Advanced Aerodynamic Devices to Improve the Performance, Economics, Handling and Safety of Heavy Vehicles 2001-01-2072
Research is being conducted at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) to develop advanced aerodynamic devices to improve the performance, economics, stability, handling and safety of operation of Heavy Vehicles by using previously-developed and flight-tested pneumatic (blown) aircraft technology. Recent wind-tunnel investigations of a generic Heavy Vehicle model with blowing slots on both the leading and trailing edges of the trailer have been conducted under contract to the DOE Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies. These experimental results show overall aerodynamic drag reductions on the Pneumatic Heavy Vehicle of 50% using only 1 psig blowing pressure in the plenums, and over 80% drag reductions if additional blowing air were available. Additionally, an increase in drag force for braking was confirmed by blowing different slots. Lift coefficient was increased for rolling resistance reduction by blowing only the top slot, while downforce was produced for traction increase by blowing only the bottom. Also, side force and yawing moment were generated on either side of the vehicle, and directional stability was restored by blowing the appropriate side slot. These experimental results and the predicted full-scale payoffs are presented in this paper, as is a discussion of additional applications to conventional commercial autos, buses, motor homes, and Sport Utility Vehicles.