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Journal Article

On the Effects of Wind Tunnel Floor Tangential Blowing on the Aerodynamic Forces of Passenger Vehicles

2017-03-28
2017-01-1518
Abstract Many aerodynamic wind tunnels used for testing of ground vehicles have advanced ground simulation systems to account for the relative motion between the ground and the vehicle. One commonly used approach for ground simulation is a five belt system, where moving belts are used, often in conjunction with distributed suction and tangential blowing that reduces the displacement thickness of the boundary layer along the wind tunnel floor. This paper investigates the effects from aft-belt tangential blowing in the Volvo Cars Aerodynamic wind tunnel. First the uniformity of the boundary layer thickness downstream of the blowing slots is examined in the empty tunnel. This is followed by investigations of how the measured performance of different vehicle types in several configurations, typically tested in routine aerodynamic development work, depends on whether the tangential blowing system is active or not.
Technical Paper

Surface Flow Visualization on a Full-Scale Passenger Car with Quantitative Tuft Image Processing

2016-04-05
2016-01-1582
Abstract Flow visualization techniques are widely used in aerodynamics to investigate the surface trace pattern. In this experimental investigation, the surface flow pattern over the rear end of a full-scale passenger car is studied using tufts. The movement of the tufts is recorded with a DSLR still camera, which continuously takes pictures. A novel and efficient tuft image processing algorithm has been developed to extract the tuft orientations in each image. This allows the extraction of the mean tuft angle and other such statistics. From the extracted tuft angles, streamline plots are created to identify points of interest, such as saddle points as well as separation and reattachment lines. Furthermore, the information about the tuft orientation in each time step allows studying steady and unsteady flow phenomena. Hence, the tuft image processing algorithm provides more detailed information about the surface flow than the traditional tuft method.
Technical Paper

Investigations of the Rear-End Flow Structures on a Sedan Car

2016-04-05
2016-01-1606
Abstract The aerodynamic drag, fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions, of a road vehicle depend strongly on its flow structures and the pressure drag generated. The rear end flow which is an area of complex three-dimensional flow structures, contributes to the wake development and the overall aerodynamic performance of the vehicle. This paper seeks to provide improved insight into this flow region to better inform future drag reduction strategies. Using experimental and numerical techniques, two vehicle shapes have been studied; a 30% scale model of a Volvo S60 representing a 2003MY vehicle and a full scale 2010MY S60. First the surface topology of the rear end (rear window and trunk deck) of both configurations is analysed, using paint to visualise the skin friction pattern. By means of critical points, the pattern is characterized and changes are identified studying the location and type of the occurring singularities.
Journal Article

Structures of Flow Separation on a Passenger Car

2015-04-14
2015-01-1529
Abstract The phenomenon of three-dimensional flow separation is and has been in the focus of many researchers. An improved understanding of the physics and the driving forces is desired to be able to improve numerical simulations and to minimize aerodynamic drag over bluff bodies. To investigate the sources of separation one wants to understand what happens at the surface when the flow starts to detach and the upwelling of the streamlines becomes strong. This observation of a flow leaving the surface could be captured by investigating the limiting streamlines and surface parameters as pressure, vorticity or the shear stress. In this paper, numerical methods are used to investigate the surface pressure and flow patterns on a sedan passenger vehicle. Observed limiting streamlines are compared to the pressure distribution and their correlation is shown. For this investigation the region behind the antenna and behind the wheel arch, are pointed out and studied in detail.
Journal Article

Automated Aerodynamic Vehicle Shape Optimization Using Neural Networks and Evolutionary Optimization

2015-04-14
2015-01-1548
Abstract The foremost aim of the work presented in this paper is to improve fuel economy and decrease CO2 emissions by reducing the aerodynamic drag of passenger vehicles. In vehicle development, computer aided engineering (CAE) methods have become a development driver tool rather than a design assessment tool. Exploring and developing the capabilities of current CAE tools is therefore of great importance. An efficient method for vehicle shape optimization has been developed using recent years' advancements in neural networks and evolutionary optimization. The proposed method requires the definition of design variables as the only manual work. The optimization is performed on a solver approximation instead of the real solver, which considerably reduces computation time. A database is generated from simulations of sampled configurations within the pre-defined design space. The database is used to train an artificial neural network which acts as an approximation to the simulations.
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