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Webinar: The Stanford Solar Car Project's Race for Aerodynamic Efficiency

The Stanford Solar Car Project's Race for Aerodynamic Efficiency

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[05 Apr 2016] Chasing the Sun 3000 km across the Australian Outback is a challenge. And doing it in a solar powered vehicle is an even bigger challenge. But every two years teams from around the world converge on Darwin, Australia to make the journey to Adelaide in the solar powered cars they have engineered specifically for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

The Stanford Solar Car Project, a student-run organization, has been designing and building solar cars since 1989 and arrives in Darwin every two years with a stunning new vehicle. The latest vehicle in their lineup, Arctan, took 6th place out of 29 teams in the 2015 competition with a time just over 41 hours.

With the aerodynamics of the vehicle playing a critical role in its performance, the Stanford Solar Car Project team developed a repeatable simulation driven design framework consisting of Pointwise for rapid hybrid grid generation, SU2 to run the computational fluid dynamics simulations, and Tecplot 360 EX to post-process and interpret the results. In this webinar we explore the framework that enabled the team to analyze over 40 design iterations in detail and make informed engineering decisions. These decisions improved the aerodynamic efficiency of the final design, ultimately culminating in Arctan.

Topics covered in this webinar:

  • Stanford Solar Car Project history and the engineering challenges faced when designing Arctan
  • Generation of repeatable, high quality, hybrid viscous meshes using anisotropic tetrahedral extrusion (T-Rex) with Pointwise
  • The setup of SU2 for solving the incompressible RANS equations and computing surface sensitivities for design
  • How to extract solution information from an array of design iterations using Tecplot 360 EX



Stanford Solar Car Project

Stanford Solar Car Project in South Australia with Arctan, October 2015.

Hybrid Volume Mesh of Solar Car

Hybrid volume mesh generated for the vehicle using Pointwise’s T-Rex algorithm.

Streamlines of Solar Car Solution

Streamlines created with Tecplot 360 EX illustrate the flow around the vehicle.

Description Format File Name File Size [MB]
Webinar Video File MP4 Pointwise-Webinar-The-Stanford-Solar-Car-Projects-Race-for-Aerodynamic-Efficiency.mp4 185