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.