SUNY Buffalo, U.S.A., Racing Team

by Ian May (UBFSAE Engine Team Leader)

The SUNY Buffalo team is in the process of designing an intake and exhaust manifold for their car using ANSYS FLUENT software. Engine performance is essential to success in Formula SAE. In the dynamic events of the competition, it is favorable to extract the most amount of power from the engine because this yields better performance. One of the most common ways to increase the horsepower of an engine is to improve its airflow and increase its volumetric efficiency through intake and exhaust manifold tuning.

When it comes to simulating powertrain performance, utilizing 1-D simulation tools, such as GT-Power, save time and computational resources. However, certain engine components, such as the intake and exhaust manifold, exhibit a highly 3-D behavior, which requires a more in-depth analysis. ANSYS FLUENT software coupled with GT-Power provides a powerful tool to understand the complex 3-D architecture of an intake and exhaust manifold. Effects such as fluid momentum and pressure waves are important to understand because they aid the filling and emptying of the cylinder, which can result in more power. Aerodynamic effects such as flow separation at junctions and bends also have to be accurately modeled to get a correct prediction of system performance. Once an accurate model is obtained, different configurations can be quickly tested to determine what influence they have on engine performance.

Ian May, University at Buffalo FSAE engine leader, hopes to create a highly accurate and elegant solution for modeling a Briggs and Stratton V-Twin, the engine of choice for the university‚Äôs 2007-2008 car. A V-Twin is an interesting and unique choice in a field primarily made up of four-cylinder motorcycle engines. The team is confident that a lightweight and highly tuned engine coupled with a CVT drivetrain will lead the team to a successful 2008 season.


Click for SUNY Buffalo team website.