The influence of mesh characteristics on OPENFOAM simulations of the DrivAer model

Grigoris Fotiadis

BETA CAE Systems S.A.


In this study external aerodynamics CFD simulations are performed using OpenFOAM on the three variants of the DrivAer model, a realistic geometry with details representative of current automotive designs. A thorough examination of the effect of different meshes on the solution convergence and accuracy is performed.

These meshes differ in terms of generation process and time involved, their density and their quality. Different meshing approaches are followed using the pre-processor ANSA, ranging from standard hybrid penta and tetra meshes to hexa dominant and polyhedral ones. Other factors considered are the steady or transient approaches, as well as the importance of including the wind tunnel in the simulations to exactly match CFD and experimental results. All post-processing steps are performed in μETA fully automatically in order to identify the differences in the above simulations. Conclusions are derived with respect to the importance of the mesh, and the optimum pre-processing strategy that ensures robust automation as well as high fidelity CFD simulations with OpenFOAM.