The effect of vehicle spacing on the aerodynamics of a representative car shape

Watkins, S and Gioacchino, V 2008, 'The effect of vehicle spacing on the aerodynamics of a representative car shape', Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, vol. 96, pp. 1232-1239.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The effect of vehicle spacing on the aerodynamics of a representative car shape
Author(s) Watkins, S
Gioacchino, V
Year 2008
Journal name Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Volume number 96
Start page 1232
End page 1239
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier B V
Abstract Inter-vehicle spacing on highways is considered and an analysis of spacing is presented, deduced from data from an instrumented highway. Vehicle drag reductions arising from close spacing are discussed and drag and lift data from wind-tunnel tests on two co-linear Ahmed bodies (representative vehicle shapes able to replicate typical car airflow, configured with 30º slant back angles) are given. Inter-body, non-dimensional spacing was varied from 0.1 to 4.0, based on vehicle length. Surprisingly, significant drag increases were found for the rear Ahmed body for spacing of 0.1-1.0, when compared to the drag of the body in isolation. For greater spacing, the drag of the rear body fell below the value of the isolated case, up to the maximum spacing considered. The lift coefficient of the rear body was also found to be very sensitive to spacing. It was concluded that the effect of the strong vortex system arising from the slant back was the cause of the drag and lift changes of the rear vehicle. Since traffic spacing is likely to reduce with the increasing use of intelligent transport systems (ITS), it is argued that more attention should be paid to understanding these effects.
Subject Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) vehicle
aerodynamic
interaction
lift
drag
spacing
ahmed body
convoy
platoon
Copyright notice © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0167-6105
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