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Old   September 15, 2005, 01:26
Default F1 Windtunnels
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hello all,

i'm a non CFD novice, but a massive F1 Fan! there's so-so-sooo much secrecy surrounding all factets of F1 windtunnel testing.

I follow Williams F1 (Mark Webber) and really all i know about the Williams Grove outfit is that it run's two wind tunnels 24 hours, 7 Days with about 70-80 personnel.

would anyone have any knowledge or experience in the F1 arena and be able to update me on the CFD work that would be going on in these arena's, as i'm fascinated to learn - from a novice point of view.

I think i'd have a better chance of getting info on the inner working's of the Pentagon than that of ANY F1 team! I do understand the hundred's of millions spent in this arena, and how critical it is in this wonderful sport.

Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks. Dave.
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Old   September 15, 2005, 06:54
Default Re: F1 Windtunnels
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A CFD picture from Ricardo's image gallery for you:

(It's not a real race car, but it is a nice image)

CFD use in F1 isn't limited to aerodynamics though. If you take a look through StarCD's newsletters, you'll see quite a lot about their involvement with the Renault team (brake cooling mainly).

And the top teams all do coupled 1D-3D simulations to model air flow over the front of the car, into the intake snorkel and through the engine.

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Old   September 15, 2005, 18:43
Default Re: F1 Windtunnels
Scott Shaw
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CFD is used extensively by the race teams. 6 of the 10 teams use FLUENT - so there is a lot on FLUENT's website. You may also like to look at the impressive images and videos on Advantage CFD's website (they are owned by BAR).

Cambridge Flow Solutions provide CFD support (including their code) to Red Bull so their site also has some info.

Panel codes are extensively used - NEWPAN is the one that springs to mind (also I think from a company called Flow Solutions - but not the same as Cambridge Flow Solutions).

The new CFD web pages at Cranfield (currently restricted to internal consumption) also have some images of the work that has been done at Cranfield on our Motorsports and Aerodynamics MSc courses - check it out when the update happens.

I have a PhD student who is currently working on solver development with one of the teams - but unfortunately I'm not allowed to discuss which team or what were doing.

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Old   September 15, 2005, 18:55
Default Re: F1 Windtunnels
Renato N. Elias
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I don't know nothing about what F1 teams are doing with CFD but I've already employed some race car models to test the program (incompressible flow with finite element methods) that I've been developing on my PhD.

Some nice pictures are available in:

7. Flow around a Le Mans race car 8. Flow around a Indy race car

both examples are hypothetic flows because I have not evaluated flow's details, such as: Reynolds number, drag force, etc, etc, etc...

I hope you enjoy

Renato N. Elias High Performance Computing Center NACAD/COPPE/UFRJ Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
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Old   September 16, 2005, 09:30
Default Re: F1 Windtunnels
CFD man
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Well as for F1 CFD, take it with a pinch of salt. Very few of the F1 teams seem to be doing it right even though they seem to be throwing 1000's CPU hours at it with large clusters etc! Its more of a visualisation tool for them! The accuracy of modelling a full F1 car using CFD is pretty bad. For small 3D parts its probably ok and wing design in 2D pretty good. A lot of the F1 users don't seem to fully understand the mesh requirements needed to get high quality results i.e. using tet meshes for near wall flows. Their wind tunnel work is very good perhaps thats why they keep it so secret! Good CFD in motor sport is hard to find!
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