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AERODYANAMIC ANALYSIS

OF
AN URBAN CAR
TABLE OF CONTENTS
List of Figures ............................................................................................................................................... 4

ABSTRACT.................................................................................................................................................. 5

INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................ 6

AIMS and OBJECTIVES ............................................................................................................................. 7

Study Setup ................................................................................................................................................... 7

Car Selection ............................................................................................................................................. 7

Modelling .................................................................................................................................................. 8

Frontal Area ............................................................................................................................................ 11

Workbench Setup .................................................................................................................................... 12

Mesh........................................................................................................................................................ 12

Setup Time .............................................................................................................................................. 12

Computational Expense .......................................................................................................................... 12

Flow Regime ........................................................................................................................................... 13

Model Equations ..................................................................................................................................... 13

Results ......................................................................................................................................................... 15

Windscreen Angle and Drag ................................................................................................................... 15

Model 1 ................................................................................................................................................... 16

Cd ............................................................................................................................................................ 16

Pressure Distributions ............................................................................................................................. 17

Streamlines.............................................................................................................................................. 17

Model 2 ................................................................................................................................................... 18

Cd ............................................................................................................................................................ 18

Pressure Distribution............................................................................................................................... 18

Streamlines.............................................................................................................................................. 19

Model 3 ................................................................................................................................................... 20

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Cd ............................................................................................................................................................ 20

Pressure Distribution............................................................................................................................... 20

Streamlines.............................................................................................................................................. 21

Model 4 ................................................................................................................................................... 22

Cd ............................................................................................................................................................ 22

Pressure Distribution............................................................................................................................... 23

Streamlines.............................................................................................................................................. 24

Observations ........................................................................................................................................... 25

Contribution Towards Fuel Economy ..................................................................................................... 26

Bibliography ............................................................................................................................................... 29

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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 0-1 2009 Ford Focus RS .................................................................................................................... 6
Figure 0-1 Sketch setup Solidworks ............................................................................................................. 8
Figure 0-2 Windscreen angle in solidworks of original model ..................................................................... 9
Figure 0-3 Windscreen angle +3 degree the original .................................................................................... 9
Figure 0-4 Windscreen angle +6 degree the original .................................................................................. 10
Figure 0-5 Windscreen angle -6 degree the original ................................................................................... 10
Figure 0-6 Isometric View of car model ..................................................................................................... 10
Figure 0-7 Frontal area of solidworks model .............................................................................................. 11
Figure 0-1 Schematic Description of Flow Pattern in the Forefront of a Car ............................................. 15
Figure 0-2 forward motion of the vehicle pushes the air ............................................................................ 16
Figure 0-3 Cd convergence graph for model 1 ........................................................................................... 16
Figure 0-4 Pressure distribution along the body of car ............................................................................... 17
Figure 0-5 Flow streamlines over car body ................................................................................................ 17
Figure 0-6 Cd convergence graph for model .............................................................................................. 18
Figure 0-7 Pressure distribution along the body of car ............................................................................... 19
Figure 0-8 Flow streamlines along the car body ......................................................................................... 19
Figure 0-9 Cd convergence for model 3 ..................................................................................................... 20
Figure 0-10 Pressure distribution along the body of car ............................................................................. 21
Figure 0-11 Flow streamlines along the body of car................................................................................... 22
Figure 0-12 Cd convergence graph for model 4 ......................................................................................... 22
Figure 0-13 Pressure distribution along the body of car ............................................................................. 23
Figure 0-14 Pressure distribution on the surface of car body ..................................................................... 24
Figure 0-15 Flow streamlines along the body of car................................................................................... 25
Figure 0-16 General Trend of Cd Over the Study....................................................................................... 26
Figure 0-17 Drag force, cd and area of section relationship (Browand, 2002) ........................................... 27
Figure 0-18 Drag force variation over the course of study ......................................................................... 28

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ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of aerodynamics of a car. This study involved
development of concepts of drag and lift with regard to a car at legal driving speed. Using solidwroks car
model with necessary features for this study was developed and using Ansys fluent workbench a fluid
regime was created for this car, lift and drag forces were recorded for current configuration of model with
focus on being windscreen angle different models of same car with change in windscreen angle were
developed and observed in same environment. Results generated were reported to quite satisfactory with
the deviation from original values were reasoned and reported.

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INTRODUCTION
Fluid dynamics is a vast field and one of its major application has been automobile industry for last few
decades with major focus on calculating drag and lift forces on the body. Use of the generated data for
calculating the drag forces for body shape gives an idea of resistance a vehicle faces moving in air. It also
helps in designing the shape of car in such a way that an optimized amount of resistance is applied to car
body but an aesthetic sense of beauty of shape is also maintained. This task is performed by
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Since flow regimes especially turbulent flow is very hard to
model to a great extent, so use of technology and experimental techniques is forced by strange nature of
turbulent flow.

This report covers one such CFD study. A car model developed using Solidworks is loaded in ANSYS
workbench to observe the forces generated in a flow regime setup in Fluent. Car model used for this study
was Ford Focus RS 2009 with a reported Co-efficient of Drag Cd of 0.355, which is one of UK’s most
selling car for last few years.

Figure 0-1 2009 Ford Focus RS

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This study was carried out for CFD analysis of a common car. The main objective was to develop an
understanding of aerodynamic loads on vehicles. The major aims for this report were as follow

 To develop Car model with different windscreen angle


 To develop and study aerodynamic forces and their effect for developed models
 To study effect of windscreen angle on fuel consumption
 To compare results of all models

Objectives

 To effectively replicate the car model


 To produce satisfactory results(as close to actual as possible)
 To develop understanding of drag and its effects

STUDY SETUP
This section of report will cover the various steps involving the study setup and process.

CAR SELECTION
Selecting a car depends on following factors,

 Commonly used car in the specified region


 Data availability for car model
 Availability of data required for development of car model

Based on these factors Ford Focus RS series of cars was a perfect match as it has been UK’s second most
selling car for last five years and blueprints of the car required to develop the model were available easily.
Furthermore, recorded values of drag, lift, car height, width and length was available as well.

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MODELLING
Solidworks is one of the emerging CAD software’s with a very interactive and self-explanatory interface
giving user full control and power for modelling tasks. We used side image of our model inside sketch
tools to give us a fine background for tracing the curve as it is using spline tool. Since this outline shape
of car body was enough to set up the study so contours produced in other directions were ignored which
would not affect the results to a significant degree. Using one to one correspondence to blueprint image
the model was developed as reflected by the image and was extruded to the length given in blueprint.

Figure 0-1 Sketch setup Solidworks

A fine fillet was introduced on edges to smoothen them as they are in actual model. To get the model size
same as the actual we used the scale tool available in solidworks and got the required car model.
Furthermore, to produce variation in windscreen angle, it was modelled as straight line from this view
reflection of car model. Simple cylinders were introduced in place of actual wheels. Simple relation of
tangent propagation between windscreen and body spline was applied to maintain the shape of car as the
angle of windscreen was changed from original to keep the shape as close to original as possible.

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Figure 0-2 Windscreen angle in solidworks of original model

Figure 0-3 Windscreen angle +3 degree the original

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Figure 0-4 Windscreen angle +6 degree the original

Figure 0-5 Windscreen angle -6 degree the original

Figure 0-6 Isometric View of car model

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FRONTAL AREA
Frontal area of any car is of great importance. The drag coefficient is a number that aerodynamicists use
to model all of the complex dependencies of shape, inclination, and flow conditions on car body drag.
This equation is simply a rearrangement of the drag equation where we solve for the drag coefficient in
terms of the other variables. The drag coefficient Cd is equal to the drag D divided by the quantity:
density r times half the velocity V squared times the reference area A.

Cd = D / (A x 0.5 x r x V2)

Frontal area of actual model of Ford Focus RS 2009 is 2.35m2 (Topspeed.com, 2019) whereas the car
model developed in solidworks using blueprints had a frontal area of about 2.19m2, which is quite close to
actual.

Figure 0-7 Frontal area of solidworks model

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WORKBENCH SETUP
ANSYS workbench was used to analyze the car model. Fluid Flow (fluent) was used and geometry was
loaded from solidworks file for all four study setups.

MESH
ANSYS FLUENT can use meshes comprised of triangular or quadrilateral cells (or a combination of the
two) in 2D, and tetrahedral, hexahedral, polyhedral, pyramid, or wedge cells (or a combination of these)
in 3D. The choice of which mesh type to use will depend on your application. When choosing mesh type,
consider the following issues:

 setup time
 computational expense

SETUP TIME
Many flow problems in engineering involve complex geometries, so we have to use a combination of
hexa and polyhedral cell type while modelling these geometries. Since the car model was simplified by
removing the contours not required, so curvature size function was used for meshing which is very
adaptive as it determines the size of cell depending on curvature a face or geometry has which removes
the need of applying mesh controls on edges and surfaces and the mesh solver itself applies the required
transition of cell size.

COMPUTATIONAL EXPENSE
When geometries are complex or the range of length scales of the flow is large, a triangular/tetrahedral
mesh can be created with far fewer cells than the equivalent mesh consisting of quadrilateral/hexahedral
elements. This is because a triangular/tetrahedral mesh allows clustering of cells in selected regions of the
flow domain. Structured quadrilateral/hexahedral meshes will generally force cells to be placed in regions
where they are not needed. Unstructured quadrilateral/hexahedral meshes offer many of the advantages of
triangular/tetrahedral meshes for moderately-complex geometries. A characteristic of
quadrilateral/hexahedral elements that might make them more economical in some situations is that they
permit a much larger aspect ratio than triangular/tetrahedral cells. A large aspect ratio in a
triangular/tetrahedral cell will invariably affect the skewness of the cell, which is undesirable as it may
impede accuracy and convergence. Therefore, for a relatively simple geometry in which the flow
conforms well to the shape of the geometry, such as a long thin duct, use a mesh of high-aspect-ratio

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quadrilateral/hexahedral cells. The mesh is likely to have far fewer cells than if you use
triangular/tetrahedral cells (ANSYS, 2019).

So, keep a relatively uniform mesh throughout the body and make the transition smooth in geometric
discontinuities and keep a lower number of cell we use curvature function from solver to define the mesh.

FLOW REGIME
To get an idea of flow regime Reynold was calculated using the legal driving speed in UK which is
70mph (31.29m/s) with width of car (1.5m for Ford Focus RS 2009 (Topspeed.com, 2019)) used as L in
the given formula and kinematic viscosity of air was used to be 0.15x10-4 m2/s.

𝑈𝐿
𝑅𝑒 =
𝑉

Where,

U = Free stream velocity

L = Characteristic Length (width of car)

V = Kinematic viscosity of air at 20 oc.

𝑅𝑒 = 3.12 × 106

The calculated value of Re clearly shows that the flow regime is turbulent, which means flow has to be
modelled as turbulent in solver.

MODEL EQUATIONS
A century has passed since Reynolds’ pivoting work and yet fluid turbulence is still one of the greatest
stumbling block for scientific and technological developments. From stars to rivulets, turbulence is almost
impossible to predict. However even if turbulence is not understood in the sense of macroscopic modeling
it seems that computers simulations of fluids will allow engineers to evaluate their design. Whereas the
K-epsilon method has been used for a long time to model turbulence regimes given our assumptions that

The incompressible Reynolds averaged Naiver-Stokes equations for the mean flow U and mean pressure
P are

∂tU + U∇U + ∇P - ν∆U - ∇.R (k,, ∇U + ∇U T) = 0, ∇.U = 0,

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where R ij= -<uiuj> is the Reynolds tensor.

The kinetic energy of the turbulence k and the rate of dissipation of turbulent energy are defined
by

1 ν
𝑘= 2
< |u′|2 >, 𝜖 = 2 < |∇u′ + ∇u′T |2 >

Then R, k,ϵ are modeled in terms of the mean flow U by

With Cu= 0.09, C1= 0.126, C2= 1.92, C𝜖= 0.07.

With these set of equations the solver produced results with given U=31.29m/s and P as atmospheric
pressure.

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RESULTS

WINDSCREEN ANGLE AND DRAG


As observed from the above studies as windscreen inclination is lowered the Cd value decreases which is
because lowering the windscreen reduces the frontal area of the car which in turn results in decrease in
drag. Furthermore a lowered windscreen reduces the separation region in front region of car body which
reduces the formation of voids and side flow of car which reduces drag on car body. It can seen in both

Figure 0-1 Schematic Description of Flow Pattern in the Forefront of a Car

The figures that separation occurs on frontal area of car which produces turbulence and increases drag, by
reducing windscreen angle these separation regions can be removed.

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Figure 0-2 forward motion of the vehicle pushes the air

MODEL 1
Model 1 is the original car model with windscreen angle of 64.4o clockwise from vertical.

CD
Ford Focus RS has a crag co-efficient value of 0.38 which shows it has a decent enough aerodynamically.
Model 1 which was a close depiction of original car has produced a Cd value of 0.386 as optimal results.
Which is quite close to the original value of 0.38.

Figure 0-3 Cd convergence graph for model 1

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PRESSURE DISTRIBUTIONS
As shown in the below figure it is obvious that formation of a small red spot (high pressure region) at the
start of windscreen means there occurs separation and there is also separation at the end of the car giving
as an actual idea of the real phenomena and by reducing screen angle these separations can be removed.

Figure 0-4 Pressure distribution along the body of car

STREAMLINES
In the figure given below it is observed that streamlines follow almost the same path as shown in the
idealization of flow about the car in earlier sections of this report. Blue colored streamlines in the

Figure 0-5 Flow streamlines over car body

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Vicinity of body surface indicates the no slip wall condition. This streamlines in the figure depicts a swirl
in the wage region at the back of car as expected.

MODEL 2
Model 2 had a 3 degree windscreen angle reduction from the original.

CD
With the lowering of windscreen cd value was expected to be lowered which actually was the case as
shown in figure.

Figure 0-6 Cd convergence graph for model

PRESSURE DISTRIBUTION
There is a clear reduction in size of red spot at the start of windscreen indicating confidence of results as it
was expected to happen since the streamlines are following the bonnet part of front of model to a greater
extent because the change in geometry from flat plate to inclined windscreen is less sudden resulting in a
smaller separation region. Furthermore the separation at end of car is also reduced.

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Figure 0-7 Pressure distribution along the body of car

STREAMLINES
The flow streamlines as shown in the figure has followed the body shape at the front for a longer area as
the change in geometry is not as much as it was in the original case. Wage region observed in this

Figure 0-8 Flow streamlines along the car body

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Case is smaller than previous one. Blue colored streamlines (zero velocity along the wall) are seen to be
dominating regions near the surface of body till the very end of roof of car which is why smaller wage
region and hence lower value of drag co-efficient.

MODEL 3
Model 3 was produced with 6 degree lowering of original windscreen angle.

CD
Co-efficient of drag was expected to be further lowered in this case because of very small to none
separation at the front of car. Further the wage region at the back was expected to be smaller as well,
which is obvious from the figure below.

Figure 0-9 Cd convergence for model 3

PRESSURE DISTRIBUTION
As expected in this case as windscreen angle was so that it almost followed the bonnet which produced no
separation in the front region of car body producing very low side flow disturbances. Further the wage
region at the back is reduced as sensed by the pressure distribution.

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Figure 0-10 Pressure distribution along the body of car

STREAMLINES
Flow streamlines as shown in the figure are almost following the shape of body. Blue colored streamlines
domination fades as going away from surface of car indicating development of ideal boundary layer to
some extent. Moreover, flow streamlines followed the body of car, most part of roof and to some extent
the back of car which indicated the body of car in becoming closer to ideal flow shape at the upper part of
body. Wage region at the back of car is further reduced as obvious from flow streamlines.

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Figure 0-11 Flow streamlines along the body of car

MODEL 4
Model 4 was produced to see the results of doing the opposite i.e. increasing the inclination of windscreen
by 6 degrees to the original.

CD
As expected the cd value of model was drastically increased from previous cases. The observed value was
0.48 which is quite large may be because the geometric propagation was not properly maintained after the
windscreen in the model and also the fact the there would be large region of separation.

Figure 0-12 Cd convergence graph for model 4

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PRESSURE DISTRIBUTION
As expected and shown in the figure below there exist a large red spot as the start of windscreen
producing a large region of separation and disturbances in side flows. Furthermore, there exist a small
degree of separation again at the end of the wind screen which affects the flow badly from roof towards
the end of car increasing the high pressure regions over surface of car and producing a large wage region
at the back of car resulting in increase in drag co-efficient. The red spot is reflected in the second figure
by the red colored region at the windscreen beginning.

Figure 0-13 Pressure distribution along the body of car

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Figure 0-14 Pressure distribution on the surface of car body

STREAMLINES
As shown in the figure that blue colored streamlines (zero velocity) suddenly disappeared over the body
of car and separation regions both at the front and back of car magnified due to blunt change in geometry
at the front of car. The high pressure wage region produced at the back of car is observed having
backward flows which contributes largely towards such a high value of drag co-efficient.

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Figure 0-15 Flow streamlines along the body of car

OBSERVATIONS
The general trend of cd value over the course of this study is of decreasing but there is no relationship to a
certain degree of decrement in cd value with reduction in windscreen inclination. The figure shows how
the value of cd varies over four car models.

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0.500
0.480
0.460
0.440
Cd 0.420
0.400
0.380
0.360
0.340
0.320
0.300
56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72
Wind screen angle

Figure 0-16 General Trend of Cd Over the Study

CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS FUEL ECONOMY


Most of the power supplied by engine goes to overcoming the resistive factors against the car such as
friction. The contribution of drag toward this is low at low speeds but power required to overcome the
aerodynamic drag is the greatest contributor over high speeds. So at high speed most of the power is
dissipated towards drag, which in results effects the fuel consumption.

As observed in this study that most part of drag is contributed by pressure differences along the body of
car for flow of air.

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Figure 0-17 Drag force, cd and area of section relationship (Browand, 2002)

Having the value of cd from studies, drag force was calculated for each model using the formula
described in frontal area section of this report.

ANGLE OF WIND Cd FRONTAL DRAG


SCREEN(degree) AREA(m2) FORCE(N)
58.4 0.480 2.24 2579.09
64.4 0.386 2.19 2027.72
67.4 0.356 2.16 1844.51
70.4 0.342 2.15 1763.77

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DRAG FORCE
2700.00

2500.00
Drag Force (N)
2300.00

2100.00

1900.00

1700.00

1500.00
56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72
Windscreen angle (degree)

Figure 0-18 Drag force variation over the course of study

P = FtV/ηt

Where,

P = Power required

Ft = Total resistive force against car

V = Speed of car

ηt = Thermal efficiency of car

Assuming speed, thermal efficiency of car constant and total resistance equal to drag resistance

Power is directly proportional to the drag force.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY
ANSYS. (2019, January 20). AFS. Retrieved from ANSYS:
http://www.afs.enea.it/project/neptunius/docs/fluent/html/ug/node164.htm

Browand, F. (2002). Reducing Aerodynamic Drag and Fuel Consumption. 4-16.

Topspeed.com. (2019, January 20). FORD FOCUS RS 2009. Retrieved from Topspeed.com:
https://www.topspeed.com/cars/ford/2009-ford-focus-rs-ar67969.html

White, F. M. (2014). FLUID MECHANICS. RHODE ISLAND: Mc GRAW HILL.

White, F. M. (2016). FLUID MECHANICS. NEW YORK.

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