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Aerodynamic drag of engine-cooling airflow with

external interference
Jack Williams
Ford Motor Company

ABSTRACT
This report examines the aerodynamic drag and external interference of engine
cooling airflow. Much of the report is on inlet interference, a subject that has not been
discussed in automotive technical literature. It is called inlet spillage drag, a term
used in the aircraft industry for the change in inlet drag with engine airflow. The
analysis shows that reduction in inlet spillage drag from the closed front-end
reference condition, is one of the primary reasons why cooling drag measurements
are lower than expected from free stream momentum considerations. In general, free
stream momentum (or ram drag) is the upper limit and will generally overstate the
penalty. The proposed analytical expression for cooling drag helps the understanding
of experimental measurements, particularly the inlet and exit interferences.
1

INTRODUCTION

One important element in the design of automotive grille openings is aerodynamic


drag of the engine-cooling airflow. Cooling drag is defined as the increase in vehicle
drag from a closed front-end reference condition. It consists of two parts -- the
internal drag of the cooling airflow and the external interference to vehicle pressure
distribution, both at the inlet and at the exit. It is easy to measure cooling drag, but
experimental results from production vehicles are much lower (normally) than would
be expected from free stream momentum considerations. This suggests that
interferences to the external flow field and exit thrust recovery may be significant.
The integration of a cooling system into a vehicle interferes with the exterior pressure
distribution at both the inlet and the exit. They are unavoidable and are an integral
part of what is called cooling drag in the automotive industry. The drag is proportional

to free stream momentum of the radiator airflow -- sometimes called ram drag and
for a given airflow, the relationship depends on many factors.
The recent work by Barnard [1,2] provided the motivation for the analysis presented
in this report. He conducted several special experimental investigations into cooling
drag using a modified Ahmed model with internal ducting. The model had a low drag
forebody with little (if any) exterior separation, and exit locations underneath and in
the base region. As expected, recovering axial thrust in the base region reduced the
cooling drag penalty. However, the baseline configuration -- with a bottom-exit and no
momentum recovery -- had high cooling drag. This was a bit surprising and Barnard
mentioned it in his report. He noted that it was higher than reported by other authors
for typical automotive vehicles.
About the same time, this author was trying to understand some low cooling drag
measurements from a generic sedan with several inlet configurations. Since thrust
recovery from the exit flow underneath the engine compartment was considered
unlikely, the explanation was unknown. These measurements, along with Barnards
and Probe IV data from Santer and Gleason [3], are shown in Figure 1. The cooling
drag coefficient (based on radiator area) is plotted against cooling system resistance.
The disparity in drag for the same system resistance is likely due to external
interferences and exit thrust recovery.
0.70

upper limit
Modified Ahmed model

Cooling Drag Coefficient

0.60

Generic sedan
Probe IV

0.50
0.40
0.30
0.20
0.10
0.00
0.00

0.05

0.10

0.15

0.20

0.25

0.30

0.35

System Resistance, Vr/Vo

Figure 1 Cooling drag measurements on generic sedan,


modified Ahmed model, and Probe IV; unpowered fan
Many investigators have examined the issue of cooling drag and have offered
several theoretical and practical considerations. But, inlet interference has not been
explicitly mentioned and discussed. This report attempts to explain why production
vehicle cooling drag measurements are lower (normally) than the freestream
momentum drag of the radiator airflow. As will be shown, the interference to exterior
drag at the inlet is the principal answer to these questions.

PRIOR INVESTIGATIONS

As mentioned, many investigators have discussed the aerodynamics of cooling


systems. Renn and Gilhaus [4], Carr [5], Hoerner [6], Wiedemann [7], Soja [8],
Kuchermann & Weber [9], Hucho [10], and Ohshima [11] are some good references
on the subject. In general, lower cooling drag correlates with lower front lift and
yawing moment; this provides a positive benefit to vehicle stability, handling,
crosswind sensitivity and fuel economy. Carrs report is a very good discussion of
these influences.
Ohshima [11] and his associates conducted an excellent experimental analysis of the
influence of engine-bay panels and exit flow area on vehicle drag and cooling airflow.
They noted that higher velocities associated with smaller outlets tended to increase
underbody drag. This observation was derived from CFD total-pressure predictions of
the exit flow patterns. It is clear from their report that the exit flow process is very
diffusive and there is an interaction/interference with downstream underbody flow.
This can lead to an increase in drag by effectively canceling any exit thrust. The
authors did not answer the question of possible thrust recovery and underbody
interaction explicitly, but only indicated that there is some opportunity to reduce
vehicle drag with a properly designed panel and exit configuration.
3

ANALYTICAL EXPRESSION FOR COOLING DRAG

It is easy to measure cooling drag, but it is very difficult to separate the internal and
external drag components. What follows here is an overview of an analytical
expression with empirical coefficients that helps the understanding of experimental
measurements. More details on the derivation are contained in the Appendix.
Cooling drag is defined as the increase in vehicle drag from a closed front-end
reference condition and it consists of two parts
o the x-momentum change of the internal airflow and
o the interference to exterior vehicle pressure distribution, both at the inlet
and at the exit.
From the x-momentum control volume in Figure 2, the cooling drag, normalized by
free stream dynamic pressure and radiator area (not vehicle frontal area), is
expressed in equation (1)1.

Dcooling
q0 Ar

m0V0 Dinlet (m6V6 cos Dub )


+

q0 Ar
q0 Ar
q0 Ar

(1)

where is the exit inclination angle of the exhaust flow from horizontal. The first term
in (1) is the free stream momentum of the inlet airflow, called ram drag. The second
term is the interference to the exterior pressure distribution around the inlet; it is the
change in inlet spillage drag from the closed front-end reference condition. The third

The mathematical terms are defined at the back of the report.

term is the exit momentum recovery of the cooling airflow reduced by the increase in
downstream underbody drag.
For the control volume shown in Figure 2, where the flow exits underneath the engine
bay, the change in the (p6-p0)A6 force term is absent because the x-projected area is
zero. For the case where the flow exits to the base region, the x-projected area is not
zero and technically this term should be included. In this report however, we assume
the change in this pressure force is part of the exit momentum; then, the flow velocity
can be thought of as an effective velocity that represents the exit momentum flux.

free stream

inlet

exit

Figure 2 Cooling drag x-momentum control volume and illustration of center-plane


streamlines for a generic sedan

Incorporating equations (5 and 7)2 into (1), the analytical expression for cooling drag
with empirical coefficients becomes

Dcooling
q0 Ar

V
V
A
= (2ct ,inlet (1 + xm )) r + 2ct ,exit r cos r
A6
V0
V0

(2)

This is a dimensionless expression for the cooling drag coefficient as a function of


cooling system resistance and external interference. Note that the coefficient of the
non-linear term is negative, so cooling drag depends on how much exit thrust is
recovered. From equation (2), cooling drag is a function of the following parameters:
Cooling system resistance
Inlet thrust-recovery coefficient
Inlet flow leakage fraction
Exit thrust-recovery coefficient
Exit or "nozzle" area ratio
Inclination angle of the exit flow

Vr/V0
ct,inlet
xm
ct,exit
A6/Ar

Note, that for no leakage of the inlet flow (xm = 0), inviscid exterior flow around the
inlet (ct,inlet = 1) and no thrust recovery at the exit (ct,exit = 0), equation (2) becomes
2

These equations are introduced later in the report.

Dcooling
q0 Ar

=2

Vr
V0

(3)

This is the ram drag of the cooling airflow and, since there is no leakage of the inlet
flow, it is the maximum value or upper limit for cooling drag.

INLET SPILLAGE DRAG

Inlet interference to cooling drag is described as a reduction in inlet spillage drag, a


term commonly used in the aircraft industry for the change in inlet drag with engine
airflow. It is a function of the momentum change in the streamtube approaching the
inlet, from free stream to the inlet entrance. The usual assumption by other
investigators, when developing analytical expressions for cooling drag, is to neglect
this momentum change -- which represents a theoretical pre-entry thrust force
(Kuchemann and Weber [9]; Seddon and Goldsmith [12]) -- and implicitly assume the
thrust force is generated in the external forebody pressure distribution. For inviscid
flow, this would be correct. Inlet spillage drag would be zero and there would be no
interference to cooling drag.
In reality however, external flow patterns around the front-end of automotive vehicles
are viscous and do have some separation, particularly on the underbody and tires.
Therefore, the pre-entry thrust force is not fully recovered and inlet spillage drag is
not zero. When the inlet is opened, the reduction in spillage drag is a favorable
interference that leads to lower cooling drag values.
To account for this in the cooling drag equation we define an empirical parameter
(ct,inlet) to represent the fraction of pre-entry momentum change that's actually
recovered as an exterior forebody thrust, and introduce a term called inlet spillage
drag.

Dinlet

(1 ct ,inlet )(1 0 ) = (1 ct ,inlet ) q0 A1 V1 1


V0

(4)

This equation describes the drag caused by the spillage or diversion of excess
approach flow, in a capture streamtube of area A1, which does not enter the inlet.
Equation (4) -- normalized by inlet area and free stream dynamic pressure -- is
plotted against inlet velocity ratio for various thrust-recovery fractions in Figure 2.
When the inlet is closed, the velocity ratio is 0 and spillage drag is a maximum. This
is the closed front-end reference condition for measuring cooling drag. When the inlet
is opened, the flow diverted around the inlet and the spillage drag are both reduced.
From (4), the change in inlet spillage drag is
Dinlet Dinlet ,
2

Dinlet
A V
closed

= (1 ct ,inlet ) 1 1 1 1
(5)
q0 Ar
q0 Ar
Ar V0

1.0
ct, inlet = 0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
ct, inlet = 1

D inlet / (q 0A1)

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0
0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

Inlet Velocity Ratio, V1/Vo

Figure 2 Inlet spillage drag for various forebody thrust coefficients


This is an expression for inlet interference to exterior drag when inlet velocity ratios
are less than 1.0. This is typically the case at higher road speeds where aerodynamic
drag is important to vehicle fuel economy. For forebody thrust coefficients less than 1
(i.e., viscous flows; cooling system installations characterized by some external
separation), note that equation (5) has a negative value and that this leads to a
reduction in cooling drag.
In inviscid flow, the momentum change in the approaching inlet airflow is observed as
an increase in exterior thrust on the forebody. Here, ct,inlet is 1 and the change in inlet
spillage drag (i.e., inlet interference) is 0.0. This would also be true (approximately)
for low-drag forebodies without exterior flow separation, like projectiles3 or low-drag
engine nacelles in commercial aircraft. These shapes also have ct,inlet values near 1
and will therefore have higher cooling drags. Barnard's measurements, to be
discussed later, illustrate this.
This is not the case for automotive vehicles, however. Exterior flow separation -frequently present on the bumper, hood, fenders, valance panel, underbody, air dam,
and tires -- inhibits development of the forebody thrust force. Under-bumper cooling
air dams, for example, have sharp corners that cause the flow to separate. Some of
the cooling drag is seen on the tires (Wiedemann [7]) due to changes in incidence
angle and flow separation from the tires. So, in general, the value of the forebody
thrust coefficient will be less than 1 and lower vehicle cooling drags will be measured.
The generic sedan measurements, to be discussed later, illustrate this.

See Hoerner [6], page 3-12, Figure 20, for forebody drag estimates of several cylindrical bodies. The
forebody drag of these shapes is near zero; some have thrust.

For the case where inlet interference dominates the relationship between cooling
drag and airflow, and there is no net recovery of exit momentum (ct,exit =0), equation
(2) becomes

Dcooling
q0 Ar
5

V
= 2ct ,inlet (1 + xm ) r
V0

(6)

EXIT THRUST RECOVERY

Assessing momentum recovery and downstream interference of the cooling airflow


leaving the engine bay is difficult. Flow visualization studies conducted some years
ago on the generic sedan by Williams, et al. [13] showed complicated and nonuniform underhood flow patterns. As illustrated in Figure 3, the cooling airflow leaving
the fan impacted the front face of the transverse engine and split into three paths.

Figure 3 Centerplane streamlines of generic sedan (Williams [13, 14])


Some airflow went over and around the engine and exited behind, just ahead of the
dash panel; the momentum of this flow was dissipated underhood. A fraction of the
fan airflow washed the lower half of the engine. A two-dimensional nozzle formed by
the engine oil pan and lower cross member vectored it aft; the fluid velocities were
judged high. The physical nozzle area here was estimated to be about 30% of the
radiator area and the flow angle was about 30 degrees from horizontal. The actual
momentum of this flow and the magnitude of the interaction with downstream
underbody drag were not measured.
In general, though, it is possible to theoretically approximate the exit momentum
shown in the third term of equation (1). As mentioned, we assume that the change to
the pressure-area term is absent because the x-projected area is zero. The exit
momentum term in (1) can be expressed as

(m6V6 cos Dub ) = 2c


q0 Ar

t ,exit

V
Ar
cos r
A6
V0

(7)

where ct,exit is the exit thrust coefficient. It includes the fraction of radiator airflow that
actually gets to the "nozzle" (A6) and the fraction of nozzle momentum that is not

cancelled by an increase in underbody drag. For example, if all the exit momentum is
cancelled by an increase in underbody drag, then ct,exit =0 and the net thrust from (7)
would be zero.
6

DISCUSSION OF EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS

6.1

DISCUSSION BARNARD DATA [1]

Barnards model is an example of a cooling system installation with no inlet


interference and several alternatives for exit thrust recovery.
Barnard investigated cooling drag using a modified Ahmed model with internal
ducting. The aircraft engine nacelle-like body had a low drag forebody, with little (if
any) exterior separation, and exit locations underneath and in the base region
(Figures 5 and 6). As expected, recovering some axial momentum underneath or in
the base region reduced the cooling drag penalty. However, for the baseline
configuration -- with a bottom-exit and no momentum recovery he measured a
relatively high cooling drag.

Figure 5 Ahmed model with revised underside outlet geometry giving a rearward
component of velocity (reprinted from Barnard; with permission)

Figure 6 Modified Ahmed Model with two alternative internal-flow ducting


arrangements and bottom exit (reprinted from Barnard; with permission)
Barnards data for the baseline (bottom exit and no momentum recovery), the bottom
exit with partial thrust recovery (Figure 5), and the rear exit to the base are listed in
Table I and plotted in Figure 7. The lines are from equation (2) using an effective exit
area ratio of 0.4 and inclination angles of 90, 45, and 0 degrees. The exterior flow

around the inlet is assumed to be fully attached: ct,inlet =1. Notice that when the exit
angle is at 90 degrees cooling drag is at the upper limit.
The half-blanking plate, which covered a portion of the bottom exit, increased system
resistance and reduced the cooling flow of his model. However, when the plate was
positioned at the front of the exit and the internal duct shape was revised, the
effective exit flow angle was reduced. The increased thrust reduced the drag. When
the rear outlet was used, not only did flow rate increase (due to the lower
backpressure), but drag was reduced (because of the increased thrust). This is an
example of increased cooling flow but lower cooling drag.
The likely explanation for the higher cooling drag of the baseline configuration is that
there is no interference at the inlet. Because the exterior flow is fully attached around
the forebody, the reduction in inlet spillage drag is zero and higher cooling drag
values should be expected.
Table I
Summary of Barnards Experimental Measurements (with permission)

Configuration Description

A6/Ar

Vr/Vo

Cooling
Drag
Coefficient

Ahmed model with inlet and outlet blocked


Baseline
Half blanking plate covering rear of exit
Half blanking plate covering front of exit
Exit to the base of the model

0.937
0.937
0.471
0.471
0.455

0.000
0.299
0.262
0.258
0.309

0.000
0.620
0.557
0.253
0.118

0.70
90 deg.
45 deg.
alpha = 0 deg.
Barnard data

0.60

Dcooling/(q0Ar)

0.50
0.40
0.30
0.20
0.10
0.00
0.00

0.05

0.10

0.15 0.20
Vr/V0

0.25

0.30

0.35

Figure 7 Cooling drag for modified Ahmed Model and calculations from equation (2).

6.2

DISCUSSION PROBE IV DATA

The Probe IV aerodynamic concept car is a cooling system installation with very low
cooling drag (Santer and Gleason). It is a good example of favorable interference at
the inlet and significant exit thrust recovery. As shown in Figure 8 the cooling
systems were installed in the rear quarter panels behind flush inlets and the flow
exited directly to the base region. The measured cooling drags are shown in Figure 9
for both powered and unpowered fan operation. The lines are from equation (2)4.

Figure 8 Probe IV aerodynamic concept vehicle cooling system


Although the exit thrust is the major benefit of this installation, the favorable
interference at the inlet also contributes to the low drag. Because the external flow
downstream of the inlet is completely separated, there is a reduction in inlet spillage
drag from the closed condition that leads to lower cooling drag: ct,inlet = 0.65. An
estimate for fully attached exterior flow is shown for reference: ct,inlet = 1.0. Notice that
powered fan operation increases the flow rate and lowers the cooling drag, slightly
negative in this case.

Exit area ratio is 0.4, the inclination angle is 0 degrees and the exit thrust coefficient is 1.0.

0.60
0.50

Dcooling /(q0Ar)

0.40

limit
ct, inlet = 1.0
ct, inlet = 0.65

0.30

Probe IV data

0.20
0.10
0.00
0.00

0.10

0.20

0.30

-0.10
Vr/V0

Figure 9 Cooling drag for the Probe IV aerodynamic concept vehicle


and calculations from equation (2)
6.3

DISCUSSION GENERIC SEDAN DATA

The generic sedan is a good example of a conventional cooling system installation


with favorable interference at the inlet and a little thrust recovery. Background
information and some test details can be found in Williams [15]. The various tested
inlet configurations are illustrated in Figure 10.

Figure 10 Illustration of tested inlet configurations for generic sedan


The low cooling drag measurements from the generic sedan were a surprise. For
unpowered fan operation, they were much lower than the free stream momentum of
the cooling flow (see Figure 1). There was no leakage of the inlet flow; and, flow
momentum was allowed to dissipate in the underhood compartment and exit the

engine bay in the normal way. Figure 3, shown earlier, illustrates the underhood flow
pattern and the fact that some of the flow was vectored rearward. If this momentum
was not canceled by an increase in underbody drag, some thrust recovery should be
expected.
An examination of the test data from one inlet configuration helps answer the
question. Experimental drag and airflow measurements were made over a range of
wind speeds with powered and unpowered fan operation. A plot of cooling drag
versus system resistance (Vr/V0) for one configuration is shown in Figure 11.
A regression line through the data is also shown. Note that the curve has a convex
shape because the coefficient of the non-linear term is negative. This indicates that
there is some exit thrust present. By comparing the regression coefficients to
equation (2) the average inlet and exit thrust coefficients can be estimated:
o ct,inlet = 0.6
o ct,exit = 0.1
Although there is some small exit thrust recovery, there is a much greater influence at
the inlet. If it were absent, the cooling drag would have been much higher, as
indicated by the ct,inlet = 1 line in Figure 11. Inlet interference is the primary
explanation for the low cooling drag of the generic sedan.

Cooling Drag Coefficient

0.80
0.70
0.60

upper limit
Configuration 220
ct, inlet = 1

0.50
0.40
0.30
0.20
2

y = -0.58x + 1.18x
2
R = 0.99

0.10
0.00
0.00

0.10

0.20

0.30

0.40

Vr/V0

Figure 11 Cooling drag for the generic sedan (inlet configuration 220)
and calculations from equation (2) 5

Exit area ratio is 0.3, and exit inclination angle is 30 degrees.

CONCLUSIONS

The analysis in this report shows that reduction in inlet spillage drag from the closed
front-end reference condition (i.e., the inlet interference to exterior drag), is one of the
primary reasons why cooling drag on the generic sedan was lower than expected
from free stream momentum considerations. Although not anticipated, a little thrust
was also recovered from the exit flow.
Vehicles with higher drag front-ends will have lower cooling drag values (for the same
airflow). The exterior flow structure around the vehicle forebody is partially separated,
and this will prevent full thrust recovery of the pre-entry momentum change. The
reduction in inlet spillage drag as the inlet is opened leads to a reduction in cooling
drag.
In general, ram drag (free stream momentum of the cooling airflow) as an estimate of
vehicle cooling drag is the upper limit and will generally overstate the penalty.
The analytical expression for cooling drag in this report is a good model that helps
the understanding of experimental measurements, particularly interference to
external drag at the inlet and exit. The empirical coefficients are a practical
representation of the interference effects.
Aerodynamic engineers should focus their vehicle product development efforts on the
open inlet shape, reducing vehicle drag and increasing ram airflow simultaneously.
Using radiator area, instead of vehicle frontal area, as the reference area for the
cooling drag coefficient makes cross-vehicle comparisons easier.
8
A
ct,inlet
ct,exit
D
Dinlet
Dub
m
p
q0
r
V
xm
=
=
alpha

TERMINOLOGY
area
pre-entry thrust-recovery fraction on forebody exterior
exit thrust coefficient
drag force
inlet spillage drag
underbody drag
mass flow rate
pressure
free stream dynamic pressure
correlation coefficient
flow velocity
inlet leakage flow normalized by radiator flow rate
total-momentum, mV + ( p p0 )A
exit-flow inclination angle
exit-flow inclination angle

Subscripts
I
net
r
0
1
6
9

internal
net; the internal momentum loss referenced to free stream
radiator
free stream
inlet entrance
engine-bay exit

CONTACT

Jack Williams
Ford Motor Company
Advanced Engineering Center
2400 Village Road, MD 68
Dearborn, MI 48121
Phone: (313) 322-3382
e-mail: jwillia3@ford.com
10

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

The author would like to acknowledge Dick Barnard for freely sharing his many
experimental investigations and technical analyses of the cooling drag problem. As
mentioned in this report, they helped prompt this work. Special thanks also to Pete
Kanefsky for his probing questions and insights on this subject over the years.
11

REFERENCES

1 Barnard, R. H., Theoretical and experimental investigation of the aerodynamic


drag due to automotive cooling systems, Proc Institute of Mechanical Engineers
Vol. 214 Part D. IMechE 2000
2 Barnard, R. H. and N. Ledakis, Physical modelling and optimization of radiator
cooling flow systems, Proc. 2nd MIRA Conference on Vehicle Aerodynamics,
October 1998.
3 Santer, Robert M. and Mark E. Gleason, "The Aerodynamic Development of the
Probe IV Advanced Concept Vehicle", SAE report 83100, June 1983
4 Renn, V. and A. Gilhaus, Aerodynamics of vehicle cooling systems, Proc. 6th
Colloquium on Industrial Aerodynamics and Road Vehicle Aerodynamics,
Fachhochschule, Aachen, 1985, pp. 303-311.
5 Carr, G. W., "The Influence of Engine-Cooling Airflow on Car performances and
Stability", IMechE Report C496/079, 1995
6 Hoerner S. F., Fluid Dynamic Drag, Hoerner Fluid Dynamics, P.O. Box 342,
Brick Town N. J. 08723, 1965, pp. 9-1 and 9-2.
7 Wiedemannn, Jochen, "The Influence of Ground Simulation and Wheel Rotation
on Aerodynamic Drag Optimization Potential for Reducing Fuel Consumption",
SAE report 960672, February 1996.

8 Soja, H. and J. Wiedemann, "The interference between internal and external


flow on road vehicles", Ingenieurs d'Automobile, September 1987, pp. 101-105.
9 Kuchemann, D. and J. Weber, Aerodynamics of Propulsion, McGraw-Hill
Company, 1953, pp. 59-65.
10 Hucho W-H., Aerodynamics of Road Vehicles, 4th ed., SAE International, 1998,
pp. 197-201.
11 Ohshima, T., K. Hamatani, M. Ninoyu, and K. Nakagawa, "Influence of the
cooling airflow outlet on the aerodynamic characteristics", JSAE Review 19
(1998) 137-142.
12 Seddon, J. and E. L. Goldsmith, Intake Aerodynamics, AIAA Education Series,
1985, pp. 217-220.
13 Williams, J. E., J. E. Hackett, J. W. Oler, and L. Hammer, "Water Flow
Simulation of Automotive Underhood Airflow Phenomena", SAE 910307,
February 1991.
14 Williams, Jack, Walt Oler, and Dinakara Karanth, "Cooling Inlet Aerodynamic
Performance and System Resistance", SAE report 2002-01-0256, March 2002.
15 Williams, Jack and Guru Vemaganti, "CFD Quality A Calibration Study for
Front-End Cooling Airflow", SAE 980039, February 1998.
12

APPENDIX -- DERIVATION DETAILS FOR COOLING DRAG EQUATION

The control volume for an x-momentum analysis of engine-cooling airflow extends


from the entrance plane of the inlet to the exit underneath the engine bay (Figure 2).
For this control volume, which does not include any external interference, the internal
drag of the cooling airflow is equal to the loss in x-direction total-momentum of the
internal flow. This can be described by the following equation.
Dcooling = DI (1 6 cos )
(8)
where is the exit angle of the exhaust flow and

mV + ( p p0 )A is the total-momentum.

Because there are many possible inlet designs and configurations, it's difficult to
determine total-momentum at the inlet entrance. So industry practice is to use free
stream conditions as the reference. Here, the flow conditions are well known. This
representation is called net momentum loss of the cooling airflow and is defined as
the internal loss minus the momentum change in the pre-entry control volume, from
free stream to the inlet.
Dnet D I ( 1 0 ) = ( 0 6 cos )
(9)
The change in total-momentum in the pre-entry control volume represents a
theoretical thrust force, which is normally observed in the exterior pressure
distribution on the forebody of the vehicle. To account for this effect we define an
empirical parameter (ct,inlet) to represent the fraction of pre-entry momentum change
that's actually recovered as a forebody thrust and introduce a term called inlet
spillage drag.
Dinlet 1 ct ,inlet ( 1 0 )
(10)

As with the inlet, there is also interference to external drag downstream of the
engine-bay exit. To reflect this change in underbody drag, an extra term is added to
(8). The momentum control volume now extends from free stream to well behind the
vehicle. Using (9) and (10), equation (8) becomes

Dcooling = 0 + (1 ct,inlet )(1 0 ) (6 cos Dub )

(11)

BY industry convention, cooling drag is measured as the change in vehicle drag from
a closed-inlet (or closed front-end) reference condition. From (11) the cooling drag is

Dcooling
q0 Ar

m0V0 Dinlet ( 6 cos Dub )


+

q0 Ar
q0 Ar
q0 Ar

(12)

The first term in the cooling drag equation (12) is the free stream momentum of the
cooling airflow, called ram drag. The second term is the interference to the exterior
pressure distribution around the inlet, the change in inlet spillage drag. The third term
is the exit momentum recovery of the cooling airflow reduced by the increase in
downstream underbody drag.
In many situations some of the inlet flow bypasses the radiator, i.e., there is leakage.
In this case the free stream momentum in the first term is expressed as

mV0
V
= 2(1 + xm ) r
(13)
q0 Ar
V0
m1
m1
and xm
where (1 + xm )
mr
mr , the leakage flow normalized by radiator flow rate.
From equation (5) the change in inlet spillage drag is
Dinlet Dinlet ,
2

A1 V1
Dinlet
closed

= (1 t ,inlet )
1 1
Ar V0
q0 Ar
q0 Ar

(14)

From equation (7) the third term in equation (12) is

( 6 cos Dub ) = 2c
q0 Ar

t , exit

V
Ar
cos r
A6
V0

(15)

Substituting equations (13 -15) into (12)

Dcooling
q0 Ar

V
A

= 2ct ,inlet + (1 ct ,inlet )V1 (1 + xm )Vr + 2ct ,exit r cos r (16)


V0
A6
V0

V0

Since regressions of experimental data suggest a relationship of the form y = bx +


ax2 (cooling drag coefficient versus cooling system resistance), the coefficient of the
linear term b in (16) can be determined from the slope of the curve at (0,0).
dy
= (2ax + b)x =0 = b
dx x =0

Vr V1 A1 1

x
=0
=
=
Since
V0 V0 Ar (1 + xm )

V1
= 0 and equation (16) becomes
this means that for all values of A1/Ar,
V0
Dcooling
q0 Ar

V
V
A
= (2ct ,inlet (1 + xm )) r + 2ct ,exit r cos r
A6
V0
V0

(17)

This is a dimensionless expression with empirical coefficients for the cooling drag
coefficient as a function of cooling system resistance. Note that the coefficient of the
non-linear term is negative so cooling drag depends on how much exit thrust is
recovered. Also, the effect of leakage of the inlet flow shows up as an increase in the
linear term.