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Technical Paper

A CFD Validation Study for Automotive Aerodynamics

A study was conducted using Ford's nine standard CFD calibration models as described in SAE paper 940323. The models are identical from the B-pillar forward but have different back end configurations. These models were created for the purpose of evaluating the effect of back end geometry variations on aerodynamic lift and drag. Detailed experimental data is available for each model in the form of surface pressure data, surface flow visualization, and wake flow field measurements in addition to aerodynamic lift and drag values. This data is extremely useful in analyzing the accuracy of the numerical simulations. The objective of this study was to determine the capability of a digital physics based commercial CFD code, PowerFLOW ® to accurately simulate the physics of the flow field around the car-like benchmark shapes.
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

A Computer Model Based Sensitivity Analysis of Parameters of an Automotive Air Conditioning System

The objective of this work is to perform a computer model based sensitivity analysis of parameters of an automotive air conditioning system to identify the critical parameters. Design of Experiment (DOE) and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) techniques have been used to identify the critical parameters and their relative effects on the air conditioning system performance. The sensitivity analysis has been verified by running similar tests on an air conditioning system test stand (AC Test Stand).
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 Model for On-Line Monitoring of In-Cylinder Residual Gas Fraction (RGF) and Mass Flowrate in Gasoline Engines

In a gasoline engine, the unswept in-cylinder residual gas and introduction of external EGR is one of the important means of controlling engine raw NOx emissions and improving part load fuel economy via reduction of pumping losses. Since the trapped in-cylinder Residual Gas Fraction (RGF, comprised of both internal, and external) significantly affects the combustion process, on-line diagnosis and monitoring of in-cylinder RGF is very important to the understanding of the in-cylinder dilution condition. This is critical during the combustion system development testing and calibration processes. However, on-line measurement of in-cylinder RGF is difficult and requires an expensive exhaust gas analyzer, making it impractical for every application. Other existing methods, based on measured intake and exhaust pressures (steady state or dynamic traces) to calculate gas mass flowrate across the cylinder ports, provide a fast and economical solution to this problem.
Technical Paper

A Semi-Empirical Model for Fast Residual Gas Fraction Estimation in Gasoline Engines

Accurate accounting for fresh charge (fuel and air) along with trapped RGF is essential for the subsequent thermodynamic analysis of combustion in gasoline engines as well as for on-line and real-time quantification as relevant to engine calibration and control. Cost and complexity of such techniques renders direct measurement of RGF impractical for running engines. In this paper, an empirically-based approach is proposed for on-line RGF, based on an existing semi-empirical model [1]. The model developed expands the range over which the semi-empirical model is valid and further improves its accuracy. The model was rigorously validated against a well correlated GT-POWER model as well as results from 1D gas exchange model [2]. Overall, using this model, RGF estimation error was within ∼1.5% for a wide range of engine operating conditions. The model will be implemented in Dyno development and calibration at Chrysler Group.
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

An Efficient Procedure for Vehicle Thermal Protection Development

Vehicle thermal protection is an important aspect of the overall vehicle development process. It involves optimizing the exhaust system routing and designing heat shields to protect various components that are in near proximity to the exhaust system. Reduced time to market necessitates an efficient process for thermal protection development. A robust procedure that utilizes state of the art CFD simulation techniques proactively during the design phase is described. Simulation allows for early detection of thermal issues and development of countermeasures several months before prototype vehicles are built. Physical testing is only used to verify the thermal protection package rather than to develop heat shields. The new procedure reduces the number of physical tests and results in a robust, efficient methodology.
Technical Paper

An Experimental Study on the Effect of Intake Primary Runner Blockages on Combustion and Emissions in SI Engines under Part-Load Conditions

Charge motion is known to accelerate and stabilize combustion through its influence on turbulence intensity and flame propagation. The present work investigates the effect of charge motion generated by intake runner blockages on combustion characteristics and emissions under part-load conditions in SI engines. Firing experiments have been conducted on a DaimlerChrysler (DC) 2.4L 4-valve I4 engine, with spark range extending around the Maximum Brake Torque (MBT) timing. Three blockages with 20% open area are compared to the fully open baseline case under two operating conditions: 2.41 bar brake mean effective pressure (bmep) at 1600 rpm, and 0.78 bar bmep at 1200 rpm. The blocked areas are shaped to create different levels of swirl, tumble, and cross-tumble. Crank-angle resolved pressures have been acquired, including cylinders 1 and 4, intake runners 1 and 4 upstream and downstream of the blockage, and exhaust runners 1 and 4.
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

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.
Technical Paper

Automotive Seat Suspension Model for Ride Quality Studies

A high fidelity seat suspension model, which can be used for ride quality predictions, is developed in this work. The coil-spring seat suspension model includes unique nonlinear forms for the stiffness and damping characteristics. This is the first paper to consider the nonlinear geometric effects of the suspension, derive the coil-spring suspension model from physical principles, and compare theoretical and experimental results. A simplified nonlinear form is achieved via an admissible function describing the vertical suspension deflection as a function of the lateral position. This simplified nonlinear form is compared to experimental data and demonstrated to have exceptional fidelity.
Technical Paper

Computational Aeroacoustics Investigation of Automobile Sunroof Buffeting

A numerical investigation of automobile sunroof buffeting on a prototype sport utility vehicle (SUV) is presented, including experimental validation. 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 the PowerFLOW code, a CFD/CAA software package from Exa Corporation 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.
Technical Paper

Cooling Airflow Simulation for Passenger Cars using Detailed Underhood Geometry

Air flow in the underhood area is the primary source of engine cooling. A quick look at the vehicle underhood reveals exceptionally complex geometry. In addition to the engine, there are fans, radiator, condenser, other heat exchangers and components. The air flow needs to have adequate access to all relevant parts that require cooling. Due to complex geometry, the task to ensure sufficient air cooling is not a simple one. The air flow entering from the front grille is affected by many components on its path through the underhood. Even small geometry details affect the flow direction and can easily cause recirculation regions which reduce the cooling efficiency. Therefore, air cooling flow analysis requires detailed treatment of the underhood geometry and at the same time accurate air flow modeling. Recent advances in the lattice-Boltzmann equation (LBE) modeling are allowing both.
Technical Paper

Digital Aeroacoustics Design Method of Climate Systems for Improved Cabin Comfort

Over the past decades, interior noise from wind noise or engine noise have been significantly reduced by leveraging improvements of both the overall vehicle design and of sound package. Consequently, noise sources originating from HVAC systems (Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning), fans or exhaust systems are becoming more relevant for perceived quality and passenger comfort. This study focuses on HVAC systems and discusses a Flow-Induced Noise Detection Contributions (FIND Contributions) numerical method enabling the identification of the flow-induced noise sources inside and around HVAC systems. This methodology is based on the post-processing of unsteady flow results obtained using Lattice Boltzmann based Method (LBM) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations combined with LBM-simulated Acoustic Transfer Functions (ATF) between the position of the sources inside the system and the passenger’s ears.
Technical Paper

Direct Aeroacoustics Predictions of Automotive HVAC Systems based on Lattice Boltzmann Method

The demand for low noise level in vehicle cabin continues to rise lately. In particular, noise generated by eco-friendly cars such as hybrid and electric ones tends to become lower and lower. In this market environment, the noise contributions caused by HVAC systems are also increasing. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to accurately predict noise generated by HVAC systems and analyze the noise sources and resolve the noise issue. In this study, direct acoustics prediction approach based on Lattice Boltzmann Method is applied to predict the flow-induced noise from HVAC systems including blower and ducts and find noise sources. In order to validate the simulation result, acoustics measurements are performed on HVAC systems in an anechoic room and the results are compared to each other. A new technique is applied to finding a noise source for a specific frequency and shows improved noise level through modifying the geometry related to noise sources detected by the simulation.
Technical Paper

Effect of Cross Flow on Performance of a PEM Fuel Cell

A serpentine flow channel is one of the most common and practical channel layouts for a PEM fuel cell since it ensures the removal of water produced in a cell. While the reactant flows along the flow channel, it can also leak or cross to neighboring channels via the porous gas diffusion layer due to a high pressure gradient. Such a cross flow leads to effective water removal in a gas diffusion layer thus enlarging the active area for reaction although this cross flow has largely been ignored in previous studies. In this study, neutron radiography is applied to investigate the liquid water accumulation and its effect on the performance of a PEM fuel cell. Liquid water tends to accumulate in the gas diffusion layer adjacent to the flow channel area while the liquid water formed in the gas diffusion layer next to the channel land area seems to be effectively removed by the cross leakage flow between the adjacent flow channels.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Cylinder Pressure Transducer Accuracy based upon Mounting Style, Heat Shields, and Watercooling

This investigation evaluated different pressure transducers in one cylinder to examine the combustion measurement differences between them simultaneously. There were a total of eleven transducers ranging in both diameter and type of transducer (piezo-electric, piezoresistive, and optical). Furthermore, the sensors differed in the methodology for minimizing signal distortion due to temperature. This methodology could take the form of various size mounting passages, heat shields, watercooling or heat transfer paths. To evaluate the sensors, different engine operating conditions were conducted, focusing at full load and low speeds. Other hardware configurations of the same engine family were used to exaggerate the combustion environment, specifically a tumble-motion plate and turbocharging.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Modeling Evaluations of a Vacuum-Insulated Catalytic Converter

Vehicle evaluations and model calculations were conducted on a vacuum-insulated catalytic converter (VICC). This converter uses vacuum and a eutectic PCM (phase-change material) to prolong the temperature cool-down time and hence, may keep the converter above catalyst light-off between starts. Tailpipe emissions from a 1992 Tier 0 5.2L van were evaluated after 3hr, 12hr, and 24hr soak periods. After a 12hr soak the HC emissions were reduced by about 55% over the baseline HC emissions; after a 24hr soak the device did not exhibit any benefit in light-off compared to a conventional converter. Cool-down characteristics of this VICC indicated that the catalyst mid-bed temperature was about 180°C after 24hrs. Model calculations of the temperature warm-up were conducted on a VICC converter. Different warm-up profiles within the converter were predicted depending on the initial temperature of the device.
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.