Vehicle Aerodynamics and Thermal Management investigations
The energy consumption related to road transport is predicted to increase significantly over the coming decades. This puts large challenges on the automotive industry and academia to push development towards increasingly energy efficient vehicles. This research project aims at reducing the energy consumption of passenger cars and heavy vehicles by reducing the aerodynamics drag on the models. The project involves several current research topics including underbody and wheel housing flows, underhood flow and thermal management as well as rear end flow field. Experimental investigations on this type of models are extremely expensive as they require access to both physical test objects as well as sophisticated wind tunnel facilities. Furthermore, automotive wind tunnel investigations mainly provide force measurements and at the best only limited flow information. Consequently, computational tools are a highly important resource for this research project. In addition to giving detailed force information on trend predictions, it also provides the full flow field which is important when investigating vehicle aerodynamics as strong interference effects is always present. A high level of detail on the models is necessary in order to capture as many of the flow interactions that will be present on roads as possible. This requires relatively large computational resources and access to high performance computer clusters.