The issue of energy economy in transportation has grown beyond traditional concerns over environment, safety and health to include new concerns over national and international security. In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies’ Working Group on Aerodynamic Drag of Heavy Vehicles, Argonne National Laboratory is investigating the accuracy of aerodynamic drag predictions from commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Software. In this validation study, computational predictions from two commercial CFD codes, Star-CD [1] and PowerFLOW [2], will be compared with detailed velocity, pressure and force balance data from experiments completed in the 7 ft. by 10 ft. wind tunnel at NASA Ames [3, 4] using a Generic Conventional Model (GCM) that is representative of typical current-generation tractor-trailer geometries.

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