Refine Your Search

Search Results

Technical Paper

An Estimation of the Unsteady Aerodynamic Loads on a Road Vehicle in Windy Conditions

Road vehicles operate almost entirely in the unsteady conditions created by the natural wind and the wakes of other vehicles. This is a time dependent and turbulent environment, which differs noticeably from the conditions simulated in the wind tunnel. Using a quasi-steady analysis the aerodynamic characteristics, as determined from wind tunnel tests, are used to derive the unsteady aerodynamic loads experienced by a typical road vehicle subjected to a random wind input. For this paper the wind energy spectrum is of the von Karman type and isotropic turbulence is assumed. The effects of vehicle speed, wind speed and wind direction on lift and side force spectra are presented.
Technical Paper

A Novel Test Rig for the Aerodynamic Development of a Door Mirror

Door mirrors have a small but measurable contribution to the overall aerodynamic drag of a road vehicle. Typically for passenger cars and SUVs this is in the range 2.5–5%. It can be difficult to refine the shape of door mirrors as the improvements are, sometimes, too small to measure with any accuracy. A test rig has been developed which allows a full size door mirror to be tested in a model wind tunnel facility, which has better balance resolution, where the mirror is mounted to a partial vehicle body. This also results in a faster and cheaper method to develop shapes for door mirrors. The rig is described and the initial correlation tests presented. The limitations of the rig and some further applications are discussed.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Backlight Aspect Ratio on Vortex and Base Drag for a Simple Car-Like Shape

The vortex structure in the wake of a car creates drag. In the case of a simple wing this drag component is well defined as a function of lift, but for road vehicles the relationship is more complex. The backlight surface has been shown to be a significant source of vortex drag and in this paper the influence of backlight aspect ratio on both vortex and base drag is investigated. The vortex drag factor is found to be independent of aspect ratio, while the base drag component is shown to be dependent on the ratio of base to frontal area.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Aerodynamic Lift on High Speed Stability

The effect of aerodynamic lift on both straight line stability and lane change manoeuvrability of several small and medium sized European passenger cars has been determined from subjective track tests. The straight line and manoeuvring performance degrades with increasing lift and decreasing pitching moment. Increasing speed exacerbates the problem.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Ground Condition on the Flow Around a Wheel Located Within a Wheelhouse Cavity

A 3D Navier-Stokes CFD model of a wheel located within a wheelhouse cavity has been produced. Both a stationary wheel on a fixed ground and a rotating wheel on a moving ground were considered. Extensive comparisons with the results of a wind tunnel investigation based on the same geometry are presented. These consist of three force coefficients and pressures on the internal faces of the cavity. Comparison with the experimental results gave encouraging agreement. It was found that the rotating wheel produced more drag than the stationary wheel whilst shroud drag decreased when the groundplane was moving compared to when it was stationary.
Technical Paper

Transient Aerodynamic Characteristics of Simple Vehicle Shapes by the Measurement of Surface Pressures

Transient force and surface pressure data has been measured on a range of simple geometric shapes in order to gain an understanding of the complex time dependent and separated flow around a vehicle when subjected to a crosswind. The experiments were carried out using the Cranfield University model crosswind facility. It is found that the leeward face is the dominant area of transient activity. Maximum and minimum peak yawing moments at gust entry and exit are compared
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Drag of a Compact SUV as Measured On-Road and in the Wind Tunnel

Growing concerns about the environmental impact of road vehicles will lead to a reduction in the aerodynamic drag for all passenger cars. This includes Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and light trucks which have relatively high drag coefficients and large frontal area. The wind tunnel remains the tool of choice for the vehicle aerodynamicist, but it is important that the benefits obtained in the wind tunnel reflect improvements to the vehicle on the road. Coastdown measurements obtained using a Land Rover Freelander, in various configurations, have been made to determine aerodynamic drag and these have been compared with wind tunnel data for the same vehicle. Repeatability of the coastdown data, the effects of drag variation near to zero yaw and asymmetry in the drag-yaw data on the results from coastdown testing are assessed. Alternative blockage corrections for the wind tunnel measurements are examined.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Free Stream Turbulence on A-pillar Airflow

Various studies have shown that the level of wind noise experienced inside cars on the road in unsteady conditions can be substantially different from that measured in wind tunnel tests conducted using a low turbulence facility. In this paper a simple geometric body representing the cabin of a passenger car has been used to investigate the effects of free stream turbulence, (FST), on the A-pillar vortex flowfield and the side glass pressure distribution. Beneath the A-pillar vortex, both mean and dynamic pressures are increased by FST. The unsteady pressure can be associated with wind noise and the flow visualization shows the peak unsteadiness is related to the separation of the secondary vortex.
Journal Article

The Decay of Bluff Body Wakes

Vehicles on the road operate in the turbulent flow field resulting from the combined effects of the natural wind and the wakes of other vehicles. While substantial data exists on the properties of the natural wind, much less information is available for the wake properties of road vehicles. The wake information available for road vehicle shapes is mainly restricted to the near wake region, but to understand the vehicle operating environment it is the wake downstream of this region which is of interest. To determine the range of this area of interest requires some knowledge of the decay of the wake properties. From wind tunnel studies using small simple bluff bodies in free stream and in ground proximity the principle wake properties, velocity deficit and peak turbulence intensity have been measured. The maximum velocity deficit is shown to approximately decay with x-2/3, where x is the distance downstream, while turbulence intensity decays at a slightly slower rate.
Technical Paper

On the Optimisation of Road Vehicle Leading Edge Radius in Varying Levels of Freestream Turbulence

It has been recognised that the ideal flow conditions that exist in the modern automotive wind tunnel do not accurately simulate the environment experienced by vehicles on the road. This paper investigates the effect of varying one flow parameter, freestream turbulence, and a single shape parameter, leading edge radius, on aerodynamic drag. The tests were carried out at model scale in the Loughborough University Wind Tunnel, using a very simple 2-box shape, and in the MIRA Full Scale Wind Tunnel using the MIRA squareback Reference Car. Turbulence intensities up to 5% were generated by grids and had a strong effect on transcritical Reynolds number and Reynolds sensitivity at both model scale and full scale. There was a good correlation between the results in both tunnels.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Ground Simulation on the Aerodynamics of a Simple Car Model

The aerodynamic development of cars is conventionally carried out in the wind tunnel with the working section floor representing the ground surface. While recognising that the boundary conditions are false it has generally been assumed that this basic ground simulation is adequate for road cars. This situation is currently being reappraised. In this investigation a simple 1/4 scale car model has been tested in the MIRA Model Wind Tunnel, using both moving and stationary belt to represent the ground surface. The body and wheel drag contributions were measured independently. The influence of rear body shape, front spoilers, cooling airflow, and underfloor roughness on the aerodynamic characteristics, for both ground conditions has been assessed.
Technical Paper

Assessing the Effects of Shear and Turbulence During the Dynamic Testing of the Crosswind Sensitivity of Road Vehicles

With increasing speeds and the anticipated reduction in weight of modern cars, the issue of crosswind sensitivity is becoming increasingly important. In a previous paper by the same authors, the normal method of testing such aerodynamic characteristics at model scale, using static models at yaw to the freestream, was compared with dynamic testing, in which the model is propelled across a ‘gust’ simulated by a wind tunnel. A direct comparison using a similar gust profile for both static and dynamic tests was made with the conclusion that the simple static test technique was underestimating the true transient loads. Further tests have been carried out, on a generic squareback (or estate) model, during which the effect of varying both the vertical velocity profile and the turbulence intensity within the gust was considered.
Technical Paper

Vortex Drag for a Simple Bluff Body at Incidence in Ground Proximity

Aerodynamic drag is comprised of pressure drag and skin friction only. The drag component associated with lift forces is contained within these two terms. In the case of a simple wing this drag component, called induced drag, is reasonably well defined as a function of lift, but for road vehicles the relationship is more complex. In this paper the drag due to lift, which will be called vortex drag, is investigated for a simple car-like shape at incidence in proximity to the ground. The vortex drag is derived from the parabolic relationship between drag and lift. The effects of ground clearance are considered for both moving a stationary ground simulations. The results are compared with data for other simple bodies.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Drag Reduction for a Simple Bluff Body Using Base Bleed

Wind tunnel tests have been conducted on a simple bluff body model, representing a car like shape, to investigate drag reduction opportunities from injecting low velocity air into the base region. This flow is known as base bleed. Most tests have been carried out using a square back shape. The effects of flow rate, porosity and porosity distribution over the base area have been investigated. In all cases drag is reduced with increasing bleed rate, but the optimum porosity is a function of bleed rate. A significant part of the drag reduction occurs without the bleed flow and arises from the presence of a cavity in the model. The effects of cavity size are examined for different base configurations. Some factors affecting implementation are considered.
Journal Article

Aerodynamic Drag of Passenger Cars at Yaw

The aerodynamic drag characteristics of a passenger car are typically defined by a single parameter, the drag coefficient at zero yaw angle. While this has been acceptable in the past, it may not allow a true comparison between vehicles with regard to the impact of drag on performance, especially fuel economy. An alternative measure of aerodynamic drag should take into account the effect of non-zero yaw angles and some proposals have been made in the past, including variations of wind-averaged drag coefficient. For almost all cars the drag increases with yaw, but the increase can vary significantly between vehicles. In this paper the effect of various parameters on the drag rise with yaw are considered for a range of different vehicle types. The increase of drag with yaw is shown to be an essentially induced drag, which is strongly dependent on both side force and lift. Shape factors which influence the sensitivity of drag with yaw are discussed.
Technical Paper

A Relationship between Lift and Lateral Aerodynamic Characteristics for Passenger Cars

Aerodynamic aids, such as spoilers, applied to the rear of cars can provide drag reduction to improve performance, or can enhance high speed stability by reducing lift at the rear axle. In some cases these can be conflicting demands. It has been noted, however, that when rear axle lift is reduced there is often a reduction in yawing moment which has a beneficial effect on crosswind sensitivity. Wind tunnel results from real road vehicles are presented to illustrate this effect. This beneficial relationship is further explored in a wind tunnel experiment using simple models to represent road vehicles. Force and moment coefficients as a function of yaw angle are measured for a range of vehicle geometries which generate a substantial variation in lift. It is shown that as lift is reduced, yawing moment is also reduced, while side force and rolling moment are increased.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Side Forces on Passenger Cars at Yaw

Side force has an influence on the behaviour of passenger cars in windy conditions. It increases approximately linearly with yaw angle over a significant range of yaw for almost all cars and the side force derivative, (the gradient of side force coefficient with yaw angle), is similar for vehicles of a given category and size. The shape factors and components which affect side force for different vehicle types are discussed. The dominant influence on side force, for most cars, however, is shown to be the vehicle height which is consistent with slender wing theory if the car and its mirror image are considered. This simple theory is shown to apply to 1-box and 2- box shapes, covering most MPVs, hatchbacks and SUVs, but does not adequately represent the side forces on notchback and fastback car shapes. Data from simple bodies is used to develop a modification to the basic theory, which is applied to these vehicle types.
Journal Article

A Drag Coefficient for Test Cycle Application

The drag coefficient at zero yaw angle is the single parameter usually used to define the aerodynamic drag characteristics of a passenger car. However, this is usually the minimum drag condition and will, for example, lead to an underestimate of the effect of aerodynamic drag on fuel consumption because the important influence of the natural wind has been excluded. An alternative measure of aerodynamic drag should take into account the effect of nonzero yaw angles and a variant of wind-averaged drag is suggested as the best option. A wind-averaged drag coefficient (CDW) is usually derived for a particular vehicle speed using a representative wind speed distribution. In the particular case where the road speed distribution is specified, as for a drive cycle to determine fuel economy, a relevant drag coefficient can be derived by using a weighted road speed.
Journal Article

The Effect of a Sheared Crosswind Flow on Car Aerodynamics

In the wind tunnel the effect of a wind input on the aerodynamic characteristics of any road vehicle is simulated by yawing the vehicle. This represents a wind input where the wind velocity is constant with height above the ground. In reality the natural wind is a boundary layer flow and is sheared so that the wind velocity will vary with height. A CFD simulation has been conducted to compare the aerodynamic characteristics of a DrivAer model, in fastback and squareback form, subject to a crosswind flow, with and without shear. The yaw simulation has been carried out at a yaw angle of 10° and with one shear flow exponent. It is shown that the car experiences almost identical forces and moments in the two cases when the mass flow in the crosswind over the height of the car is similar. Load distributions are presented for the two cases. The implications for wind averaged drag are discussed.
Journal Article

The Aerodynamics of a Small Car Overtaking a Truck

The influence of a large truck on the aerodynamics of a small passenger car in an overtaking manoeuvre on the motorway was considered, many years ago, during the 1970's, to be a potential problem for the vehicle aerodynamicist. The concern never became significant as vehicle architecture evolved and car weights increased. The current drive for improved fuel economy is advocating that a considerable reduction in vehicle mass is desirable and therefore it may be time to readdress the significance of the truck passing manoeuvre. A quasi-steady experiment has been undertaken at small model scale to examine the aerodynamic characteristics of a small car in proximity to a large truck. Measurements at yaw were included to crudely simulate the effects of a crosswind. The wind tunnel data is presented and the limitations of the experimental procedure are discussed.