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Second Thermal and Fluids Engineering  Conference

ISSN: 2379-1748


Chad L. Stucki
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 84602

R. Daniel Maynes
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 84602

DOI: 10.1615/TFEC2017.aes.017800
pages 19-23


Rising fuel cost has motivated increased fuel efficiency of freight trains. At cruising speed the largest contributing factor to the fuel consumption is the aerodynamic drag. As a result of air stagnation at the front of the train and substantial flow separation behind the train, the first and last railcars experience greater drag than intermediate cars. This paper introduces the design of add-on nose fairings to be attached to freight locomotives with the purpose of reducing drag on the front of the train. The fairing design was performed by numerical simulation of the flow field via computational fluid dynamic (CFD) software. The K-epsilon turbulence model was used, and fluid properties were equivalent to atmospheric air. Results from a parametric investigation are presented for 140 different nose fairings, and a multidimensional, polynomial regression is utilized to predict an optimal-performing geometry. From these studies, the best performing fairing geometry is predicted to yield a drag reduction of nominally 17.4% on the lead locomotive in a train.

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