Wind tunnel & CFD investigations of ICE3 train
Cruise speeds of trains have steadily increased over the years. These high cruise speeds, in the order of 300 km/h, lead to high values of drag, a significant wake region behind the train and high noise levels (90 - 100dBA). While the high drag directly affects the performance of the train, the wake region and the noise levels can have a hazardous effect on the neighbouring areas through which the rail-line passes and on the ground workers. Therefore addressing these issues is of utmost importance. This is where aerodynamics and flow visualization plays a significant role. CFD simulation provides a powerful tool to achieve these things. However, the validity of CFD models first needs to be established against experimental values. In this project such a CFD model is created. A simplified scale model of an ICE3 train is also manufactured and is used to verify the CFD model. The pressure is obtained at different points using pressure taps on the experimental model during wind tunnel testing. Then, a comparison of the normalized pressure coefficients is made between the experimental and the numerical model to verify the validity of the latter. Once the numerical model is established, it is used to analyze the influence of the ground clearance on the train. It was found that the increase in the ground clearance resulted in higher drag and lift forces experienced by the train.