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Simulation is UniNa Corse Team's Formula for Success

The UniNa Corse team at FSAE Italy 2017

As newcomers to the Formula SAE competition, we, the student members of the UniNa Corse team, debuted our first car at FSAE Italy 2017, which was held at Varano de’ Melegari. We also finished first in the sponsored Virtual Formula 2017 competition. Having achieved this important goal, our main objective for 2018 is to optimize the 2017 car without introducing any additional problems, as we prepare for FSAE Italy 2018 and FSG at Hockenheim.

The focus of our design was on the car’s aerodynamics profile. We used ANSYS computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation software to analyze the 2D performance of various airfoil designs to achieve the best performance in terms of downforce while minimizing drag forces. After creating a mapped mesh using the ANSYS meshing software, we ran the flow simulations and quickly captured all the relevant flow field characteristics, thanks to the software’s fast convergence speed.

CFD analysis showing the optimization parameters and the output variables from the simulation

Next, we created a parametric model of the geometry of the front and rear wings of the car. We used ANSYS Fluent for CFD analysis, which was configured using a pressure-based coupled solver with the k-ω SST turbulence model. This enabled us to define the drag and downforce as outputs. Within ANSYS DesignXplorer, we defined a parameter space and an optimization objective. The resulting highly automated cycle produced an optimum 2D configuration.

Static pressure contour of wing configuration

Having optimized the aerodynamic configuration in 2D, our next goal is to study this configuration in 3D, with the addition of endplates, supports and all the aerodynamically relevant parts of the car. When we determine the pressure distribution throughout the car, we will use it in a static structural analysis. We also plan to analyze the sloshing of fuel in the tank to minimize its effect on the car’s operation.

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To learn more about our UniNa Corse – Squadra Corse Federico II Team, you can follow us on Facebook.