Tatuus iMagazine - page 22

Wind tunnels and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) are the most important
technologies in motorsports design. All the winning projects of the last few years came
from the integration between the analysis in the tunnel and the computational phase
using computers. Taatus have been using a wind tunnel since 2004,
and the IT system designs and develop all the most successful cars of the factory.
In order to provide a clear insight on the work done daily, we interviewed
Eugenio Bardoscia, who guides us into this fascinating world
by Stefano Semeraro
When the Tatuus wind tunnel started
operating? What were the needs beneath
its design?
«At the start of the 2000s, it was clear that
Tatuus needed to structure the company as
race car constructor. So the strategic areas
oriented to the design were improved and
widened. The aero department was one of the
areas with the biggest impact and Tatuus
opened its wind tunnel and an internal tech
centre for the CFD simulations. All of that in
order to be completely independent and have
unlimited access to this kind of methods. It
has been possible despite the budget
limitation because it wasn’t a “ready to go”
purchase. We designed and built it
Let’s try to explain to a regular reader how
the WT works an which parameters make
it efficient…
«A wind tunnel is a true aerodynamic
laboratory made of a test room where high‐
speed air is routed on the model. Since
accelerating an aero flow has a pretty big cost
in terms of the energy, a closed‐circuit layout
is used. The air flowing into the chamber is
pushed back to the entrance and used again.
In this return trip, the loss of speed are
compensated while trying to keep parameters
like turbulence and temperature under
control. A wind tunnel made for automotive
use has to study the behavior of a car on a
road, it has a key characteristic: the floor is
mobile. The floor simulates the speed
differential between the car and the track,
moving the car’s wheels which are held for
attrition by four independent braces. The car
is held by a streamlined sting attached to the
roof of the chamber. The sting also hides the
mechanical arm that moves the car, plus it
connects the scale sitting inside the chassis
which measures the aerodynamic forces and
Let’s imagine we have to develop a
prototype or a single‐seater: how many
hours of wind tunnel we would use, and
how many people?
«We can say that the use of the wind tunnel is
calibrated according to the type of
championship that the car will run in, and to
the needed budget. For example, the rules
leave a lot of freedom in terms of the aero
choice of the prototypes so at least 200 hours
are needed. For an open‐wheel car like the last
Tatuus car, the FIA Formula 4, the rules are
very restrictive and there are less chances to
experiment. So the toll is lower, about 30 or
40 hours. The number of people involved also
changes, obviously. The basic team feature a
CAD designer who takes care of the model,
which it’s not a reduced copy of the 1:1
version, but a stand‐alone project. A modelist
is also required to build the details designed
internally and to fit them onto the model. A
wind tunnel technician takes care of the
model’s fitting and supervises the auxiliary
components (air conditioning, floor
movement, cooling and venting, plus the
boundary layer of the chamber). The WT
manager conducts the experiment from the
control room, dictates the times, and takes the
decisions. Depending of the work load, the
same task can be shared by more than one
Formula Toyota NZ
Thoughts in the
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