Wind-Averaged Drag Determination for Heavy-Duty Vehicles Using On-Road Constant-Speed Torque Tests 2016-01-8153
To investigate the feasibility of various test procedures to determine aerodynamic performance for the Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Regulations for Heavy-Duty Vehicles in the United States, the US Environmental Protection Agency commissioned, through Southwest Research Institute, constant-speed torque tests of several heavy-duty tractors matched to a conventional 53-foot dry-van trailer. Torque was measured at the transmission output shaft and, for most tests, also on each of the drive wheels. Air speed was measured onboard the vehicle, and wind conditions were measured using a weather station placed along the road side. Tests were performed on a rural road in Texas.
Measuring wind-averaged drag from on-road tests has historically been a challenge. By collecting data in various wind conditions at multiple speeds over multiple days, a regression-based method was developed to estimate wind-averaged drag with a low precision error for multiple tractor-trailer combinations. Data on the speed dependence of tire rolling resistance were collected separately and incorporated into the analysis. Some challenges, sources of error, and areas for future improvement are also discussed.