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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

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.
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

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.
Journal Article

Assessment of Broadband Noise Generated by a Vehicle Sunroof at Different Flow Conditions using a Digital Wind Tunnel

For the automotive industry, the quality and level of the wind noise contribution has a growing importance and therefore should be addressed as early as possible in the development process. Each component of the vehicle is designed to meet its individual noise target to ensure the wind noise passenger comfort level inside the vehicle is met. Sunroof broadband noise is generated by the turbulent flow developed over the roof opening. A strong shear layer and vortices impacting on the trailing edge of the sunroof are typical mechanisms related to the noise production. Sunroof designs are tested to meet broadband noise targets. Experimentally testing designs and making changes to meet these design targets typically involves high cost prototypes, expensive wind tunnel sessions and potentially late design changes.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Underbody Windnoise Sources on a Production Vehicle using a Lattice Boltzmann Scheme

A computational analysis of underbody windnoise sources on a production automobile at 180 km/h free stream air speed and 0° yaw is presented. Two different underbody geometry configurations were considered for this study. The numerical results have been obtained using the commercial software PowerFLOW. The simulation kernel of this software is based on the numerical scheme known as the Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM), combined with a two-equation RNG turbulence model. This scheme accurately captures time-dependent aerodynamic behavior of turbulent flows over complex detailed geometries, including the pressure fluctuations causing wind noise. Comparison of pressure fluctuations levels mapped on a fluid plane below the underbody shows very good correlation between experiment and simulation. Detailed flow analysis was done for both configurations to obtain insight into the transient nature of the flow field in the underbody region.
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.
Journal Article

Accurate Fuel Economy Prediction via a Realistic Wind Averaged Drag Coefficient

The ultimate goal for vehicle aerodynamicists is to develop vehicles that perform well on the road under real-world conditions. One of the most important metrics to evaluate vehicle performance is the drag coefficient. However, vehicle development today is performed mostly under controlled settings using wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with artificially uniform upstream conditions, neglecting real-world effects due to road turbulence from wind and other vehicles. Thus, the drag coefficients computed with these methods might not be representative of the real performance of the car on the road. This might ultimately lead engineers to develop design solutions and aerodynamic devices which, while performing well in idealized conditions, do not perform well on the road. For this reason, it is important to assess the vehicle’s drag as seen in real-world environments. An effort in this direction is represented by using the wind-averaged drag.
Technical Paper

A Coupled Approach to Truck Drum Brake Cooling

Trucks can carry heavy load and when applying the brakes during for example a mountain downhill or for an abrupt stop, the brake temperatures can rise significantly. Elevated temperatures in the drum brake region can reduce the braking efficiency or can even cause the brake system to fail, catch fire or even break. It therefore needs to be designed such to be able to transfer the heat out of its system by convection, conduction and/or radiation. All three heat transfer modes play an important role since the drum brakes of trucks are not much exposed to external airflow, a significant difference from disk brakes of passenger cars analyzed in previous studies. This makes it a complex heat transfer problem which is not easy to understand. Numerical methods provide insight by visualization of the different heat transfer modes. Presented is a numerical method that simulates the transient heat transfer of a truck drum brake system cooldown at constant driving speed.
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.