Effects of Moving Ground and Rotating Wheels on Aerodynamic Drag of a 2-BOX Vehicle

Paper #:
  • 2018-01-0730

Published:
  • 2018-04-03
Abstract:
In terms of energy saving and CO2 reduction, it is important to reduce aerodynamic drag for reducing fuel consumption. In particular, the drag reduction of 2-Box vehicles is becoming increasingly important, because customer’s preferences for 2-Box vehicles are growing year by year. Although the aerodynamic drags of 2-Box vehicles are relatively larger than other passenger vehicle types, the intrinsic nature of aerodynamic drag on 2-Box vehicle is not well-understood. In our previous study, we made clear the drag generation mechanism for a 2-box vehicle model by conducting wall-resolving LES (Large Eddy Simulation). However, we could not mention whether the proposed mechanism could be applied to actual vehicle, since the previously conducted model did not have wheels and wheel-housings. In this study, the effects of wheels/wheel-housings, moving ground and rotating wheels on aerodynamic drag of 2-Box vehicle have quantitatively investigated by large-scale flow computations with 5 billion grids. The computational results showed the following three conclusions. The previously proposed mechanism for drag generation could be applied also to the actual vehicle model. The moving ground made drag decrease, because the increase of underfloor flow volume reduced the horn-shaped vortex formation to worsen aerodynamic drag. Finally, the effect of rotating wheels on aerodynamic drag depended on vehicle contours with and without an upswept slope of the rear floor. In the case without the upswept slope, rotating wheels made drag decrease. On the other hand, rotating wheels made drag increase for the case with the upswept slope. The difference between the two contours was caused by whether underfloor flow volume was increased or decreased by rotating wheels.
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