A New Approach for the Reduction of Aerodynamic Drag of Long-Distance Transportation Vehicles
The optimization of aerodynamic drag represents an important research area for the fuel consumption reduction of heavy duty commercial vehicles. Today's design of tractor-trailers is significantly influenced by legal conditions regarding the vehicle dimensions and the provision of a maximum transportation volume. These boundary conditions lead to brick-shaped trailer outer geometries, especially at the rear ends. That is the reason why the investigations of aerodynamic optimization of commercial vehicle trailers are predominantly restricted to detail measures up to now. The present publication treats the aerodynamic characteristics of general modifications on the outer contour of long-distance haulage trailers in regard of reducing the drag resistance and, thus, potentially also the fuel consumption in highway traffic. A new approach for the realization of a variable outer contour of trailers provides the possibility to adjust the rear end to an aerodynamically optimized shape.