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Journal Article

A Computational Approach to Assess Buffeting and Broadband Noise Generated by a Vehicle Sunroof

Car manufacturers put large efforts into reducing wind noise to improve the comfort level of their cars. 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 designs are tested to meet low-frequency buffeting (also known as boom) targets and broadband noise targets for the fully open sunroof with deflector and for the sunroof in vent position. 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. To reduce the associated costs as well as development times, there is strong motivation for the use of a reliable numerical prediction capability early in the vehicle design process.
Journal Article

A Computational Approach to Evaluate the Automotive Windscreen Wiper Placement Options Early in the Design Process

For most car manufacturers, wind noise from the greenhouse region has become the dominant high frequency noise contributor at highway speeds. Addressing this wind noise issue using experimental procedures involves 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 use of a reliable numerical prediction capability early in the vehicle design process. Previously, a computational approach that couples an unsteady computational fluid dynamics solver (based on a Lattice Boltzmann method) to a Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) solver had been validated for predicting the noise contribution from the side mirrors. This paper presents the use of this computational approach to predict the vehicle interior noise from the windshield wipers, so that different wiper placement options can be evaluated early in the design process before the surface is frozen.
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

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.
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.
Journal Article

Aerodynamic Comparison of Tractor-Trailer Platooning and A-Train Configuration

Modern aerodynamic Class 8 freight tractors can improve vehicle freight efficiency and fuel economy versus older traditional style tractors when pulling Canadian style A- or B-Train double trailer long combination vehicles (LCV's) at highway speeds. This paper compares the aerodynamic performance of a current generation aerodynamic tractor with several freight hauling configurations through computational fluid dynamics evaluations using the Lattice-Boltzmann methodology. The configurations investigated include the tractor hauling a standard 53′ trailer, a platooning configuration with a 30′ separation distance, and an A-Train configuration including two 48′ trailers connected with a dolly converter. The study demonstrates CFD's capability of evaluating extremely long vehicle combinations that might be difficult to accomplish in traditional wind tunnels due to size limitations.
Journal Article

Aerodynamic Impact of Tractor-Trailer in Drafting Configuration

On-highway tractor-trailer vehicles operate in a complex aerodynamic environment that includes influences of surrounding vehicles. Typical aerodynamic analyses and testing of single vehicles on test track, in wind tunnel or in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) do not account for these real world effects. However, it is possible with simulation and on-road testing to evaluate these aerodynamic interactions. CFD and physical testing of multiple vehicle interactions show that traffic interactions can impact the overall drag of leading and trailing vehicles. This paper will discuss results found in evaluating the effects of separation distances on tractor-trailer aerodynamics in on-road and CFD evaluations using a time-accurate Lattice Boltzmann Method based approach and the ramifications for improving real world prediction versus controlled single vehicle testing.
Journal Article

Aerodynamic Optimization of Trailer Add-On Devices Fully- and Partially-Skirted Trailer Configurations

As part of the United States Department of Energy's SuperTruck program, Volvo Trucks and its partners were tasked with demonstrating 50% improvement in overall freight efficiency for a tractor-trailer, relative to a best in class 2009 model year truck. This necessitated that significant gains be made in reducing aerodynamic drag of the tractor-trailer system, so trailer side-skirts and a trailer boat-tail were employed. A Lattice-Boltzmann based simulation method was used in conjunction with a Kriging Response Surface optimization process in order to efficiently describe a design space of seven independent parameters relating to boat-tail and side-skirt dimensions, and to find an optimal configuration. Part 1 concerns a fully-skirted tractor-trailer system, and consists of an initial phase of optimization, followed by a mid-project re-evaluation of constraints, and an additional period of optimization.
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.
Journal Article

Aerodynamic Shape Optimization of an SUV in early Development Stage using a Response Surface Method

In the development of an FAW SUV, one of the goals is to achieve a state of the art drag level. In order to achieve such an aggressive target, feedback from aerodynamics has to be included in the early stage of the design decision process. The aerodynamic performance evaluation and improvement is mostly based on CFD simulation in combination with some wind tunnel testing for verification of the simulation results. As a first step in this process, a fully detailed simulation model is built. The styling surface is combined with engine room and underbody detailed geometry from a similar size existing vehicle. From a detailed analysis of the flow field potential areas for improvement are identified and five design parameters for modifying overall shape features of the upper body are derived. In a second step, a response surface method involving design of experiments and adaptive sampling techniques are applied for characterizing the effects of the design changes.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Simulation of a Standalone Rotating Treaded Tire

The aerodynamics of a rotating tire can contribute up to a third of the overall aerodynamic force on the vehicle. The flow around a rotating tire is very complex and is often affected by smallest tire features. Accurate prediction of vehicle aerodynamics therefore requires modeling of tire rotation including all geometry details. Increased simulation accuracy is motivated by the needs emanating from stricter new regulations. For example, the upcoming Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) will place more emphasis on vehicle performance at higher speeds. The reason for this is to bring the certified vehicle characteristics closer to the real-world performance. In addition, WLTP will require reporting of CO2 emissions for all vehicle derivatives, including all possible wheel and tire variants. Since the number of possible derivatives can run into the hundreds for most models, their evaluation in wind tunnels might not be practically possible.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Simulations of a Class 8 Heavy Truck: Comparison to Wind Tunnel Results and Investigation of Blockage Influences

The accuracy of the Lattice-Boltzmann based simulation method for prediction of aerodynamic drag on a heavy truck was evaluated by comparing results to twenty percent scale model wind tunnel measurements from the University of Washington Aeronautical Laboratory (UWAL). A detailed preproduction Kenworth T2000 tractor trailer was used as the scale model. The results include a comparison of normalized drag between simulation and wind tunnel as well as percentage drag change with the addition of a radius to the rear edge of the trailer. Significant effort was involved to model all of the wind tunnel details affecting the tractor-trailer drag. These are discussed along with the results of additional simulations which were performed to study the impact of the UWAL tunnel geometry relative to a tunnel with the same blockage and constant cross-sectional area, and a case with negligible blockage.
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

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

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.
Journal Article

Application of CFD to Predict Brake Disc Contamination in Wet Conditions

Brake disc materials are being utilised that have low noise/dust properties, but are sensitive to contamination by surface water. This drives large dust shields, making brake cooling increasingly difficult. However, brake cooling must be delivered without compromising aerodynamic drag and hence CO2 emissions targets. Given that front brake discs sit in a region of geometric, packaging and flow complexity optimization of their performance requires the analysis of thermal, aerodynamic and multi-phase flows. Some of the difficulties inherent in this task would be alleviated if the complete analysis could be performed in the same CAE environment: utilizing common models and the same solver technology. Hence the project described in this paper has sought to develop a CFD method that predicts the amount of contamination (water) that reaches the front brake discs, using a standard commercial code already exploited for both brake disc thermal and aerodynamics analysis.
Technical Paper

Application of Real-World Wind Conditions for Assessing Aerodynamic Drag for On-Road Range Prediction

Aerodynamic evaluation of vehicles using static yaw angle changes in wind tunnel testing and numerical simulation has been used as standard practice for evaluating vehicle performance under a range of wind conditions. However, this approach does not consider dynamic wind effects coming from changing wind conditions, passing other vehicles and roadside obstacles, and transient non-uniform wind conditions coming from environmental turbulence. In previous work by the authors, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation methodology for considering dynamic wind conditions and on-road turbulence was demonstrated, showing the important effects of the wind conditions on the vehicle aerodynamics. The technique allows the vehicle to be tested under a range of transient gust conditions, also accounting for wind turbulence coming from upstream vehicles and natural environmental wind fluctuations.
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

Attempts for Reduction of Rear Window Buffeting Using CFD

This paper summarizes the major activities of CFD study on rear window buffeting of production vehicles during the past two years at DaimlerChrysler. The focus of the paper is the attempt to find suitable solutions for buffeting suppression using a developed procedure of CFD simulation with commercial software plus FFT acoustic post-processing. The analysis procedure has been validated using three representative production vehicles and good correlation with wind tunnel tests has been attained which has gained the confidence in solving the buffeting problem. Several attempts have been proposed and tried to find solution for buffeting reduction. Some of them are promising, but feasibility and manufacturability still need discussion. In order to find suitable solution for buffeting reduction, more basic research is necessary, more ideas should be collected, and more joint efforts of CFD and testing are imperative.
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.