating the Aerodynamics of Vehicle Cooling Systems

A pressure-based technique has been developed for the purpose of radiator cooling airflow measurement. The technique was effectively utilised to quantify the local time-averaged air velocity through radiator cores in a small wind tunnel. The pressure difference indicated by the technique was found to be a function of the normal component of the air velocity. This paper describes the development and use of the technique which is compact, robust and non-intrusive. By applying this technique, the airflow distribution across the radiator face has been measured for a complete vehicle in an aerodynamic wind tunnel and in an environmental chamber. Results are compared for the different test environments. The influence of airflow distribution on the Specific Dissipation (a parameter used for evaluating radiator cooling performance) is examined and results for propeller-based methods and pressure-based methods are compared.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Testing of a Vented Disc Brake

Many attempts have been made to improve automotive brake cooling by increasing the pumping action of vented brake rotors, both experimentally and using computational fluid dynamics. Testing of these improvements has occurred by measuring the airflow at the outlet of a rotating brake rotor in still air, however this is a vastly different environment to the actual working condition of the rotor. Airflow around the rotor, as a result of the forward movement of the vehicle, will have a considerable effect on its pumping ability. In this paper a comparison is made between the measured airflow through a straight-vane vented disc: (1) isolated disc still air; (2) disc in still air with the wheel on; (3) disc in moving air with the wheel on; and (4) on road simulation using a ¼ car. Both time-averaged and real-time measurements are presented. In the still air tests results showed a linear relationship between rotational velocity and airflow through the disc.