Aerodynamics assessment using CFD for a low drag Shell Eco-Marathon car

E. Abo-Serie, E. Oran, O. Utcu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Having a small car running with low power can be achieved by reducing the aerodynamics drag, rolling resistance and mechanical frictions between the moving parts. The Shell Eco-Marathon competition held around the world with events in Europe, USA and Asia shows every year new techniques and ideas to reduce the power needed to drive the car. The record of over 3400 km on the equivalent of a single litre of fuel is an indication of how car can run efficiently. The problem with these low drag cars is the driver perception about the shape of the car. Although the tear drop shape is known as having the minimum drag, practically this shape cannot be used due to size and packaging limitations in addition to the safety issue. In this work, a low drag concept car is proposed using initial CAD design. The concept car is examined using a commercial CFD software by simulating the airflow around car. The spatial distribution of the pressure and velocity vectors are utilized to improve the car shape and to achieve a low drag force coefficient while keeping the down force at its minimum value. By changing the car front, underneath and rear shapes, it was possible to reduce the drag coefficient from 0.430 for the baseline to 0.127 for the final design, while meeting the competition regulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1536
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thermal Engineering
Volume3
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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Bibliographical note

This journal is published under a CC-BY license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Keywords

  • Vehicle Aerodynamics
  • Shell Eco-marathon Car
  • Low Drag Car
  • Vehicle CFD

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