Computational Analyses of the Effects of Wind Tunnel Ground Simulation and Blockage Ratio on the Aerodynamic Prediction of Flow over a Passenger Vehicle

Chen Fu, Mesbah Uddin, Chunhui Zhang
2020 Vehicles  
With the fast-paced growth of computational horsepower and its affordability, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been rapidly evolving as a popular and effective tool for aerodynamic design and analysis in the automotive industry. In the real world, a road vehicle is subject to varying wind and operating conditions that affect its aerodynamic characteristics, and are difficult to reproduce in a traditional wind tunnel. CFD has the potential of becoming a cost-effective way of achieving
more » ... through the application of different boundary conditions. Additionally, one can view wind tunnel testing, be it a fixed-floor or rolling road tunnel, as a physical simulation of actual on-road driving. The use of on-road track testing, and static-floor, and rolling-road wind tunnel measurements are common practices in industry. Subsequently, we investigated the influences of these test conditions and the related boundary conditions on the predictions of the aerodynamic characteristics of the flow field around a vehicle using CFD. A detailed full-scale model of Hyundai Veloster with two vehicle configurations, one with the original and the other with an improved spoiler, were tested using a commercial CFD code STAR-CCM+ from Siemens. Both vehicle configurations were simulated using four different test conditions, providing overall eight different sets of simulation settings. The CFD methodology was validated with experimental data from the Hyundai Aero-acoustic Wind Tunnel (HAWT), by accurately reproducing the test section with static floor boundary conditions. In order to investigate the effect of the blockage ratio on the aerodynamic predictions, the vehicle models were then tested with moving ground plus rotating wheel boundary conditions, using a total of four virtual wind tunnel configurations, with tunnel solid blockage ratios ranging from 1.25%, which corresponds to the actual HAWT, to 0.04%, which presents an open air driving condition.
doi:10.3390/vehicles2020018 fatcat:abech37bynhfhcxd4qprrk5dna