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Cooling Airflow System Modeling in CFD Using Assumption of Stationary Flow

Today CFD is an important tool for engineers in the automotive industry who model and simulate fluid flow. For the complex field of Underhood Thermal Management, CFD has become a very important tool to engineer the cooling airflow process in the engine bay of vehicles. Presenter Peter Gullberg, Chalmers University of Technology
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigations of the Base Wake on an SUV

With the increase in fuel prices and the increasingly strict environmental legislations regarding CO₂ emissions, reduction of the total energy consumption of our society becomes more important. Passenger vehicles are partly responsible for this consumption due to their strong presence in the daily life of most people. Therefore reducing the impact of cars on the environment can assist in decreasing the overall energy consumption. Even though several fields have an impact on a passenger car's performance, this paper will focus on the aerodynamic part and more specifically, the wake behind a vehicle. By definition a car is a bluff body on which the air resistance is for the most part driven by pressure drag. This is caused by the wake these bodies create. Therefore analyzing the wake characteristics behind a vehicle is crucial if one would like to reduce drag.
Journal Article

Investigation of the Influence of Tyre Geometry on the Aerodynamics of Passenger Cars

It is well known that wheels are responsible for a significant amount of the total aerodynamic drag of passenger vehicles. Tyres, and mostly rims, have been the subject of research in the automotive industry for the past years, but their effect and interaction with each other and with the car exterior is still not completely understood. This paper focuses on the use of CFD to study the effects of tyre geometry (tyre profile and tyre tread) on road vehicle aerodynamics. Whenever possible, results of the numerical computations are compared with experiments. More than sixty configurations were simulated. These simulations combined different tyre profiles, treads, rim designs and spoke orientation on two car types: a sedan and a sports wagon. Two tyre geometries were obtained directly from the tyre manufacturer, while a third geometry was obtained from our database and represents a generic tyre which covers different profiles of a given tyre size.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Transient Compressible Gas Jets Using High Speed Schlieren Imaging

Transient compressible gas jets, as encountered in direct injection gas fuel engines, have been examined using Schlieren visualization. Helium has been injected into air in a pressure chamber to create the jets examined. The structure of the jets is studied from the mean and coefficient of variation of the penetration length, jet width and jet angle. The quantities are calculated by digital image processing of Schlieren images captured with a high-speed camera. Injection pressure and chamber pressure have been varied to determine whether they have an effect on the response variables. Design of experiments methods have been used to develop the scheme employed in performing the experiments. The mean normalized penetration length of the jets is found to scale with injection to chamber pressure ratio and is in agreement with a momentum conserving relation given in the literature. The dispersion of the penetration length has been found to be in agreement with a normal distribution.
Technical Paper

Effect of Rear-End Extensions on the Aerodynamic Forces of an SUV

Under a global impulse for less man-made emissions, the automotive manufacturers search for innovative methods to reduce the fuel consumption and hence the CO2-emissions. Aerodynamics has great potential to aid the emission reduction since aerodynamic drag is an important parameter in the overall driving resistance force. As vehicles are considered bluff bodies, the main drag source is pressure drag, caused by the difference between front and rear pressure. Therefore increasing the base pressure is a key parameter to reduce the aerodynamic drag. From previous research on small-scale and full-scale vehicles, rear-end extensions are known to have a positive effect on the base pressure, enhancing pressure recovery and reducing the wake area. This paper investigates the effect of several parameters of these extensions on the forces, on the surface pressures of an SUV in the Volvo Cars Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel and compares them with numerical results.
Journal Article

A Computational Investigation of Ground Simulation for a Saloon Car

Automotive aerodynamics measurements and simulations now routinely use a moving ground and rotating wheels (MVG&RW), which is more representative of on-road conditions than the fixed ground-fixed wheel (FG&FW) alternative. This can be understood as a combination of three elements: (a) moving ground (MVG), (b) rotating front wheels (RWF) and (c) rotating rear wheels (RWR). The interaction of these elements with the flow field has been explored to date by mainly experimental means. This paper presents a mainly computational (CFD) investigation of the effect of RWF and RWR, in combination with MVG, on the flow field around a saloon vehicle. The influence of MVG&RW is presented both in terms of a combined change from a FG&FW baseline and the incremental effects seen by the addition of each element separately. For this vehicle, noticeable decrease in both drag and rear lift is shown when adding MVG&RW, whereas front lift shows little change.
Technical Paper

Influences of Different Front and Rear Wheel Designs on Aerodynamic Drag of a Sedan Type Passenger Car

Efforts towards ever more energy efficient passenger cars have become one of the largest challenges of the automotive industry. This involves numerous different fields of engineering, and every finished model is always a compromise between different requirements. Passenger car aerodynamics is no exception; the shape of the exterior is often dictated by styling, engine bay region by packaging issues etcetera. Wheel design is also a compromise between different requirements such as aerodynamic drag and brake cooling, but as the wheels and wheel housings are responsible for up to a quarter of the overall aerodynamic drag on a modern passenger car, it is not surprising that efforts are put towards improving the wheel aerodynamics.
Technical Paper

Interaction of Downforce Generating Devices and Cooling Air Flow - A Numerical and Experimental Study on Open Wheeled Race Cars

This study reflects on two areas of vehicle aerodynamics, optimising cooling performance and features that will improve the handling of the car. Both areas will have a significant impact on the overall performance of the car and at the same time these areas are linked to each other. The considered vehicle in this study was the Chalmers Formula Student 2011 Formula SAE car and the flow field was analysed using both numerical simulations as well as performing wind tunnel experiments on a 1:3-scale model of the car. The focus on increasing downforce without increasing the aerodynamic drag is particularly good in Formula SAE since fuel economy is an event at the competition. Therefore, the intention of this work is to present a study on how undertrays with different design such as added foot plates, diffuser and strakes can improve the downforce and reduce the drag.
Technical Paper

Effect of Semi-Active Front Axle Suspension Design on Vehicle Comfort and Road Holding for a Heavy Truck

Semi-active suspension systems for ground vehicles have been the focus of research for several years as they offer improvements in vehicle comfort and handling. This kind of suspension has attracted more interest compared to active suspension systems especially due to lower cost and energy consumption. In this paper the capabilities of a semi-active front axle suspension are investigated for a commercial vehicle. A half-truck model of a 4x2 tractor and semitrailer combination is developed in Matlab/Simulink for this purpose. Also, a 2 DOF roll plane model is considered to capture the roll motion of the vehicle body mass. Employing the above-mentioned models, results from on-off and continuous variable semi-active damping systems are compared to the ones from the passive suspension system according to ride comfort and handling safety characteristics.
Technical Paper

A 1D Method for Transient Simulations of Cooling Systems with Non-Uniform Temperature and Flow Boundaries Extracted from a 3D CFD Solution

The current work investigates a method in 1D modeling of cooling systems including discretized cooling package with non-uniform boundary conditions. In a stacked cooling package the heat transfer through each heat exchanger depends on the mass flows and temperature fields. These are a result of complex three-dimensional phenomena, which take place in the under-hood and are highly non-uniform. A typical approach in 1D simulations is to assume these to be uniform, which reduces the authenticity of the simulation and calls for additional calibrations, normally done with input from test measurements. The presented work employs 3D CFD simulations of complete vehicle in STAR-CCM+ to perform a comprehensive study of mass-flow and thermal distribution over the inlet of the cooling package of a Volvo FM commercial vehicle in several steady-state operating points.
Technical Paper

Holistic Approach for Improved Safety Including a Proposal of New Virtual Test Conditions of Small Electric Vehicles

In the next 20 years the share of small electric vehicles (SEVs) will increase especially in urban areas. SEVs show distinctive design differences compared to traditional vehicles. Thus the consequences of impacts of SEVs with vulnerable road users (VRUs) and other vehicles will be different from traditional collisions. No assessment concerning vehicle safety is defined for vehicles within European L7e category currently. Focus of the elaborated methodology is to define appropriate test scenarios for this vehicle category to be used within a virtual tool chain. A virtual tool chain has to be defined for the realization of a guideline of virtual certification. The derivation and development of new test conditions for SEVs are described and are the main focus of this work. As key methodology a prospective methodical analysis under consideration of future aspects like pre-crash safety systems is applied.
Technical Paper

Development of a Model Scale Heat Exchanger for Wind Tunnel Models of Road Vehicles

During the development of the aerodynamic properties of fore coming road vehicles down scaled models are often used in the initial phase. However, if scale models are to be utilised even further in the aerodynamic development they have to include geometrical representatives of most of the components found in the real vehicle. As the cooling package is one of the biggest single generators of aerodynamic drag the heat exchangers are essential to include in a wind tunnel model. However, due mainly to limitations in manufacturing techniques it is complicated to make a down scaled heat exchanger and instead functional dummy heat exchangers have to be developed for scaled wind tunnel models. In this work a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code has been used to show that it is important that the simplified heat exchanger model has to be of comparable size to that of the full scale unit.
Technical Paper

Identifying Time-Consuming Human Modelling Tool Activities

The aim of this study was to identify and measure time-consuming human modelling tool activities. Five human modelling tool users at Volvo were observed for five days each. The results showed a wide distribution of both indirect and direct working tasks, as well as non-value added tasks such as waiting time. Most of the activities identified appear to be necessary to perform human modelling simulations of high quality. However, the time distribution could be questioned to some extent. There are many activities associated with communication, including a variety of contacts and meetings, where there appears to be potential to increase efficiency.
Technical Paper

CFD Modelling of Gasoline Sprays

A comprehensive model for sprays emerging from high pressure swirl injectors for GDI engine application has been developed. The primary and secondary atomization mechanism as well as the evaporation process both in standard and superheated conditions are taken into account. The spray modelling after the injection is based on the Liquid Instability Sheet Atomization (LISA) approach, modified to correctly predict the liquid sheet thickness at the breakup length. The effect of different values of the superheat degree on evaporation and impact on the spray distribution and fuel-air mixing is analyzed. Comparisons with experimental data show good agreements under atmospheric conditions and with different superheated degrees, while some discrepancies occur under higher ambient pressures.
Journal Article

CFD-Based Optimization of a Diesel-fueled Free Piston Engine Prototype for Conventional and HCCI Combustion

This paper presents results of a parametric CFD modeling study of a prototype Free Piston Engine (FPE), designed for application in a series hybrid electric vehicle. Since the piston motion is governed by Newton's second law, accounting for the forces acting on the piston/translator, i.e. friction forces, electrical forces, and in-cylinder gas forces, having a high-level control system is vital. The control system changes the electrical force applied during the stroke, thus obtaining the desired compression ratio. Identical control algorithms were implemented in a MATLAB/SIMULINK model to those applied in the prototype engine. The ignition delay and heat release data used in the MATLAB/SIMULINK model are predicted by the KIVA-3V CFD code which incorporates detailed chemical kinetics (305 reactions among 70 species).
Technical Paper

Improving the Cooling Airflow of an Open Wheeled Race Car

In this case study the cooling airflow of an existing open wheeled racecar has been improved with the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics. The race team in context had at several occasions experienced overheating of their racecar and was looking for ways to improve the cooling performance without changing the bodywork radically. As the car is used for autocross events on tight and twisty courses it spends most of a lap in yawed condition. Therefore, a novel approach was taken to model these yawed conditions with the numerical method. The simulation was based on the fully detailed race car. Through the study it was possible to locate problem areas, and hence, give indications to where the bodywork should be modified. With subtle changes to the bodywork the cooling performance of the car was significantly improved and the drag kept at the same level.
Technical Paper

The Role of Aerodynamics in the 1955 Le Mans Crash

In the 1955 Le Mans race the worst crash in motor racing history occurred and this accident would change the face of motor racing for decades. After the crash numerous investigations on the disaster were performed, and fifty years after some interesting books were launched on the subject. However, a number of key questions remain unsolved; and one open area is the influence of aerodynamics on the scenario, since the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR involved in the crash was equipped with an air-brake and its influence on the accident is basically unknown. This work may be considered as a first attempt to establish CFD as a tool to aid in resolving aerodynamic aspects in motor sport accidents and in the present paper, CFD has been used to investigate the aerodynamics and estimate the drag and lift coefficients of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR used in the Le Mans race of 1955.
Journal Article

Multi-hole Injectors for DISI Engines: Nozzle Hole Configuration Influence on Spray Formation

High-pressure multi-hole injectors are one candidate injector type for closed-spaced direct injection (DI) gasoline engines. In such a system, the spark plug must be located close to the spray and, during stratified operation, the spray is ignited very soon after the fuel droplets have been vaporized. Thus there are very high demands on the sprays used in such a system. An additional challenge is the positioning of the spark plug relative to the spray; both consistent ignitability and the absence of liquid fuel droplets must be achieved. Many injector parameters influence spray formation; for example, hole diameter, length to hole diameter ratio, nozzle hole configuration etc. This paper investigates the spray formation and spray induced air movement associated with rotational symmetrical and asymmetrical nozzle hole configurations.
Technical Paper

Heavy Vehicle Wheel Housing Flows - a Parametric Study

The drag from the underbody, including wheels and wheel housing, constitutes a significant amount of the total aerodynamic drag of heavy vehicles. A correct simulation of the underbody boundary conditions, including rotating wheels and moving ground, has turned out to be of great importance in the minimising of the aerodynamic drag. In the current study several front wheel housing design parameters have been evaluated using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Design concepts, like enclosed inner wheel housings, underbody panel and wheel housing ventilation, were evaluated by flow analysis and comparison of the drag force contribution. It was shown that changes to the wheel housing geometry had an important impact on the local flow field and force distribution. The total drag of the vehicle decreased with reduced wheel housing volume and wheel housing ventilation can reduce the aerodynamic drag significantly provided it is designed properly.
Technical Paper

Randomness of Flame Kernel Development in Turbulent Gas Mixture

An expanding cylindrical laminar flame kernel affected by random external strain rates and diffusivity is numerically simulated in order to gain insight into the influence of small-scale turbulence on the combustion variability in engines. In the simulations, the kernel is strained, as a whole, by external velocity gradients randomly generated with either Gaussian or log-normal probability density functions. The influence of small-scale turbulent heat and mass transfer is modeled by turbulent diffusivity, the randomness of which is controlled by the fluctuations in the viscous dissipation averaged over the kernel volume. The computed results show that small-scale phenomena can substantially affect the quenching characteristics of a small flame kernel and the kernel growth history rj(t); the scatter of the computed curves of rf(t) being mainly controlled by the scatter of the duration of the initial stage of kernel development.