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The Effect of a Sheared Crosswind Flow on Car Aerodynamics

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3995, e-ISSN: 1946-4002
Published March 28, 2017 by SAE International in United States
The Effect of a Sheared Crosswind Flow on Car Aerodynamics
Citation: Howell, J., Forbes, D., Passmore, M., and Page, G., "The Effect of a Sheared Crosswind Flow on Car Aerodynamics," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 10(1):278-285, 2017,
Language: English


In the wind tunnel the effect of a wind input on the aerodynamic characteristics of any road vehicle is simulated by yawing the vehicle. This represents a wind input where the wind velocity is constant with height above the ground. In reality the natural wind is a boundary layer flow and is sheared so that the wind velocity will vary with height. A CFD simulation has been conducted to compare the aerodynamic characteristics of a DrivAer model, in fastback and squareback form, subject to a crosswind flow, with and without shear. The yaw simulation has been carried out at a yaw angle of 10° and with one shear flow exponent. It is shown that the car experiences almost identical forces and moments in the two cases when the mass flow in the crosswind over the height of the car is similar. Load distributions are presented for the two cases. The implications for wind averaged drag are discussed.