Moving Train External Airflow CFD Simulation, ANSYS Fluent Training


In this project, the airflow around a moving train is investigated and external airflow parameters were extracted.

This product includes Geometry & Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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Advanced moving train aerodynamic design is an effective factor in reducing energy consumption. This reduction is possible when the drag force, exerted from the fluid is decreased. Therefore, aerodynamics plays an important role in the design of trains or any moving object that is exposed to airflow. Computational fluid dynamics simulations have reduced the cost of building trains and locomotives, and have made it possible to check the efficiency of the new design before construction.

Moving Train Project Description

In this project, the airflow around a train is investigated and airflow parameters were extracted by ANSYS Fluent software. Due to the high speed of the train and the speed of airflow, phenomena such as separations or vortexes occur behind the train. Therefore, to better analyze the turbulent flow, the standard k-epsilon model with the use of standard wall functions is exploited.

Moving Train Geometry and Mesh

The geometry of this project consists of a modeled train, and the fluid domain. The geometry is designed and meshed inside GAMBIT®. The mesh type used for this geometry is unstructured and the element number is 1013277.

moving train

CFD Simulation Settings

The assumptions considered in this project are:

  • Simulation is done using a pressure-based solver.
  • The present simulation and its results are considered to be steady and do not change as a function time.
  • The effect of gravity has not been taken into account.

The applied settings are summarized in the following table.

(moving train) Models
Viscous model k-epsilon
k-epsilon model standard
near-wall treatment standard wall function
Inlet velocity inlet
Velocity magnitude 22.22 m/s
(moving train) turbulent kinetic energy 1 m2/s2
turbulent dissipation rate 1 m2/s3
Outlet Pressure outlet
wall motion stationary wall
(moving train) Solution Methods
Pressure-velocity coupling   SIMPLE
Spatial discretization pressure standard
density first-order upwind
momentum second-order upwind
turbulent kinetic energy first-order upwind
turbulent dissipation rate first-order upwind
(moving train) Initialization
Initialization method   Standard
gauge pressure 0 Pa
velocity (x,y,z) 0 m/s-1
Turbulent kinetic energy 1 m2/s2
Turbulent dissipation rate 1 m2/s3

Results & Discussions

This project has drawn path lines, velocity, pressure, and turbulence kinetic energy contours to better understand the flow behavior. As the contours show, due to the train’s speed and the airflow’s high speed, separation occurs behind the train, and vortexes are observed. The turbulence energy kinetics contour shows that the flow is entirely turbulent in the train’s upper and front area. The velocity is maximum due to the transfer of kinetic energy by the vortices section. The maximum energy kinetics is seen. Also, velocity contours, path lines, and vectors show that the separation occurred both in front of the train due to the train tip’s geometry and behind it. However, this separation is more significant and more noticeable behind the train.

Results & Discussions

The pressure contour also shows that the pressure initially has its maximum value on the front surface. However, with a slight distance from the wall, the aerodynamic suction pressure has increased while increasing the speed. Also, the thickness of the boundary layer at the back of the train indicates that the flow’s turbulence has increased, which is due to the separation phenomenon behind the train. Due to the train’s movement and its exposure to airflow, the drag force enters the train body in the opposite direction of the flow. In general, using methods to reduce vehicle drag can help control energy wastage. This video taught you how to simulate a train’s movement and draw the contours.

You can obtain Geometry & Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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