University of Waterloo Formula Motorsports team wins CFD award

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The University of Waterloo Formula Motorsports team has won the 2009 Formula SAE (FSAE) CFdesign Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Award. Blue Ridge Numerics presented the award and $1,000 to Anish Ganesh, mechanical engineering and management science major at the University of Waterloo, during the FSAE 2009 competition held 13-16 May at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.

Organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the FSAE competition gives students a unique opportunity to conceive, design, fabricate, and compete in formula-style racing cars.

For the 2009 FSAE competition, the Waterloo team set out to improve the airflow through their intake restrictor to help optimise combustion in the car's engine. The goal was to increase power output and efficiency, while reducing the amount of carbon dioxide coming out of the exhaust. Using CFD software, the team compared results for pressure recovery for three designs (their original design and two alternatives), hoping to maximise pressure recovery while still remaining within the FSAE regulations.

CFD simulation resulted in a final design that improved pressure recovery by 4 per cent and eliminated flow separation in the diverging section of the restrictor. The new restrictor design helped improve the overall performance of the engine by optimising the flow of air through increased combustion efficiency. Using CFD simulation the team was able to achieve their goal, while also reducing development time and cost.

'The Blue Ridge Numerics team is committed to helping Formula SAE teams accelerate innovation and performance in their design process,' said Rebecca Porter, communication manager, Blue Ridge Numerics. 'As a part of that commitment each year we choose the team who exhibits the best implementation of CFD for component or system design. This year we are pleased to present the award to the University of Waterloo team for their impressive use of CFD in the remodel of the team's air restrictor.'