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Using LES for Predicting High Performance Car Airbox Flow

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3995, e-ISSN: 1946-4002
Published April 20, 2009 by SAE International in United States
Using LES for Predicting High Performance Car Airbox Flow
Citation: Brusiani, F., Bianchi, G., Baritaud, T., and d’Espinosa, A., "Using LES for Predicting High Performance Car Airbox Flow," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Mech. Syst. 2(1):1050-1064, 2009,
Language: English


Aerodynamic had played a primary role in high performance car since the late 1960s, when introduction of the first inverted wings appeared in some formulas. Race car aerodynamic optimisation is one of the most important reason behind the car performance. Moreover, for high performance car using naturally aspired engine, car aerodynamic has a strong influence also on engine performance by its influence on the engine airbox. To improve engine performance, a detailed fluid dynamic analysis of the car/airbox interaction is highly recommended.
To design an airbox geometry, a wide range of aspects must be considered because its geometry influences both car chassis design and whole car aerodynamic efficiency. To study the unsteady fluid dynamic phenomena inside an airbox, numerical approach could be considered as the best way to reach a complete integration between chassis, car aerodynamic design, and airbox design.
This paper presents the application of Large Eddy Simulation (LES) approach to the study of the unsteady flow conditions inside a real geometry of a high performance car airbox. LES is a promising technique to yield a CFD tool able to predict flow unsteadiness since in LES numerical modelling concerns only a small part of the energy spectrum while the large scale motion is directly resolved.
The FLUENT 6.3 code has been used and the Wall Adaptive Local Eddy-Viscosity (WALE) sgs model has been adopted. A Bounded Central Differencing (BCD) second order scheme has been adopted and a discussion of the kinetic energy conservation attitude of such a scheme performed.
Results obtained by LES simulations have been analysed in terms of mean evolution and rms fluctuations of both pressure and velocity components.