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OSC Supercomputing Powers Record-setting Electric Vehicle

BuckeyeBulletIII_thumbnailOver at OH TECH, Jamie Able writes that students leveraged the Ohio State Supercomputing Center to achieve an international land speed record. While this is not the first world record for Ohio State’s Venturi Buckeye Bullet team, this achievement is noteworthy for electric vehicle–their VBB-3 racer averaged a whopping 212.615 miles per hour.

The streamlined, electric racecar was designed with the latest electric drive technology from program partner Venturi Automotive, an electric car company based in Monaco, and lithium ion batteries from A123 Systems, a battery research and manufacturing firm based in the U.S.

At these high speeds, aerodynamics play a crucial role in vehicle and driver safety, as well as being one of the critical factors that dictate the peak performance of the vehicle,” said Dr. Giorgio Rizzoni, director of OSU CAR, in OSC’s 2013 research report (link sends e-mail). “From the start of the design process, the aerodynamics of each proposed body shape for the VBB3 was evaluated in Fluent and OpenFOAM using the computational resources available at the Ohio Supercomputer Center.”

VBB3_ATo ensure the desired yaw stability at high speed, extensive simulations were run to evaluate the effectiveness of the vertical tail, which underwent several design iterations. After that, several new runs and studies were launched to evaluate the overall aerodynamic performance of the vehicle, with some solutions involving more than 42 million cells.

Since it’s a new car with a new body, it has been interesting to look at the current aero, and to identify areas of improvement,” said Clark in the report. “For example, I ran CFD jobs aimed at designing a wind deflector to deflect air around the tires, instead of allowing a large air mass inside the wheel wells, which creates substantial drag.”

Source: Ohio Supercomputer Center.

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