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Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Computational Investigation of a Race Car Wing With Vortex Generators in Ground Effect

[+] Author and Article Information
Yuichi Kuya

School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKyuichi@soton.ac.uk

Kenji Takeda

School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKktakeda@soton.ac.uk

Xin Zhang

School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKx.zhang1@soton.ac.uk

J. Fluids Eng 132(2), 021102 (Feb 03, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000741 History: Received September 14, 2009; Revised November 20, 2009; Published February 03, 2010; Online February 03, 2010

Vortex generators can be applied to control separation in flows with adverse pressure gradients, such as wings. In this paper, a study using three-dimensional steady computations for an inverted wing with vortex generators in ground effect is described. The main aim is to provide understanding of the flow physics of the vortex generators, and how they affect the overall aerodynamic performance of the wing to complement previous experimental studies of the same configuration. Rectangular vane type sub-boundary layer and large-scale vortex generators are attached to the suction surface of the wing, including both counter-rotating and co-rotating configurations. In order to provide confidence, Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes simulations using the Spalart–Allmaras turbulence model are validated against the experimental results regarding force, pressure, and wake characteristics, with the validation exhibiting close agreement with the experimental results. The streamwise friction shows the downwash induced by the generated vortex acts to suppress flow separation. The flow field survey downstream of the vortex generators features breakdown and dominance of the generated vortex in the flow. The vortex generated by the counter-rotating sub-boundary layer vortex generator grows in size and breaks down as it develops downstream, while the vortex generated by the counter-rotating large-scale vortex generator shows high vorticity even further downstream, indicating the persistence of the vortex in the flow. The flow field behind the co-rotating sub-boundary layer vortex generator is dominated by a lateral flow, having the spanwise flow component rather than a swirling flow, and the vortex quickly dissipating as it develops downstream. The results from this paper complement previous experimental measurements by highlighting the flow physics of how vortex generators can help control flow separation for an inverted wing in ground effect, and how critical vortex generator type and size are for its effectiveness.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Computational grid of inverted single-element wing and VG

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Figure 2

Configurations of VGs on wing and boundary conditions at spanwise ends: (a) counter-rotating VGs and (b) co-rotating VGs

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Figure 3

Grid refinement study with clean wing configuration: (a) sectional downforce coefficient and (b) convergence ratio

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Figure 4

Comparisons of computational and experimental chordwise surface pressure distributions on wing at h/c=0.090: (a) CtSVG, (b) CtLVG, and (c) CoSVG

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Figure 5

Characteristics of computed sectional forces at various ride heights: (a) downforce and (b) drag

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Figure 6

Comparisons of computational and experimental streamwise velocity profiles of wake at h/c=0.090 at x/c=1.5: (a) CtSVG, (b) CtLVG, and (c) CoSVG

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Figure 7

Computational streamwise friction distributions on suction surface at h/c=0.090: (a) counter-rotating VG configurations and (b) co-rotating configuration

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Figure 8

Characteristics of VG-generated vortex in cross plane at h/c=0.090 at x/c=0.63, 0.72, and 0.81: (a) CtSVG, (b) CtLVG, and (c) CoSVG

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