Volvo Cars has used measurement data from its own full-scale wind tunnel for vehicle development and verification of production cars since 1986.
Virtual models (CFD) are used in parallel to wind tunnel testing as a tool for developing new cars and as a complement to testing on prototypes.
Despite constant improvement of the virtual methods, there are still differences between predicted aerodynamic properties from CFD and measured values in the wind tunnel. The importance of these differences will be accentuated until 2020; partly because of new legislation on fuel consumption certification, and partly due to an increased use of virtual methods in pursuit of shorter development times.
This project aims at improving the understanding on why differences between computations and tests occur. This will be done by investigating the flow field in the wind tunnel, and using this data to improve its numerical counterpart.
Alexander Broniewicz, Volvo Cars