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Aerodynamic Drag Reduction for Ground Vehicles using Lateral Guide Vanes

Author(s): Essam Wahba | Humaid Al-Marzooqi | Majd Shaath | Mohamed Shahin | Tarek El-Dhmashawy

Journal: CFD Letters
ISSN 2180-1363

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 68;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Drag reduction | vehicle aerodynamics | turbulence modelling | form drag | Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations

The use of lateral guide vanes as a drag reducing device for ground vehicles is numerically investigated in the present study. Two types of ground vehicles are considered, a simplified bus model and a simplified sport utility vehicle (SUV) model. The guide vanes are used to direct air into the low-pressure wake region in order to enhance pressure recovery, which in turn would reduce form drag and hence the overall aerodynamic drag. Computational fluid dynamics simulations are used to assess the efficiency of the drag reducing device. The steady-state simulations are based on the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, with turbulence closure provided through two-equation eddy-viscosity models. Guide vane cross-section, chord length and angle of attack are varied in order to obtain the optimal configuration for improved aerodynamic performance. Simulations indicate an overall reduction in the aerodynamic drag coefficient of up to 18% for the bus and SUV models with the use of the lateral guide vanes. Grid-independence tests and comparison with available data in the literature is carried out to validate the present numerical procedure.

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