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Old 09-03-2017, 08:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How much do grill openings effect Cd?

I have heard that between 1/4 and 1/3 of the aerodynamic drag on a car is from the cooling openings. That sounds like a LOT of the drag on a car is from air going through the radiator, and I have a hard time believing that cooling causes 1/4 to 1/3 of the aerodynamic drag on a car. If that were the case, wouldn't I have lost a measurable amount of gas mileage when the front grill fell off my 2005 Civic? I was sure that having a big hole in the front of my car would hurt highway mileage at least a little, but the effect on gas mileage even at 60-70 MPH on the highway was not measurable. Also, if drag from cooling was so significant, why do people only get 1-3 percent MPG improvements, presumably mostly from faster warm up, from a full grill block? nPlease help me understand!

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Old 09-03-2017, 10:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Enough to where electric vehicles have closed off grill openings.
If you block off the grill you may have the electric fans kinking on more, eating up some of the savings.
Newer vehicles must have spent time in the wind tunnel working on minimizing the grill opening effects compared to vehicles from years ago. That's the only thing I can think of.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That's a ridiculous % of drag. Where did you hear that?
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Old 09-04-2017, 04:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Aerodynamic Investigation of Vehicle Cooling-Drag ...It is estimated that about 10% of the overall aerodynamic drag originates from the cooling...

https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/fr...g-aerodynamics ...cooling and ventilation system ~ 10%...

3% or 1/3 of the 10% seems reasonable for a DIY modification to a still functioning cooling system
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubby79 View Post
That's a ridiculous % of drag. Where did you hear that?
I can't remember for sure since it's been a while, bit I THINK I actually heard that on Ecomodder. Not certain though.
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Enough to where electric vehicles have closed off grill openings.
If you block off the grill you may have the electric fans kinking on more, eating up some of the savings.
Newer vehicles must have spent time in the wind tunnel working on minimizing the grill opening effects compared to vehicles from years ago. That's the only thing I can think of.
Well, why would an EV have openings on the front for cooling? They have no combustion engine to cool, although I am sure that the electronics and motors require some cooling. Even a 1 percent drag reduction would be enough for the manufacturers to block off the openings on EVs.
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Enough to where electric vehicles have closed off grill openings.
If you block off the grill you may have the electric fans kinking on more, eating up some of the savings.
Newer vehicles must have spent time in the wind tunnel working on minimizing the grill opening effects compared to vehicles from years ago. That's the only thing I can think of.
Also, good point about the radiator fan running more. Just curious though- Do you mean that the fan would run more on the highway, or in traffic? On my Civic, the fan doesn't turn on until 207 degrees unless the AC is on, and it only runs at around 185 or so on the highway. So the fan will run longer in traffic from simply blocking off the upper grill? Won't the fan just pull more air in from the lower grill opening?
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoCivic View Post
Well, why would an EV have openings on the front for cooling? They have no combustion engine to cool, although I am sure that the electronics and motors require some cooling. Even a 1 percent drag reduction would be enough for the manufacturers to block off the openings on EVs.
Batteries have to be babied to get the most range out of them. Too warm or too cool and the don't give their best. Cooling is therefore necessary depending on duty.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Batteries have to be babied to get the most range out of them. Too warm or too cool and the don't give their best. Cooling is therefore necessary depending on duty.
That makes sense, but they obviously would not require nearly as much cooling as an internal combustion engine.
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Old 09-04-2017, 04:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Batteries have to be babied to get the most range out of them. Too warm or too cool and the don't give their best. Cooling is therefore necessary depending on duty.
Not so much. Somebody calculated that I am putting only 500 watts into my cooling battery system during the 10 kwh daily commute.

They do prefer being warmer than 80 * f.

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