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Journal Article

Validation of Aerodynamic Simulation and Wind Tunnel Test of the New Buick Excelle GT

The validation of vehicle aerodynamic simulation results to wind tunnel test results and simulation accuracy improvement attract considerable attention of many automotive manufacturers. In order to improve the simulation accuracy, a simulation model of the ground effects simulation system of the aerodynamic wind tunnel of the Shanghai Automotive Wind Tunnel Center was built. The model includes the scoop, the distributed suction, the tangential blowing, the moving belt and the wheel belts. The simulated boundary layer profile and the pressure distribution agree well with test results. The baseline model and multiple design changes of the new Buick Excelle GT are simulated. The simulation results agree very well with test results.
Journal Article

Validation and Design of Heavy Vehicle Cooling System with Waste Heat Recovery Condenser

Fuel efficiency for tractor/trailer combinations continues to be a key area of focus for manufacturers and suppliers in the commercial vehicle industry. Improved fuel economy of vehicles in transit can be achieved through reductions in aerodynamic drag, tire rolling resistance, and driveline losses. Fuel economy can also be increased by improving the efficiency of the thermal to mechanical energy conversion of the engine. One specific approach to improving the thermal efficiency of the engine is to implement a waste heat recovery (WHR) system that captures engine exhaust heat and converts this heat into useful mechanical power through use of a power fluid turbine expander. Several heat exchangers are required for this Rankine-based WHR system to collect and reject the waste heat before and after the turbine expander. The WHR condenser, which is the heat rejection component of this system, can be an additional part of the front-end cooling module.
Technical Paper

Validation Study for the Introduction of an Aerodynamic Development Process of Heavy Trucks

A challenge for the aerodynamic optimization of trucks is the limited availability of wind tunnels for testing full scale trucks. FAW wants to introduce a development process which is mainly based on CFD simulation in combination with some limited amount of wind tunnel testing. While maturity of CFD simulation for truck aerodynamics has been demonstrated in recent years, a complete validation is still required before committing to a particular process. A 70% scale model is built for testing in the Shanghai Automotive Wind Tunnel Center (SAWTC). Drag and surface pressures are measured for providing a good basis for comparison to the simulation results. The simulations are performed for the truck in the open road driving condition as well as in an initial digital model of the aerodynamic wind tunnel of SAWTC. A full size truck is also simulated in the open road driving condition to understand the scaling effect.
Technical Paper

Validation Studies for an Advanced Aerodynamic Development Process of Cab-Over Type Heavy Trucks

The implementation of an advanced process for the aerodynamic development of cab-over type heavy trucks at China FAW Group Corporation (FAW) requires a rigorous validation of the tools employed in this process. The final objective of the aerodynamic optimization of a heavy truck is the reduction of the fuel consumption. The aerodynamic drag of a heavy truck contributes up to 50% of the overall resistance and thus fuel consumption. An accurate prediction of the aerodynamic drag under real world driving conditions is therefore very important. Tools used for the aerodynamic development of heavy trucks include Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), wind tunnels and track and road testing methods. CFD and wind tunnels are of particular importance in the early phase development.
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

Under-hood Thermal Simulation of a Class 8 Truck

A validation study was performed comparing the simulation results of the Lattice-Boltzmann Equation (LBE) based flow solver, PowerFLOW®, to cooling cell measurements conducted at Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA). The experimental conditions were reproduced in the simulations including dynamometer cell geometry, fully detailed under-hood, and external tractor geometry. Interactions between the air flow and heat exchangers were modeled through a coupled simulation with the 1D-tool, PowerCOOL™, to solve for engine coolant and charge air temperatures. Predicted temperatures at the entry and exit plane of the radiator and charge-air-cooler were compared to thermocouple measurements. In addition, a detailed flow analysis was performed to highlight regions of fan shroud loss and cooling airflow recirculation. This information was then used to improve cooling performance in a knowledge-based incremental design process.
Technical Paper

Thermal Design Evaluation of Construction Vehicles using a Simulation Based Methodology

Design and evaluation of construction equipments and vehicles in the construction industry constitute a very important but expensive and time consuming part of the engineering process on account of large number of variants of prototypes and low production volumes associated with each variant. In this article, we investigate an alternative approach to the hardware testing based design process by implementing a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation based methodology that has the potential to reduce the cost and time of the entire design process. The simulation results were compared with test data and good agreement was observed between test data and simulation.
Technical Paper

The Lattice-Boltzmann Method: An Alternative to LES for Complex Aerodynamic and Aeroacoustic Simulations in the Aerospace Industry

An overview of the theory and applications of the Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM) is presented in this paper. LBM has gained a reputation over the past decade as a viable alternative to traditional Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) based methods for the solution of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applications in the aerospace and automotive industries. The theoretical background of the method is presented and the key differentiators to traditional RANS methods are summarized. We then look at current and potential future applications of CFD in the aerospace industry and identify a number of areas where the limitations of RANS tools, in particular with regard to unsteady flows and the handling of complex geometries, prevent a deeper penetration of CFD into product development processes in the aerospace industry.
Journal Article

The Effects of Detailed Tire Geometry on Automobile Aerodynamics - a CFD Correlation Study in Static Conditions

A correlation study was performed between static wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for a small hatchback vehicle, with the intent of evaluating a variety of different wheel and tire designs for aerodynamic forces. This was the first step of a broader study to develop a tool for assessing wheel and tire designs with real world (rolling road) conditions. It was discovered that better correlation could be achieved when actual tire scan data was used versus traditional smooth (CAD) tire geometry. This paper details the process involved in achieving the best correlation of the CFD prediction with experimental results, and describes the steps taken to include the most accurate geometry possible, including photogrammetry scans of an actual tire that was tested, and the level of meshing detail utilized to capture the fluid effects of the tire detail.
Journal Article

The Bandwidth of Transient Yaw Effects on Vehicle Aerodynamics

A vehicle on the road encounters an unsteady flow due to turbulence in the natural wind, the unsteady wakes from other vehicles and as a result of traversing through the stationary wakes of road side obstacles. There is increasing concern about potential differences in aerodynamic behaviour measured in steady flow wind tunnel conditions and that which occurs for vehicles on the road. It is possible to introduce turbulence into the wind tunnel environment (e.g. by developing active turbulence generators) but on-road turbulence is wide ranging in terms of both its intensity and frequency and it would be beneficial to better understand what aspects of the turbulence are of greatest importance to the aerodynamic performance of vehicles. There has been significant recent work on the characterisation of turbulent airflow relevant to road vehicles. The simulation of this time-varying airflow is now becoming possible in wind tunnels and in CFD.
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

The Aerodynamic Development of the Tesla Model S - Part 1: Overview

The Tesla Motors Model S has been designed from a clean sheet of paper to prove that no compromises to a desirable aesthetic style and world class driving experience are necessary in order to be energy efficient. Aerodynamic optimization is a major contributor to the overall efficiency of an electric vehicle and the close integration of the Design and Engineering groups at Tesla Motors was specifically arranged to process design iterations quickly and enable the fully informed development of the exterior surfaces at a very rapid pace. Clear communication and a working appreciation of each other's priorities were vital to this collaboration and underpinning this was extensive use of the powerful analysis and visualization capabilities of CFD. CFD was used to identify and effectively communicate the nature of beneficial and detrimental design features and to find ways to enhance or ameliorate them accordingly.
Technical Paper

The Aerodynamic Development of a New Dongfeng Heavy Truck

The development of a new Dongfeng Heavy truck had very strict targets for fuel consumption. As the aerodynamic drag plays a crucial role for the fuel consumption, a low drag value had to be achieved. It was therefore essential to include evaluation and optimization of the aerodynamics in the development process. Because wind tunnel facilities were not available, the complete aerodynamics development was based on digital simulation. The major portion of the aerodynamic optimization was carried out during the styling phase where mirrors, sun visor, front bumper and aero devices were optimized for drag reduction. For optimizing corner vanes and mud guards, self-soiling from the wheel spray was included in the analysis. The aero results did also show that cooling air flow rates are sufficiently high to ensure proper cooling. During the detailed engineering phase an increase of the drag above the target required further optimization work to finally reach the target.
Technical Paper

Simulation-Driven Process to Evaluate Vehicle Integration Aspects in Brake Thermal Design

Thermal performance of a brake system is one of the key attributes in a new vehicle development process. Adequate brake cooling characteristics are part of the vehicle performance and safety requirements. The design of a new brake system, however, can be a complex task from a thermal engineering perspective, particularly because of complex interactions between the brake component and the rest of the vehicle. Frequently, the vehicle integration issues are the most serious challenges for brake engineers. There are considerations on how much heat should be dissipated from a single and/or consecutive braking events vs. how much cooling can be provided to the brake corner. Design issues such as where to direct the cooling air to how much flexibility is allowed while complying with other requirements from the studio and aero teams. For a brake engineer, the priority is to maximize cooling to the brake corner and prevent system failure.
Journal Article

Simulation of Underbody Contribution of Wind Noise in a Passenger Automobile

Wind noise is a significant source of interior noise in automobiles at cruising conditions, potentially creating dissatisfaction with vehicle quality. While wind noise contributions at higher frequencies usually originate with transmission through greenhouse panels and sealing, the contribution coming from the underbody area often dominates the interior noise spectrum at lower frequencies. Continued pressure to reduce fuel consumption in new designs is causing more emphasis on aerodynamic performance, to reduce drag by careful management of underbody airflow at cruise. Simulation of this airflow by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools allows early optimization of underbody shapes before expensive hardware prototypes are feasible. By combining unsteady CFD-predicted loads on the underbody panels with a structural acoustic model of the vehicle, underbody wind noise transmission could be considered in the early design phases.
Journal Article

Simulation of Rear and Body Side Vehicle Soiling by Road Sprays Using Transient Particle Tracking

Numerical simulations have proven to be effective tools for the aerodynamic design of vehicles, helping to reduce drag, improve cooling flows, and balance aerodynamic lift. Aeroacoustic simulations can also be performed; these can give guidance on how design changes may affect the noise level within the cabin. However, later in the development process it may be discovered that soiling management issues, for example, necessitate design changes. These may have adverse consequences for noise or require extra expense in the form of technological counter-measures (i.e. hydrophobic glass). Performing soiling simulations can allow these potential issues to be addressed earlier in the design process. One of the areas where simulation can be particularly useful is in the prediction of soiling due to wheel spray.
Journal Article

Simulation of Rear Glass and Body Side Vehicle Soiling by Road Sprays

Numerical simulation of aerodynamics for vehicle development is used to meet a wide range of performance targets, including aerodynamic drag for fuel efficiency, cooling flow rates, and aerodynamic lift for vehicle handling. The aerodynamic flow field can also be used to compute the advection of small particles such as water droplets, dust, dirt, sand, etc., released into the flow domain, including the effects of mass, gravity, and the forces acting on the particles by the airflow. Previous efforts in this topic have considered the water sprays ejected by rotating wheels when driving on a wet road. The road spray carries dirt particles and can obscure the side and rear glazing. In this study, road sprays are considered in which the effects of additional water droplets resulting from splashing and dripping of particles from the wheel house and rear under body are added to help understand the patterns of dirt film accumulation on the side glass and rear glass.
Technical Paper

Simulation of Cooling Airflow under Different Driving Conditions

Presented are simulations of cooling airflow and external aerodynamics over Land Rover LR3 and Ford Mondeo cars under several driving conditions. The simulations include details of the external flow field together with the flow in the under-hood and underbody areas. Shown is the comparison between the predicted and measured coolant inlet temperature in the radiator, drag and lift coefficients, temperature distribution on the radiator front face, and wake total pressure distribution. Very good agreement is observed. In addition, shown is the complex evolution of the temperature field in the idle case with strong under-hood recirculation. It is shown that the presented Lattice-Boltzmann Method based approach can provide accurate predictions of both cooling airflow and external aerodynamics.
Journal Article

Simulation of Cooling Airflow and Surface Temperature of a Midsize Truck

This paper presents a simulation of the cooling airflow and surface temperatures of a midsize truck. The simulation uses full detailed geometry of the truck. Performance of the under-hood cooling airflow is analyzed and potential design changes leading to better cooling airflow are highlighted. Surface temperature over certain under-hood part is studied. Possible optimizations using various material and configurations are proposed. It is shown that the presented simulation approach provides valuable information to evaluate cooling system and thermal protection performance. Fast design iterations can be achieved using this approach.
Technical Paper

Simulation of Class 8 Truck Cooling System: Comparison to Experiment under Different Engine Operation Conditions

More stringent heavy vehicle emissions legislation demands considerably higher performance for engine cooling systems. This paper presents a study of cooling airflow for a Freightliner Class 8 truck. The predicted radiator coolant inlet and charge-air-cooler outlet temperatures are in very good agreement with the measured data. The under hood flow behavior is described and potential areas of improvement leading to better cooling airflow performance are highlighted. The airflow simulation approach is based on the Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM) and is described in detail. It is shown that the presented simulation approach can provide accurate predictions of cooling airflow and coolant temperature across different fan speeds.