Aerodynamic Design of a Solar Road Vehicle
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Solar road vehicles have very specific design requirements. This makes their aerodynamic characteristics quite different from classic sedan vehicles. In the present study, the computational model of a typical solar road vehicle was developed to investigate its aerodynamic forces and flow characteristics. Computations were performed assuming the steady viscous flow and using the Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes equations along with the k-ω turbulence model. The obtained results indicate some important findings that are commonly not present for classic sedan vehicles. In particular, a contribution of the viscous drag force to the overall drag force is considerably larger (41 %) than it is the case for the standard passenger road vehicles, where the form drag force dominates over the viscous drag force. Surface pressure distribution patterns indicate a favorable aerodynamic design of this vehicle. In particular, larger pressure coefficients on the top of the vehicle body as compared to the bottom surface contribute to increasing a downforce and thus the vehicle traction. The airfoil-shaped crosssection of the designed cockpit canopy has favorable properties with respect to reduction of the aerodynamic drag force.
Key WordsSolar electric vehicle Aerodynamic design and forces Computational model Reynolds-averaged Navier- Stokes equations k-ω turbulence model
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