A Computer Simulation of the Effect of Wind on Heavy Truck Fuel Consumption Testing 2010-01-2039
A computer simulation was developed to investigate the effect of wind on test track estimation of heavy truck fuel efficiency. Monte Carlo simulations were run for various wind conditions, both with and without gusts, and for two different vehicle aerodynamic configurations. The vehicle configurations chosen for this study are representative of typical Class 8 tractor trailers and use wind tunnel measured drag polars for performance computations. The baseline (control) case is representative of a modern streamlined tractor and conventional trailer. The comparison (test) case is the baseline case with the addition of a trailer drag reduction device (trailer skirt). The integrated drag coefficient, overall required power, total fuel consumption, and average rate of fuel consumption were calculated for a heavy truck on an oval test track to show the effect of wind on test results. Simulation results indicate that both wind speed and direction significantly affect the outcome of fuel consumption tests even for cases of constant wind.