Aerodynamic Development and Evaluation of a Formula SAE Car Using Numerical Simulations
Paper in proceeding, 2007
A comprehensive student CFD project has been conducted on the 2006 Chalmers Formula SAE car. The purpose was two folded; first to predict and improve the general aerodynamic design of the vehicle and second to create a showcase demonstrating the benefit of using a CFD tool in an automotive project, run by newcomers, with a short time span and a limited budget.
The general aerodynamic design of the vehicle was evaluated; lift and drag coefficients were first predicted without devices for downforce generation. As a second step, a set of wings and diffuser were developed for this specific car design. Lift and drag forces were determined for this set up as well.
It was found and recommended, not to incorporate wings in the original car design. However, improvements could be obtained by using ground effect devices, such as a diffuser. In order to introduce these devices, significant changes had to be made on the suspension linkage to prevent diffuser separation.
The most important result of the findings led to a re-design of the sidepods as to prevent recirculation and significant pressure losses in the cooling system.
The benefit of CFD was clearly demonstrated to the team, since making a prototype and test it in the windtunnel was neither within the projects timeframe nor in the budget.