Aerodynamics in Formula-e Industry
CFD Analysis of the rear spoiler
CFD Analysis for the improvement of Aerodynamics in Formula-e industry is a relevant challenge for engineers. This is due to the difficulties found in battery management and power efficiency, where the drag coefficient plays a major role. In order to reduce costs, CFD simulations play a major role in reducing the number of expensive prototypes and tests.
CFD allows performing a lot of simulations in a relatively short period of time and with a reduced cost. Starting from a CAD design, it possible to improve the drag and lift coefficients by making changes on the different parts of the car, like the rear and front spoiler.
Why a CFD simulation?
- Optimization of time development cycles
- Reduce testing costs
- Many design changes can be explored
- Possibility to run Design of experiments
CFD analysis performed in this study was applied on an an aerodynamic profile of a Formula-e car.
IBTICAE SL is a firm focused on high end engineering solutions in different areas of the product Design cycle. In this frame the present study has been developed in the frame of a collaboration with a Research institution. The company experience in studying complex FE Analysis and CFD studies with drones has enabled the good cooperation to perform this work.
A first simulation was run to obtain the drag coefficient (Cx) and the lift coefficient (Cl). And then, some modifications of the car were tested to improve these coefficients. The application of this technology is very useful to increase the understanding of the influence of air incidence on several parts of the car, the air trajectories over the profile, and a “know-how” to apply in the industry for the future.
The following results of the CFD analysis were obtained
Suggested design modification
Applying the formulas to calculate the drag and lift coefficients and taking into account the forces on the car, when performing the simulations, the following coefficients were obtained
|VEHICLE||Cx||% improvement||Cl||% improvement|
|Rear wing modification||0,60||+0,0052%||-0,929||+0,8 %|
After an initial simulation of the original CAD design, we obtained 0,61 as drag coefficient and -0,922 as lift coefficient. Lift is negative because it is a suction force in the negative direction of “y” axis, from the car to the floor.
Once the rear spoiler modification is made, we can see a variation in the results. Drag coefficient has been improved 0,0052%, which is a low percentage, but, in a high competition design, the improvements would have a significant impact. Sometimes, the improvement of the drag makes the worsening of the lift coefficient, but, in this case, lift is better than before 0,8%.
Finally, we can say that the rear wing modification is a good improvement of the car design. This is due to the improvement of the drag coefficient without compromising the lift.
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Pablo Hidalgo Gómez