Title: Evaluation of go-kart aerodynamic efficiency using CFD, RBF mesh morphing and lap time simulation

Authors: Marco Evangelos Biancolini; Carlo Del Bene; Torbjörn Larsson; Corrado Groth

Addresses: Department of Enterprise Engineering, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Politecnico 1, 00133 Rome, Italy ' Department of Enterprise Engineering, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Politecnico 1, 00133 Rome, Italy ' Department of Enterprise Engineering, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Politecnico 1, 00133 Rome, Italy ' Department of Enterprise Engineering, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Politecnico 1, 00133 Rome, Italy

Abstract: The study featured in this paper presents a CFD, RBF mesh morphing and lap time simulation-based analysis method to investigate the effect of aerodynamic drag on go-kart performance. A bodywork design exploration is performed, employing an automatic response surface optimisation, to evaluate effects of its shape on aerodynamic penetration. The effect of driver size is explored as well by adapting the mesh according to a parametric mannequin positioning workflow. Results of the design exploration process highlight a very good optimisation of the baseline configuration with respect to aerodynamic efficiency. On the other hand, driver size reduction produces a noticeable drag decrease in the order of 4.5%. To translate registered drag changes into performance variations, an in-house lap time simulator based on a lumped parameter model is adopted. Lap time for two different karting circuits are simulated in high and low drag configurations resulting in lap time variations in the order of 0.1/0.2 sec.

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics; CFD; RBF mesh morphing; radial basis function; RBF interpolation; go-karts; aerodynamics; mannequins; optimisation; lap times; aerodynamic efficiency; lap time simulation; karting; aerodynamic drag; bodywork design; response surface optimisation; driver size.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAD.2016.083375

International Journal of Aerodynamics, 2016 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.146 - 171

Available online: 24 Mar 2017 *

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