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Technical Paper

DIGITAL PHYSICS™ Analysis of the Morel Body in Ground Proximity

Presented is a study of the air flow over the Morel body [1] in ground proximity which was obtained using a discrete particle method, referred to as DIGITAL PHYSICS. The results were computed at several back-light angles and will be compared to experimental observations. Separation and reattachment along the angled section at a back-light angle of 30 degrees, and complete separation at 35 degrees, were both accurately predicted.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Charge Air Cooler Performance in a Racing Drive Cycle by 1D-3D Coupling

Charge air temperature needs to be kept low for optimum engine operation. If charge air temperature is too high, engine performance reduction strategies are invoked to protect engines by limiting torque available to drivers. A 1D-3D coupling simulation methodology is developed to accurately predict internal air temperature after charge air cooler (CAC) during a racing drive cycle. The 3D flow simulation is used to characterize external air flow before CAC in steady-state cases. Then, interpolated 3D simulation results between steady operating points are used as transient external air boundary conditions in front of CAC in a 1D system model. 3D flow simulation is also used to predict internal flow rate ratio between CAC tubes. Finally, an 1D system model is used to predict time-trace of charge air temperature at CAC internal outlet during the racing drive cycle. The simulation results show that prediction errors are within 5 degrees for charge air temperature at internal outlets.
Technical Paper

Update on A-Pillar Overflow Simulation

The management of surface water flows driven from the wind screen by the action of wipers and aerodynamic shear is a growing challenge for automotive manufacturers. Pressure to remove traditional vehicle features, such as A-Pillar steps for aesthetic, aeroacoustic and aerodynamic reasons increases the likelihood that surface water may be convected over the A-Pillar and onto the front side glass where it can compromise drivers’ vision. The ability to predict where and under which conditions the A-Pillar will be breached is important for making correct design decisions. The use of numerical simulation in this context is desirable, as experimental testing relies on the use of aerodynamics test properties which will not be fully representative, or late-stage prototypes, making it difficult and costly to correct issues. This paper provides an update on the ability of simulation to predict A-Pillar overflow, comparing physical and numerical results for a test vehicle.
Technical Paper

Evaluation and Improvement of Greenhouse Wind Noise of a SGMW SUV using Simulation Driven Design

At SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW) the greenhouse wind noise performance of their vehicles has gained a lot of attention in the development process. In order to evaluate and improve the noise quality of a newly developed SUV a digital simulation based process has been employed during the early stage of the design. CFD simulation was used for obtaining the flow induced exterior noise sources. Performance metrics for the quality were based on interior noise levels which were calculated from the exterior sources using a SEA approach for the noise transmission through the glass panels and propagation to the driver’s or passenger’s head space. Detailed analysis of the CFD results allowed to identify noise sources and related flow structures. Based on this analysis, design modifications were then applied and tested in a sequential iterative process. As a result an improvement of more than 2 dB in overall sound pressure level could be achieved.
Technical Paper

Long Term Transient Cooling of Heavy Vehicle Cabin Compartments

A newly developed simulation methodology for a long term, transient tractor cabin cool-down is presented in this paper. The air flow was simulated using a Lattice-Boltzmann Equation (LBE) based 3-dimensional flow solver. The conduction and radiation effects on the solid parts as well as the average cabin air temperature evolution were solved by the thermal solver, which also includes a human comfort model. The simulation results were compared with the measured experimental test data and good agreement was observed validating the developed simulation approach. The developed methodology can be applied to all other ground vehicles cabin comfort applications.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Study of a Production Tractor Trailer Combination using Simulation and Wind Tunnel Methods

The importance of fuel economy and emission standards has increased rapidly with high fuel costs and new environmental regulations. This requires analysis techniques capable of designing the next generation long-haul truck to improve both fuel efficiency and cooling. In particular, it is important to have a predictive design tool to assess how exterior design changes impact aerodynamic performance. This study evaluates the use of a Lattice Boltzmann based numerical simulation and the National Research Council (NRC) Canada's wind tunnel to assess aerodynamic drag on a production Volvo VNL tractor-trailer combination. Comparisons are made between the wind tunnel and simulation to understand the influence of wind tunnel conditions on truck aerodynamic performance. The production VNL testing includes a full range of yaw angles to demonstrate the influence of cross wind on aerodynamic drag.
Technical Paper

Optimization of Aerodynamics and Engine Cooling Performance of a JMC Mid-Size Truck using Simulation

The engineering process in the development of commercial vehicles is facing more and more stringent emission regulations while at the same time the market demands for better performance but with lower fuel consumption and higher reliability. Respective targets require better utilization of existing or even higher engine cooling capacity and optimization of aerodynamic performance for reduced drag. In order to aid on achieving both goals, special attention should be paid on understanding both external and under hood flow structures. This paper describes an optimization study for reducing aerodynamic drag and increasing engine cooling performance conducted on a Light Truck at Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC). The approach is using simulation based on a LBM solver coupled with a heat exchanger model. Such methodology was used to predict both aerodynamic and cooling characteristics and help highlighting potential areas for improvement.
Technical Paper

A Computational Approach to Evaluate the Vehicle Interior Noise from Greenhouse Wind Noise Sources - Part II

For most car manufacturers, aerodynamic noise is becoming the dominant high frequency noise source (≻ 500 Hz) at highway speeds. Design optimization and early detection of issues related to aeroacoustics remain mainly an experimental art implying high cost prototypes, expensive wind tunnel sessions, and potentially late design changes. To reduce the associated costs as well as development times, there is strong motivation for the development of a reliable numerical prediction capability. This paper presents a computational approach that can be used to predict the vehicle interior noise from the greenhouse wind noise sources, during the early stages of the vehicle developmental process so that design changes can be made to improve the wind noise performance of the vehicle.
Technical Paper

Lattice Boltzmann Simulations of the Unsteady Flow Behind the Ahmed Body

The Ahmed body is a simplified vehicle geometry that results in flow features representative of those found at the rear of most passenger vehicles. By adjusting the rear slant angle, separation can take place at the sharp corner, on the rear slant panel, or not at all. Accurate prediction of the separation and reattachment of the flow is essential in predicting the correct drag trends. This separation and reattachment is known to be a highly unsteady phenomenon. The objective of this study is to evaluate the ability of a lattice Boltzmann based CFD code to predict the correct drag trends and flow structures for the Ahmed body at varying rear slant angles. Component and total drag values show excellent agreement with the original experiments of Ahmed over a wide range of rear slant angles (5 to 35 degrees).
Technical Paper

HVAC Blower Aeroacoustic Predictions

In recent years, vehicle cabin quietness takes a growing importance particularly related to the emergence of hybrid and electric vehicles and “Idle Stop system” vehicles. Demand for quieter car air-conditioner systems is increasingly important also, especially the reduction of the flow-induced noise from the HVAC. In HVAC systems, the rotating blower is one of the main noise sources and the digital solution for predicting and analyzing the blower aeroacoustic noise in the early stage of design is needed for developing a quieter blower. The target of this study is to develop and to validate a flow-induced noise predictive tool for a HVAC blower and to analyze the noise source. In this paper, a low-dissipation, transient, compressible CFD/CAA approach based on the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) is used to predict simultaneously the flow and aeroacoustic radiation of two production blowers.
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulation of Transient Thermal Convection of a Full Vehicle

Many critical thermal issues that occur in vehicles are uncovered only under more “thermally stressed” driving conditions that are transient in nature such as abruptly changing vehicle speed or turning off fan and engine. Therefore, for flow simulations to be useful in the vehicle design process, it is imperative that these simulations have the ability to accurately model long term transient thermal convection on full vehicles. Presented are simulations for a passenger vehicle driving at 60 kilometers per hour followed by a complete stop. The simulations were performed using a coupling between the flow and thermal solver and in the process, taking into account convection, conduction and radiation effects. Temperature predictions were made both under steady state conditions and during the key-off. Good agreement with the measurements was observed.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Flow-Induced Noise of Automotive HVAC Systems

Nowadays vehicle quality is rated for noise and vibration and the interior sound levels have become a major target of automotive companies. Strides have been made in reducing power train, tire and external wind noise over the years. However, HVAC and blower fan flow-induced noise reaches the interior cabin without any sound isolation and can strongly impact customer comfort. In the early stage of vehicle design, it is experimentally difficult to get an estimate of the flow pattern and sound levels. The goal of this study is to develop and validate a numerical noise prediction tool for complete HVAC systems noise, defined as the arrangement of sub-systems such as air intake duct, thermal mixing unit, blower, ducts and outlet vents. This tool can then be used during the development of vehicles to evaluate and optimize the aeroacoustics performances of the system without additional or belated experiments.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Gap Deflector Efficiency for Reduction of Sunroof Buffeting

The efficiency of a gap-type of deflector for suppressing vehicle sunroof buffeting is studied in this work. Buffeting is an unpleasant low frequency booming caused by flow-excited Helmholtz resonance of the interior cabin. Accurate prediction of this phenomenon requires accounting for the bi-directional coupling between the transient shear layer aerodynamics (vortex shedding) and the acoustic response of the cabin. Numerical simulations were performed using a CFD/CAA numerical method based on the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM). The well established LBM approach provides the time-dependent solution to the compressible Navier-Stokes equations, and directly captures both turbulent and acoustic pressure fluctuations over a wide range of scales given adequate computational grid resolution. In this study the same gap-type deflector configuration is installed on two different types of vehicles, a SUV and a sedan.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Simulations of a Generic Tractor-Trailer: Validation and Analysis of Unsteady Aerodynamics

Aerodynamic simulations of a 1:8-scale simplified tractor-trailer, designated as the Generic Conventional Model (GCM), were conducted using a Lattice-Boltzmann based solver. Comparisons were made to experimental measurements from the NASA Ames 12-Foot Pressure Wind Tunnel, including drag coefficients as a function of yaw, static and transient surface pressures, and three-component particle image velocimetry. The baseline model configuration was tested at yaw angles from 0 to 12 degrees, allowing the calculation of the wind-averaged drag coefficient. Results demonstrated that the simulation predicted body-axis drag within experimental uncertainty and also resolved the correct pressure distribution and flow structure in the separated flow regions including the tractor-trailer gap and trailer wake regions. The comparison of the experimental transient pressure spectra showed good agreement with the simulation results, both in magnitude and identification of dominant spectral peaks.
Technical Paper

Design and CFD Analysis of an NHRA Funny Car Body

This paper describes the methodology used to design and perform a CFD analysis of a Chevrolet Impala SS Funny Car body. This body was designed for the purpose of making it available for teams to race it in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag racing series beginning with the 2007 race season. Several challenges were presented in this project: (1) This was the first time a General Motors drag racing body for use in professional classes (Funny Car or otherwise) was ever designed in CAD. (2) The body was originally designed as a 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. After the tooling was completed, changes in Chevrolet’s product lineup required that the body be changed to a 2007 Impala SS. (3) Budget constraints precluded CFD analysis until after the bodies were already being manufactured. There were several teams that raced the new body during the 2007 race season. One of these teams won the Funny Car Driver’s Championship.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Performance Assessment of BMW Validation Models using Computational Fluid Dynamics

Aerodynamic performance assessment of automotive shapes is typically performed in wind tunnels. However, with the rapid progress in computer hardware technology and the maturity and accuracy of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software packages, evaluation of the production-level automotive shapes using a digital process has become a reality. As the time to market shrinks, automakers are adopting a digital design process for vehicle development. This has elevated the accuracy requirements on the flow simulation software, so that it can be used effectively in the production environment. Evaluation of aerodynamic performance covers prediction of the aerodynamic coefficients such as drag, lift, side force and also lift balance between the front and rear axle. Drag prediction accuracy is important for meeting fuel efficiency targets, prediction of front and rear lifts as well as side force and yawing moment are crucial for high speed handling.
Technical Paper

The Aerodynamic Development of the Tesla Model S - Part 2: Wheel Design Optimization

Aerodynamic efficiency plays an increasingly important role in the automotive industry, as the push for increased fuel economy becomes a larger factor in the engineering and design process. Longitudinal drag is used as the primary measure of aerodynamic performance, usually cited as the coefficient of drag (CD). This drag is created mostly by the body shape of the vehicle, but the wheel and tire system also contributes a significant portion. In addition to the longitudinal drag created by the body and wheels, rotational drag can add an appreciable amount of aerodynamic resistance to the vehicle as well. Reducing power consumption is an especially vital aspect in electric vehicle (EV) design. As the world's first luxury electric sedan, the Tesla Model S combines a premium driving experience with an electric drivetrain package that allows for unique solutions to many vehicle subsystems.
Technical Paper

Engine Room Lay-out Study for Fuel Efficiency and Thermal Performance

Systematic numerical simulations were performed for the improvement of fuel efficiency and thermal performance of a compact size passenger vehicle. Both aerodynamic and thermal aspects were considered concurrently. For the sake of systematic evaluation, our study was conducted employing various design changes in multiple steps: 1) analysis of the baseline design; 2) elimination of the engine room components; 3) modification of the engine room component layout; 4) modification of the aerodynamic components (such as under body cover and cooling ducts). The vehicle performance characteristics corresponding to different design options were analyzed in terms of aerodynamic coefficient, engine coolant temperature, and surface temperatures of thermally critical components such as battery and exhaust manifold. Finally optimal design modification solutions for better vehicle performance were proposed.
Technical Paper

A Computational Aeroacoustic Study of Windshield Wiper Influence on Passenger Vehicle Greenhouse Windnoise

This paper presents an approach to numerically simulate greenhouse windnoise. The term “greenhouse windnoise” here describes the sound transferred to the interior through the glass panels of a series vehicle. Different panels, e.g. the windshield or sideglass, are contributing to the overall noise level. Attached parts as mirrors or wipers are affecting the flow around the vehicle and thus the pressure fluctuations which are acting as loads onto the panels. Especially the wiper influence and the effect of different wiper positions onto the windshield contribution is examined and set in context with the overall noise levels and other contributors. In addition, the effect of different flow yaw angles on the windnoise level in general and the wiper contributions in particular are demonstrated. As computational aeroacoustics requires accurate, highly resolved simulation of transient and compressible flow, a Lattice-Boltzmann approach is used.
Technical Paper

Automotive Cabin Infotainment System Thermal Management

The level of infotainment in today's vehicles and the customer expectation of the functionality imply a significant effort is required on thermal management of the systems, to guarantee their full operation under all operating conditions. The worst case thermal conditions the system will get exposed to are caused by solar loading on the cabin or heat up as a result of cabin heating. Simulation of a solar load driven case will be discussed in this paper. The long soak conditions during these tests result in the modelling requirement for long natural convection periods. This is creating a challenge for the conventional CFD simulations in turnaround time. New simulation methodology has resulted in significant speed up enabling these fully transient simulations in a reasonable turnaround time to enable programme support. A two phase approach to simulating this problem is proposed in this paper.