The feasibility of use of large-eddy simulation (LES) in external vehicle aerodynamics is investigated. The computational cost needed for LES of the full size car at road conditions is beyond the capability of the computers in the near future (Krajnovic´ (2002)). Since LES cannot be used for quantitative prediction of this flow, i.e. obtaining the aerodynamic forces and moments, an alternative use of this technique is suggested that can enhance the understanding of the flow around a car. It is found that making LES of the flow around simplified car-like shapes at lower Reynolds number can increase our knowledge of the flow around a car. Two simulations are made, one of the flow around a cube and the other of the flow around a simplified bus. The former simulation proved that LES with relatively coarse resolution and simple inlet boundary condition can provide accurate results. The latter simulation resulted in flow in agreement with experimental observations and displayed some flow features that were not observed in experiments or steady simulations of such flows. This simulation gave us possibility to study the transient mechanisms that are responsible for the aerodynamic properties of a car. The knowledge gained from this simulation can be used by the stylist to tune the aerodynamics of the car’s design but also by the CFD specialists to improve the turbulence models.

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