Meeting CAFE standards Through Improved Engine Simulations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released new Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE standards for light duty cars and trucks. These standards are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel economy, leading to model year 2025 vehicles that will emit just one-half the greenhouse gasses that model year 2010 vehicles do.

To reach these ambitious goals, the new CAFE standards mandate that automakers raise the average fuel efficiency of new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. These are lofty and commendable goals. But for engine designers and automakers, are the new standards even feasible for real-world vehicles? The EPA believes they are, and has established a new program to prove it. Continue reading

Why Do Road Traffic Deaths Remain Unacceptably High?

automotive-leadersRoad accidents are one of the leading causes of unnatural deaths around the world. The World Health Organization’s Global status report on road safety in 2013 indicates that worldwide the total number of road traffic deaths remains unacceptably high at 1.24 million per year. This is a staggering number.

As the number of vehicles increase, resulting in a corresponding increase in accidents, auto safety is emerging as one of the most important aspect of automotive product design. Broadly, automotive safety can be classified into passive and active safety. While passive safety covers basic components of the vehicle (example: seat belts, air bags, vehicle structure etc.) in addition to driver behavior; active or predictive safety usually refers to the use of technology to avoid collisions or at least mitigate their effect (example: crash avoidance and driver assistance systems). Continue reading

Automotive Electronics: Engineering the Ultimate Mobile Device

When we think of “mobile devices”, images of smartphones and tablets come to mind. These devices connect us virtually to events around the world, our family, our friends, and the global marketplace, without ever leaving our homes. And with the advancements in automotive electronics, our driving experiences can also be enhanced, where we are as globally connected to our environment as our smart phones. Such connectivity could augment our driving experience and enhance our security, by providing early warning and accident avoidance capabilities. Imagine cars being aware, not just of the surroundings but also aware of their driver. Imagine a future where your interface to the virtual word is limited not to queries on a touch screen, but rather the entire environment of your car, from the windshield to the seat to the car electronics, which are all engineered to provide a globally connected driving experience unique to you. Continue reading

Optimizing Auto Combustion Using Predictive Simulation Technologies

Spray-droplet visualization at the start of injection for a Diesel sector-mesh simulation

Spray-droplet visualization at the start of injection for a diesel sector-mesh simulation

Today’s automotive community is increasingly called upon to think strategically and form unique relationships that expand its reach in a new era of cross-industry collaboration. We’re eager to share our excitement about Reaction Design’s new role at ANSYS (especially as it applies to developing optimal auto combustion processes) and reveal our shared vision for our more powerful and predictive simulation technologies.

We’re looking forward to telling you about it at the upcoming SAE 2014 World Congress and Exhibition, being held April 8 through 10 at Detroit’s Cobo Center. A must-attend for the automotive engineering community, this event represents an unparalleled opportunity to explore new technology through both technical sessions and the Innovators Only Exhibition. Continue reading

Why I Love Working with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team and Simulation

On March 27 at 4 pm GMT, 12 pm EST, I will have the pleasure to participate in an exclusive, one-time, non-recorded webinar hosted by SAE international with Al Peasland (Head of Technical Partnerships, Infiniti Red Bull Racing) and Nathan Sykes (Team Leader for CFD and FEA, Infiniti Red Bull Racing).

The RB10 Red Bull Racing Formula 1

The RB10 Red Bull Racing     Formula 1

Since the birth of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing (IRBR) Formula 1 team almost 10 years ago, simulation has played a vital role in assisting the team to develop its cars aerodynamics through its CFD software and services. I have been the technical account manager for the IRBR account for over 6 years. In addition to developing and solidifying our technology relationship, I have witnessed first hand the impressive integration of ANSYS software into a Formula 1 CFD process. I take great joy (and pride!) working tirelessly and collaboratively with IRBR to deliver technology that has proved superior in concept and execution, ultimately helping to design the cars that have delivered the quadruple championships, which have been awarded to the team over the last four consecutive years. Continue reading

Why I Became a Fan of Fluent Meshing to Create Large Meshes of Complex Geometries

When I look back over the last decade at the trends in CAE simulation, one thing that stands out is the increase in the general complexity of models being investigated. Today, with progresses in computing power and parallel computing, 3-D simulations are commonplace and geometries are less and less simplified. As a result, many CFD engineers choose to spend less time on geometry simplification and clean-up of corrupted geometries (for example gaps or holes) and solve larger models using the power of parallel simulations.

Prior to CFD analysis, we often have to extract the fluid volume of a given geometry. After all, we CFD engineers are often most interested in what is happening inside or outside the solid objects! Extracting the fluid volume from solid CAD entities using a Boolean tool at the geometry level is a great strategy for simpler geometries but can become extremely troublesome when the number of parts in an assembly increases and gaps or holes (geometry imperfections) exist. When you are looking at cases containing hundreds or thousands of parts, most engineer’s (including myself!) eyes start to glaze over at the very thought of preparing the geometry for analysis!

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Electric Machine Design Methodology

In 2009, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with full support from ANSYS, deployed an initiative to the region’s industrial community by launching the ANSYS Institute for Industrial Innovation (AI3). Recently, ANSYS and the university launched a video about common interests and partnership activities that tells the story behind the institute.

As you heard in the video, the institute at UWM is a portal for industry to engage with academia to foster economic growth and development of regional industries and educational institutions, leveraging world-class CAE capabilities including CAD, FEA and system simulation platforms. AI3’s framework provides an infrastructure that spans the product development cycle from concept to functional prototype. Continue reading

Advanced Design of Electric Motors

Electric motors consume nearly half of all global energy, so the drives need to be highly efficient. Electric machines include materials that can vary drastically in price over a relatively short period of time due to market demands and a limited supply of the raw materials. Traction motors used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEV/EV) utilize rare earth permanent magnets. Changing a design parameter, such as the shape or size of the magnets, most likely will have consequences on performance such as a reduction in efficiency or will introduce a change in torque quality.

Original and optimized design

The modified design and the original design provided by Magna Electronics. The modification included the reduction of the magnet length and decrease of “V-angle” of the magnets.

Engineers who design interior permanent magnet (IPM) machines most often create a 2-D plot of the efficiency and torque of the machine versus its rotation speed, known as an efficiency map. The goal is to reduce the magnet size and maintain the maximum torque and efficiency for the entire speed and torque range. An efficiency map can be created by taking measurements in the test environment of the output torque, input power and output power. Of course, this means that the traction motor first must be designed and manufactured.

Also, at this late stage of the design cycle, making design changes to improve performance is costly and takes another round of prototyping. Consequently, IPM traction motor engineers utilize simulation tools that quickly, yet very accurately, predict the performance of the traction motor and drive product development. Engineers who are responsible for the electromagnetic design of IPM electric motors usually employ the finite element method (FEM).

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