In this post I’m going to evaluate the aerodynamics a Formula Student car. The vehicle geometry was kindly provided by one of the teams participating in Formula Student Germany for a free online workshop on the Application of CFD in Formula Student and Formula SAE hosted by SimScale.
Although the geometry is based on an real Formula Student car, the configuration used for the simulation is slightly different from that of the actual car. For instance, the position of the rear wing appears to be higher in the simulation, so that the results shown here are not representative of the actual performance of the car.
The CAD geometry is freely available at SimScale as well as the set of instructions that will get you through all the steps of setting up a case, from the mesh generation to the post-processing of results. The final mesh has close to 8 million cells with a porous zone for the radiator and a MRF (multiple reference frame) zone for the wheels.
The CFD simulation is RANS based with the well-known k-omega SST turbulence model. Inlet velocity is set at 20 m/s (72 km/h) which is quite reasonable considering the kind of competitions this Formula Student vehicles are involved in.
Pressure contours on the surface of the car are the most common post-processing visualizations found on CFD. When combined with the jet colormap we are all used to we can identify high pressure areas (red) and low pressure areas (blue).