Aerodynamic Optimization of the Nose Shape of a Train Using the Adjoint Method


Grupo de Investigación de Mecánica de Fluidos aplicada a la Ingeniería Industrial, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, C/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, Madrid, 28006, Spain


The adjoint method is used in this paper for the aerodynamic optimization of the nose shape of a train. This method has been extensively applied in aircraft or ground vehicle aerodynamic optimization, but is still in progress in train aerodynamics. Here we consider this innovative optimization method and present its application to reduce the aerodynamic drag when the train is subjected to front wind. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the method, highlighting the requirements, limitations and capabilities of it. Furthermore, a significant reduction of the aerodynamic drag in a short number of solver calls is aimed as well. The independence of the computational cost with respect to the number of design variables that define the optimal candidate is stressed as the most interesting characteristic of the adjoint method. This behavior permits a more complete modification of the shape of the train nose because the number of design variables is not a constraint anymore. The information obtained from the sensitivity field permits determining the regions of the geometry where a small modification of the nose shape might introduce a larger improvement of the train performance. A good agreement between this information and the successive geometry modifications is observed here.