The Cronuz project: Design optimization for electric vehicle aerodynamic drag reduction by means of numerical methods

Paper #:
  • 2018-01-0748

Published:
  • 2018-04-03
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Abstract:
New CO2 regulations and the special requirements of EV regarding range and efficiency are pushing aerodynamics targets to unseen values. In an effort to investigate new aerodynamics solutions, IDIADA has undertaken the Cronuz project, an electric compact SUV with optimal aerodynamic performance (aerodynamic drag coefficient < 0.2). The Cronuz includes active and passive aerodynamic enablers that focus on key areas such as the wheelhouses and the underbody. IDIADA assumes that besides a streamlined design, new systems are necessary to achieve Cx values below 0,20. This paper shows innovative solutions for the wheelhouse and underbody area, such as active rockers, wheelhouse covers, optimal rims and active fairings. The Cronuz was designed from a blank page and follows a typical project workflow: benchmarking, design guidelines generation, packaging analysis, layout definition, design competition, final design selection and design optimization. In the first project phase, CFD simulation was used intensively to reduce turbulent losses. In the second phase, a mock-up was built and tested in the wind tunnel in order to complete the vehicle optimization and confirm the CFD predictions. IDIADA presents for the first time an active rocker system, which combined with an active front fairing, reduces the Cx 30 counts. The paper gives special attention to the flow physics that produces this aerodynamic improvement. Finally, the paper reviews the upper body optimization in key areas, such as the front bumper and vehicle tail. As a result of the shape optimization, flow separation along the vehicle was almost completely avoided and wake turbulent losses were minimized. The paper reviews a holistic aerodynamics optimization process and demonstrates that Cx values below 0.2, while keeping an appealing design, are currently possible. Besides this achievement, the authors consider that further reductions are also possible by means of active systems, optimal underbody design and streamlined vehicle design.
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