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Technical Paper

The Influence of Ground Simulation and Wheel Rotation on Aerodynamic Drag Optimization - Potential for Reducing Fuel Consumption

In automobile development, wind tunnel measurements are used to optimize fuel consumption and the vehicle's road behavior. The classic measuring technique is based on a stationary vehicle set up in the wind tunnel with stationary wheels. Relative movement between vehicle and road surface is therefore ignored. In more recent studies, measurements have been taken with improved ground simulation. For example, a belt is used instead of the stationary wind tunnel floor and the car wheels rotate. Ground simulation using a belt and rotating wheels generally leads to a reduction in flow angularity at the front wheels, in the same way as blocking the cooling air flow, whereby, as a matter of fact, the aerodynamic drag is reduced. Analogous air flow angle correlations can be established for the effect of underfloor panels.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Different Ground Simulation Techniques for Use in Automotive Wind Tunnels

The range of applicability and the physical restrictions for the use of ground-simulation techniques in automotive wind tunnels are elucidated. The techniques considered are the moving-belt technique, as well as boundary layer control techniques like tangential blowing and distributed normal suction for use in wind tunnels with stationary ground boards. Attention has to be paid to the question of whether the flow to be simulated is of boundary layer or Couette type. In the case of boundary layer flow, interaction of the ground-floor boundary layer with the inviscid flow in the gap between a vehicle and the road can be fully simulated by introducing a negative transpiration velocity along the stationary ground plane. In practise however, angularity effects on the external flow result from mismatched control parameters. Very small relative ground clearances give rise to the formation of a Couette flow between the road and the vehicle.
Technical Paper

Audi Aero-Acoustic Wind Tunnel

The present paper reveals the design concept as well as results of experimental investigations, which were conducted in the early design stage of the planned AUDI Aero-Acoustic Wind Tunnel. This low-noise open-jet facility, featuring a nozzle exit area of 11 m2 and a top speed of approximately 60 m/s, enables aerodynamic as well as acoustic testing of both, full-scale and model-scale ground vehicles. Ground simulation is provided by means of a moving-belt rig. The surrounding plenum is designed as a semi-anechoic chamber to simulate acoustic free-field conditions around the vehicle. Fan noise will be attenuated below the noise level of the open jet. The work reported herein, comprises 1/8-scale pilot-tunnel experiments of aerodynamic and acoustic configurations which were carried out at the University of Darmstadt.
Technical Paper

Some Basic Investigations into the Principles of Ground Simulation Techniques in Automotive Wind Tunnels

With the help of theoretical considerations it is shown that the flow between a car and the ground is of boundary layer type, as long as there is no recirculation. Thus, boundary layer theory can be applied to evaluate the order of magnitude of typical effects like displacement and momentum-loss thicknesses of ground-plane boundary layer. If the boundary layer in a wind tunnel with stationary ground is to be controlled, either by distributed suction or by tangential blowing, to simulate on-road conditions, boundary layer theory can provide the orders of magnitude of modifications that have to be applied. Experiments with a ground-effect quarter-scale car with ground simulation by distributed suction and moving belt showed coincidence with theoretical predictions concerning the required suction rate, if integral coefficients (eg CD, CL) of both flow cases are matched.
Technical Paper

Reduced Model of a Vehicle Cabin for Transient Thermal Simulation

In the proposed work the transient thermal modeling of a vehicle cabin has been performed. Therefore, a reduced model has been developed based on a one-node discretization of the cabin air. The conduction in the solid parts is accounted for by a one-dimensional heat transfer approach, the radiation exchange between the surfaces is based on view factors adopted from a 3D reference and the convective heat transfer from the cabin surfaces to the cabin air is conducted with the help of heat transfer coefficients calculated in a 3D reference simulation. The cabin surface is discretized by planar wall elements, including the outer shell of the cabin and inner elements such as seats. Each wall element is composed of several homogeneous material layers with individual thicknesses. Investigations have been conducted on the temporal and spatial resolution of the layer structure of these wall elements, for the 3D model as well as for the reduced one.
Technical Paper

CFD Approach to Evaluate Wind-Tunnel and Model Setup Effects on Aerodynamic Drag and Lift for Detailed Vehicles

Previous work by the authors showed the development of an aerodynamic CFD model using the Lattice Boltzmann Method for simulating vehicles inside the IVK Model-Scale Wind-Tunnel test-section. In both experiment and simulation, alternate configurations of the wind-tunnel geometry were studied to change the pressure distribution in the wind-tunnel test section, inducing a reduction in aerodynamic drag due to interference between the wind-tunnel geometry and the pressure on the surface of the vehicle. The wind-tunnel pressure distribution was modified by adding so-called “stagnation bodies” inside the collector to create blockage and to increase the pressure in the rear portion of the test section. The primary purpose of previous work was to provide a validated CFD approach for modeling wind-tunnel interference effects, so that these effects can be understood and accounted for when designing vehicles.
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulation of the Transient Heat-Up of a Passenger Vehicle during a Trailer Towing Uphill Drive

In the digital prototype development process of a new Mercedes-Benz, thermal protection is an important task that has to be fulfilled. In the early stages of development, numerical methods are used to detect thermal hotspots in order to protect temperature sensitive parts. These methods involve transient full Vehicle Thermal Management (VTM) simulations to predict dynamic vehicle heat-up during critical load cases. In order to simulate thermal control mechanisms, a coupled 1D to 3D thermal vehicle model is built in which the coolant and oil circuit of the engine, as well as the exhaust flow are captured in detail. When performing a transient 3D VTM analysis, the conduction and radiation phenomena are simulated using a transient structure model while the convective phenomena are co-simulated in a steady state fluid model. Both models are brought to interaction at predetermined points by an automatized coupling method.
Technical Paper

Model Scale Based Process for the Development of Aerodynamic Tire Characteristics

The geometric shape of the tires can have a large influence on the aerodynamic drag of a passenger car as it has been shown already in different publications like for example [1, 2, 3]. However, to optimize the shape of a tire, nowadays quite some effort is needed in terms of wind tunnel time and costs for prototype tires. In this paper an approach to optimize the tire's shape in model scale is described, which can help to reduce both development time and costs. The first step in the development of this method was to verify that the aerodynamic effects of the tire geometry in model scale are comparable to full scale tests. This was achieved by measuring different production tires in full scale and also by measuring the quarter scale version of the same tires. The only difference between the original and the model scale tires was that the scaled tires were not deformable. The results show that the difference between two sets of tires is comparable in full scale and in quarter scale.
Technical Paper

Challenges and Opportunities of Numerically Simulating the Idle Load Case for Vehicle Thermal Management

Collective life-cycle data is needed when developing components like elastomer suspension mounts. Life-time prediction is only possible using thermal load frequency distributions. In addition to current extreme load cases, the Idle Load Case is examined at Mercedes-Benz Car Group as a collective load case for Vehicle Thermal Management (VTM) numerical simulations in early development stages. It combines validation opportunities for HVAC, cooling and transmission requirements in hot-country-type ambient conditions. Experiments in climatic wind tunnels and coupled 3D CFD and heat transfer simulations of the Idle Load Case have been performed. Measurements show steady conditions at the end of the load case. Decoupling of the torque converter, changes in ambient temperature and the technical implementation of a wind barrier for still air conditions exhibit influence on component-level results. Solar load, however, does not significantly change the examined component temperatures.
Technical Paper

The New Interchangeable Three-belt System in the IVK Full-Scale Wind Tunnel of University of Stuttgart: Design and First Results

With its recent wind tunnel upgrade, FKFS installed the first interchangeable three-belt / five-belt-system (FKFS first®) in a full scale automotive wind tunnel. With the five-belt system, which today is a state-of-the-art ground simulation technique, the system is ideally suited for production vehicle development work. The five-belt system offers high flexibility, quick access to the underfloor and vehicle fixation, and setting the vehicle’s ride height by the restraint device. The first results of the five-belt system have already been published in SAE 2015-01-1557 [1]. The three-belt system on the other hand, offers a much more sophisticated ground simulation technique which is necessary especially for sports and racing cars. For such vehicles with very low ground clearances, it is important to have a more accurate ground simulation, in order to capture the same aerodynamic modes of action and response as on the road.
Technical Paper

Advances in Modelling A-Pillar Water Overflow

Driving when it is raining can be a stressful experience. Having a clear unobstructed view of the vehicles and road around you under these conditions is especially important. Heavy rain conditions can however overwhelm water management devices resulting in water rivulets flowing over the vehicle's side glass. These rivulets can significantly impair the driver's ability to see the door mirror, and laterally onto junctions. Designing water management features for vehicles is a challenging venture as testing is not normally possible until late in the design phase. Additionally traditional water management features such as grooves and channels have both undesirable design and wind noise implications. Having the ability to detect water management issues such as A-pillar overflow earlier in the design cycle is desirable to minimize the negative impact of water management features. Numerical simulation of windscreen water management is desirable for this reason.
Technical Paper

An Approach for Water Jacket Flow Simulations

The increasing importance of electric mobility results into the need for optimizing all power train components to further reduce the energy consumption of the vehicle. The aim of this study is to predict the thermal behavior and the pressure losses in water jackets of electric machines by use of CFD. The heat loss of electric machines in passenger cars is sufficient to let its components reach critical temperatures. For this reason, the optimization of heat dissipation plays an important role. The goal of efficient heat dissipation is a high heat transfer coefficient. At the same time, the pressure loss should be low in order to reduce the required power of the pump. Flow simulations can help to evaluate different water jacket concepts in an early stage of development. In this work, the validation of flow simulations in water jackets is based on measurements of a simplified geometry with constant boundary conditions.
Technical Paper

A New Approach to Predicting Component Temperature Collectives for Vehicle Thermal Management

There is a growing need for life-cycle data – so-called collectives – when developing components like elastomer engine mounts. Current standardized extreme load cases are not sufficient for establishing such collectives. Supplementing the use of endurance testing data, a prediction methodology for component temperature collectives utilizing existing 3D CFD simulation models is presented. The method uses support points to approximate the full collective. Each support point is defined by a component temperature and a position on the time axis of the collective. Since it is the only currently available source for component temperature data, endurance testing data is used to develop the new method. The component temperature range in this data set is divided in temperature bands. Groups of driving states are determined which are each representative of an individual band. Each of the resulting four driving state spaces is condensed into a substitute load case.
Technical Paper

Tool Support for Analyzing and Optimization Methods in Early Brake System Sizing Phases

The manufacturers of passenger cars increasingly assign development and production of complete subsystems to the supplying industry. A brake system supplier has to give predictions about system quality and performance long time before the first prototypical system is built or even before the supplier gets the order for system development. Nowadays, the usage of computer-aided system design and simulation is essential for that task. This article presents a tool designed to support the development process. A special focus will be on how to define quality. A formal definition of quality is provided, illustrated and motivated by two examples.
Technical Paper

CFD Investigations of Wind Tunnel Interference Effects

Wind tunnel interference effects are still considered to be negligible - or at least undesired - in automotive aerodynamics. Consequently, up to now there is no standard correction method which is used in everyday wind tunnel testing although a lot of research has been done in recent years. In most full-vehicle CFD simulations, wind tunnel interference effects are not simulated. The flow about the car is computed under idealized conditions. The wind tunnel is designed to simulate these conditions but fails to do so to some degree due to its limited size. Therefore a comparison of blockage-free CFD results and wind tunnel measurements is deficient. Hence CFD simulations including wind tunnel interference effects should be favored in the future for validation purposes. Furthermore, CFD offers new possibilities to investigate individual contributions to wind tunnel interference effects and therefore could help to increase the understanding of the flow in the wind tunnel.
Technical Paper

CFD Validation Study for a Sedan Scale Model in an Open Jet Wind Tunnel

Aerodynamic simulations using CFD is now a standard tool in the automotive industry, and is becoming more and more integrated in the aerodynamic design process of new vehicles. This process is distinguished by parallel development with wind tunnel experiments and CFD simulation results, which demands comparable results to be generated by the two development tools. As wind tunnel effects are not simulated in most industrial applications of CFD, the comparison with experimental results normally show differences partly due to wind tunnel effects and ground simulation effects. Therefore a deeper understanding of wind tunnel effects and methods to fully reproduce experimental values with CFD is necessary. In this paper, an extensive validation study with a detailed scale notchback model inside an open jet wind tunnel is presented. This study includes experimental data from the real wind tunnel as well as CFD simulation results with and without wind tunnel effects.
Technical Paper

Road Load Determination Based on Driving-Torque-Measurement

This paper introduces a driving-torque measurement method for the determination of vehicle road load and its components. To increase the accuracy, the torque measurements are combined with rolling resistance measurements performed with a specially developed trailer. This method is a strictly experimental approach and does not use any mathematical models. The experimental techniques are described as well as the proceedings to compare test stand and road measurements. The results that are shown prove that this method is suitable for the investigation of single road load components. Furthermore, the comparison of different rolling resistance measurement devices shows the potential of the measurement trailer and the necessity to perform rolling resistance measurements on real road surfaces and not solely on test stands.
Technical Paper

Further Investigations on Gradient Effects

In automotive wind tunnels with modern road simulation installations boundary layer pre-suction is a widely-used technique for boundary layer control. The consequence of boundary layer pre-suction is an additional pressure gradient in front of the model. In order to investigate the effects of the additional pressure gradient on drag, experiments were conducted with two different models (scale 1:5) in the IVK Model Wind Tunnel. In these experiments the suction velocity of the boundary layer pre-suction served as a parameter to change the static pressure gradient along the test section and was for this purpose adjusted higher and lower than the standard suction velocity. It is shown that the total drag increment due to boundary layer pre-suction consists of at least two parts: the ground simulation increment and the static pressure gradient increment. The ground simulation increment is due to a decrease in the boundary layer thickness and the resulting modified flow beneath the model.
Technical Paper

Flow around an Isolated Wheel - Experimental and Numerical Comparison of Two CFD Codes

This paper presents velocity and pressure measurements obtained around an isolated wheel in a rotating and stationary configuration. The flow field was investigated using LDA and a total pressure probe in the model scale wind tunnel at IVK/FKFS. Drag and lift were determined for both configurations as well as for the wheel support only. These results were used as a reference for comparing numerical results obtained from two different CFD codes used in the automotive industry, namely STAR-CD™ and PowerFLOW™. The comparison gives a good overall agreement between the experimental and the simulated data. Both CFD codes show good correlation of the integral forces. The influence of the wheel rotation on drag and lift coefficients is predicted well. All mean flow structures which can be found in the planes measured with LDA can be recognized in the numerical results of both codes. Only small local differences remain, which can be attributed to the different CFD codes.
Technical Paper

Thermal Simulation within the Brake System Design Process

During the acquisition phase brake system supplier have to make predictions on a system's thermal behavior based on very few reliable parameters. Increasing system knowledge requires the usage of different calculation models along with the progress of the project. Adaptive modeling is used in order to integrate test results from first prototypes or benchmark vehicles. Since changes in the brake force distribution have a great impact on the simulation results fading conditions of the linings have to be integrated as well. The principle of co-simulation is used in order to use the actual brake force distribution of the system.