Louis Garneau Sports (LGS) recently introduced to the market the P09 Time-Trial Helmet, which was first seen at the 2013 Tour de France with the Europcar Team. Like their previous TT helmet, the Vorticce, LGS teamed up with Lx Sim for the P09 aerodynamic development using CFD. Using the Vorticce as a good starting point, LGS wanted to reduce the drag even more while also maximizing ventilation for long races such as Ironman triathlons.
To achieve this goal, Lx Sim used STAR-CCM+ with a model of over 30 million cells for the helmet and upper body of a rider in racing position. Simulations were done in steady state for the design phase and final drag comparisons were done in transient using DES turbulence model. The complexity of the system, combining external aerodynamics and internal ventilation was the challenge. STAR-CCM+ results helped determine changes to make to the general shape, tail length and shape. We were also able to increase ventilation and use internal air outlets at the tail in the form of gills in order to improve external performances.
As a result, the P09 helmet reduces the drag of the rider/helmet combination by more than 2% while drastically improving ventilation. The helmet helped LGS position themselves as a world leader in the field and compete with company like Specialized and Giro.