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Technical Paper

Effect of Test Section Configuration on Aerodynamic Drag Measurements

Aerodynamic measurements in automotive wind tunnels are degraded by test section interference effects, which increase with increasing vehicle blockage ratio. The current popularity of large vehicles (i.e. trucks and sport utility vehicles) makes this a significant issue. This paper describes the results of an experimental investigation carried out in support of the Ford/Sverdrup Driveability Test Facility (DTF), which includes an aero-acoustic wind tunnel (Wind Tunnel No. 8). The objective was to quantify the aerodynamic interference associated with two candidate test section configurations for Wind Tunnel No. 8-semi-open jet and slotted wall. The experiments were carried out at 1/11-scale in Sverdrup laboratories. Four automobile shapes (MIRA models) and six Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) shapes representing blockages from 7% to 25% were used to evaluate changes in measured aerodynamic coefficients for the two test section configurations.
Technical Paper

An Automotive Front-End Design Approach for Improved Aerodynamics and Cooling

With the increasing emphasis on and importance of aerodynamics on vehicle fuel economy and handling, conservative approaches to sizing front-end cooling openings based on projected radiator area need to be replaced by a performance-based method. The method would not only allow more flexibility in front-end styling, but would enable the design of the grille, cooling hardware and vehicle heat rejection requirements to be based on the cooling performance of the total vehicle. The reductions in cooling drag and front lift from smaller, but more functional, grille openings would improve vehicle fuel economy and handling. A performance-based front-end design approach is described in the paper along with some selected experimental results. The method is based on an experimental technique for simultaneously measuring the total radiator airflow and vehicle aerodynamic performance in an aerodynamic wind tunnel.
Technical Paper

CFD Application in Automotive Front-End Design

The front-end design process in the automotive industry today is time consuming and expensive. Although CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) modeling is helpful, many vehicle development tests in different wind tunnels are still required to balance the competing requirements of power train cooling, vehicle aerodynamics, climate control, styling, body structure, and product cost. For example, engine cooling and climate control heat exchangers require adequate airflow to achieve their performance. But, this airflow increases cooling drag and can compromise vehicle handling. Internal air deflectors (ducting) are often used to make the frontal opening more efficient and help prevent heat recirculation from the hot engine compartment to the A/C condenser at idle. But this increases product cost and can compromise underhood temperature. A more efficient and faster process is needed to support these trade-off discussions.
Technical Paper

Wake Structures of Rectangular Bodies with Radiused Edges Near a Plane Surface

Almost all published results of wake measurements for ground vehicles or similar shapes have included very limited information on streamwise development of wake structures. This is typically a result of the fact that the wake measurements have been conducted as parts of particular vehicle development efforts. So the focus has been on the incremental changes in the wakes associated with alternative geometries or buildup of various parts. The objectives are typically reached by limiting the surveys to a single streamwise plane. The present study, by contrast, is a study of wake development for a series of relatively simple rectangular shapes with radiused edges with a systematic variation in the ratio of height to width or “Aspect Ratio”.
Technical Paper

Development of Lift and Drag Corrections for Open Jet Wind Tunnel Tests for an Extended Range of Vehicle Shapes

Wind Tunnel 8 of the Driveability Test Facility (DTF), which achieved full operational status in 2001, is designed to provide full powertrain, aerodynamic, and aero-acoustic test capabilities for automotive product development. In order for it to be fully integrated into product testing, the Ford product engineering community needed to correlate the facility. The major objective of the correlation is quantitative aerodynamic correlation, which will be achieved when aerodynamic coefficients measured in Wind Tunnel 8 can be understood in the context of aerodynamic measurements obtained in other wind tunnels that Ford has used for product testing. The motivation for this study is the aerodynamic interference that is present in all wind tunnels. Aerodynamic interference is the deviation between the true result—which is difficult to determine—and the actual result obtained from the wind tunnel.
Technical Paper

Uncertainty Analysis of Aerodynamic Coefficients in an Automotive Wind Tunnel

This paper presents an uncertainty analysis of aerodynamic force and moment coefficients for production vehicles in an automotive wind tunnel. The analysis uses a Monte Carlo numerical simulation technique. Emphasis is placed on defining the elemental random and systematic uncertainties from the tunnel’s instrumentation, understanding how they propagate through the data reduction equations and under what conditions specific elemental error sources are or are not important, and how the approach to data reduction influences the overall uncertainties in the coefficients. The results of the analysis are used to address the issue of averaging time in the context of maintaining a maximum allowable uncertainty level. Also, a maximum error requirement in the vehicle’s installation is suggested to allow the use of rapid but approximate vehicle alignment methods without incurring errors that exceed the data uncertainty. Observed reproducibility results are presented spanning a 16 month period.
Technical Paper

The Driveability Test Facility Wind Tunnel No. 8

The Sverdrup Driveability Test Facility (DTF) represents a new type of partnership in automotive testing between a supplier (Sverdrup Technology) and an original equipment manufacturer (Ford Motor Company). The facility was designed and built by Sverdrup to Ford's specifications. It is also operated and maintained by Sverdrup, with Ford as its “anchor” client under a long-term lease-back arrangement. Test time that goes unused by Ford is made available to other customers. Wind Tunnel 8 (WT8) is one of the test facilities within the DTF, which includes two other climatic wind tunnels and several supporting test cells. This tunnel combines aerodynamic, acoustic, climatic, and powertrain capabilities within one facility. The airline was optimized during the design stage for the competing requirements of excellent flow quality, very low background noise, and climatic capability.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Drag of Engine-Cooling Airflow With External Interference

This report examines the aerodynamic drag and external interference of engine cooling airflow. Much of the report is on inlet interference, a subject that has not been discussed in automotive technical literature. It is called inlet spillage drag, a term used in the aircraft industry to describe the change in inlet drag with engine airflow. The analysis shows that the reduction in inlet spillage drag, from the closed front-end reference condition, is the primary reason why cooling drag measurements are lower than would be expected from free stream momentum considerations. In general, the free stream momentum (or ram drag) is the upper limit and overstates the cooling drag penalty. An analytical expression for cooling drag is introduced to help the understanding and interpretation of cooling drag measurements, particularly the interference at the inlet and exit.