The influence of reduced Reynolds number on the wake of the DrivAer estate vehicle

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Experiments on vehicle aerodynamics were conducted in a low-speed water channel at a Reynolds number two orders of magnitude lower than that of typical full-scale studies. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurements, focused on the wake of a realistic estate passenger vehicle model, were obtained and compared with existing wake measurements from full-scale wind-tunnel tests. The combination of sharp and rounded trailing edges present on the geometry impacts properties of the separating shear layers, although the general wake structures are qualitatively similar. In both cases, the wake remains dominated by the upwash from the underbody exit diffuser outflow. Effects of the reduced Reynolds number on the spectral content of the wake velocity field downstream of the recirculation region are also documented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Automotive aerodynamics
  • Bluff body
  • Reynolds number
  • Transient
  • Wake
  • Wind tunnel

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