Wolf Dynamics - Multiphysics simulations, optimization, and data analytics


DrivAer validation case - Automotive simulation

Hereafter, we compute the flow about the DrivAer model [1]. This is an automotive validation case that has extensive experimental data [1, 2, 3]. The simulations presented in this validation case, were conducted for the fastback and smooth underbody model.  The inlet velocity corresponds to 30 m/s, the ground is moving with a translational wall boundary condition, and the wheels are rotating with a rotational wall boundary condition.

The simulations were conducted using simpleFoam and the k-Omega SST turbulence model with wall functions. The boundary and initial conditions for the turbulence quantities were computed using the guidelines described in reference [4]. At the outlet of the domain, we used backflow treatment.

Drivaer model. The geometry corresponds to the fastback and smooth underbody model [1]


Boundary  conditions


Moving wall boundary  conditions



 Visualization of vortical structures using Q-criterion



 Visualization of velocity magnitude contours in the symmetry plane. Visualization of pressure contours and streamlines of the model surface.


Drag coefficient iterative converge. Setup 1: no rotating wheels, moving ground. Setup 2: rotating wheels, moving ground. Setup 3: rotating wheels, no moving ground. Setup 4: no rotating wheels, no moving ground.


ReferenceMean \( c_d \)
Current validation study (Setup 2) - OpenFOAM0.2426
 Ref. [2] - EXP PVT UC0.243
 Ref. [2] - EXP PVT0.228
 Ref. [2] - EXP TUM ASME0.247
 Ref. [2] - EXP TUM SA0.243
 Ref. [2] - NUM US:200M0.235
 Ref. [2] - NUM SS-EWT:200M0.214
Ref. [3]0.258

Table 1: comparison of experimental and numerical results. Setup 2 corresponds to the simulation with moving ground and rotating wheels. The mesh used is made up of approximately 8 000 000 cells and the average y+ value is close to 50.


Residuals iterative evolution. Only the first 1000 iterations are shown.  All the simulations were run up to 5000 iterations.



warning The experimental values were extracted from plots illustrated in references [1, 2, 3].
We can not guarantee the accuracy or precision of this information.




[1] https://www.epc.ed.tum.de/en/aer/research-groups/automotive/drivaer/

[2] Steady and Unsteady Numerical Analysis of the DrivAer Model. R. Yazdani. Chalmers University of Technology, Master Thesis, 2015.

[3] Experimental Comparison of the Aerodynamic Behavior of Fastback and Notchback DrivAer Models. SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-0613, 2014.

[4] https://turbmodels.larc.nasa.gov/

Download here the case files - OpenFOAM 9 (coarse mesh).

Download here the case files - OpenFOAM 9 (fine mesh).

Download here the case presentation slides.




We would like to thanks Marco Giachi for the enlightening discussions, valuable suggestions, and sharing his setup as a starting point for developing this validation case. If you want to know more about Marco’s work, look for his book in Amazon: link 1, link 2.