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Effect of turbulence in modeling the reduction of local drag forces in a computational automotive model

Author(s): Sanwar A. Sunny

Journal: International Journal of Energy and Environment
ISSN 2076-2895

Volume: 2;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 1079;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Automotive drag forces; Coefficient of drag; Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations; Large eddy simulation techniques; Reynolds decomposition

In this computational fluid dynamic (CFD) study on vehicle drag forces sheds light on the mathematical algorithms utilized to converge on pertinent data useful in the design and manufacture of automobiles. COSMOS Floworks™ was used to model the virtual vehicle motion involving various governing flow equations with main attention given to turbulent behavior in incompressible fluid flows. The paper highlighted Navier-Stokes considerations in the study and introduced Reynolds Decomposition methods to generate more refined models which in turn give accurate results, such as Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) Equations and Large Eddy Simulation (LES) Techniques, introduced using the Einstein Notation. Recent developments in Coherent vortex simulation methods were also briefly discussed. Example modeling and tests were conducted to show automotive design improvements that resulted in a 8.57% improvement in local drag forces (FD) at the rear wheel wells, which effectively reduces the required Horsepower (hp) of the vehicle traveling at a certain speed (7.24 %). Different 3-D Automotive Design Models were examined in the current study, where real life design considerations and design benefits applications were briefly discussed. Furthermore, the paper highlights the need for utilization of both computational and real flow analysis on the car body and future performance relationship with the car’s body weight, material and design.
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