Improving caravan design by modelling of airflow

Briskey, Kyle Gary (2013) Improving caravan design by modelling of airflow. [USQ Project]


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It is not uncommon for vehicles towing caravans to use more than double the fuel than normal. This massive increase in fuel usage is almost entirely due to the changed aerodynamics. This project focuses on improving the aerodynamics of a specific caravan with minimal impact on the useability and practicality of the caravan.

The caravan’s current aerodynamic characteristics are evaluated and optimised using CFD software. The CFD software is utilised to perform a parametric study on specific areas of the caravan’s geometry to determine the optimum shape and size of specific features. Results found show that optimising the aerodynamics of the JPC caravan can reduce the drag forces by approximately 29.5% while having little impact on practical aspects of the caravan.

The results have shown that the reduction in drag forces can be achieved through the implementation of four different modifications. The optimisation of caravans ride height can accomplish an overall possible reduction in drag forces of 15%. Optimising the distance from the tow vehicle to the caravan showed potential decreases of drag forces ranging from 9% to 15%. Coupled with the positioning of the caravan a further 10% reduction in drag forces are obtainable through the modification of an already existing front to roof chamfer. The introduction of a new roof to rear caravan chamfer can also be used to achieve further reductions of around 5%.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Wandel, Andrew
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2014 02:23
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2014 02:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: caravan design; modelling of airflow; fuel usage
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091399 Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified
09 Engineering > 0902 Automotive Engineering > 090299 Automotive Engineering not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4017 Mechanical engineering > 401799 Mechanical engineering not elsewhere classified
40 ENGINEERING > 4002 Automotive engineering > 400299 Automotive engineering not elsewhere classified

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