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Technical Paper

Influences on Energy Savings of Heavy Trucks Using Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control

An integrated adaptive cruise control (ACC) and cooperative ACC (CACC) was implemented and tested on three heavy-duty tractor-trailer trucks on a closed test track. The first truck was always in ACC mode, and the followers were in CACC mode using wireless vehicle-vehicle communication to augment their radar sensor data to enable safe and accurate vehicle following at short gaps. The fuel consumption for each truck in the CACC string was measured using the SAE J1321 procedure while travelling at 65 mph and loaded to a gross weight of 65,000 lb, demonstrating the effects of: inter-vehicle gaps (ranging from 3.0 s or 87 m to 0.14 s or 4 m, covering a much wider range than previously reported tests), cut-in and cut-out maneuvers by other vehicles, speed variations, the use of mismatched vehicles (standard trailers mixed with aerodynamic trailers with boat tails and side skirts), and the presence of a passenger vehicle ahead of the platoon.
Technical Paper

In-Cabin Aeroacoustics of a Full-Scale Transport Truck

The noise generated by the flow of air past a transport truck is a key design factor for the manufacturers of these vehicles as the sound levels in the cabin are a significant component of driver comfort. This paper describes a collaboration between Volvo GTT and the National Research Council Canada to measure the in-cabin aeroacoustics of a full-scale cab-over tractor in the NRC 9 m Wind Tunnel. Acoustic instrumentation was installed inside the tractor to record cabin noise levels and externally to acquire tunnel background noise data. Using a microphone mounted on the driver’s-side tunnel wall as a reference to remove variations in background noise levels between data points, differences in cabin noise levels were able to be detected when comparing the tractor with different configurations. The good repeatability of the data allowed for differences of as little as 0.5 dB to be measured.
Journal Article

Considerations for the Wind Tunnel Simulation of Tractor-Trailer Combinations: Correlation of Full- and Half-Scale Measurements

The 9-meter wind tunnel of the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada is commonly employed in testing of class 8 tractors at full- and model-scales. In support of this work a series of tests of an identical model at full- and half-scale were performed to investigate some of the effects resulting from simulation compromises. Minimum Reynolds Number considerations drive the crucial decisions of what scale and speed to employ for testing. The full- and half-scale campaigns included Reynolds Number sweeps allowing conclusions to be reached on the minimum Reynolds number required for testing of fully-detailed commercial truck models. Furthermore the Reynolds sweeps were repeated at a variety of yaw angles to examine whether the minimum Reynolds Number was a function of yaw angle and the resulting flow regime changes. The test section of the NRC 9-meter wind tunnel is not sufficiently long to accommodate a full-scale tractor and a typical trailer length of 48′ or more.
Journal Article

Evaluation of the Aerodynamics of Drag Reduction Technologies for Light-duty Vehicles: a Comprehensive Wind Tunnel Study

In a campaign to quantify the aerodynamic drag changes associated with drag reduction technologies recently introduced for light-duty vehicles, a 3-year, 24-vehicle study was commissioned by Transport Canada. The intent was to evaluate the level of drag reduction associated with each technology as a function of vehicle size class. Drag reduction technologies were evaluated through direct measurements of their aerodynamic performance on full-scale vehicles in the National Research Council Canada (NRC) 9 m Wind Tunnel, which is equipped with a the Ground Effect Simulation System (GESS) composed of a moving belt, wheel rollers and a boundary layer suction system. A total of 24 vehicles equipped with drag reduction technologies were evaluated over three wind tunnel entries, beginning in early 2014 to summer 2015. Testing included 12 sedans, 8 sport utility vehicles, 2 minivans and 2 pick-up trucks.
Technical Paper

Investigation of drag reduction technologies for light-duty vehicles using surface, wake and underbody pressure measurements to complement aerodynamic load measurements

In a multi-year, multi-vehicle study to quantify the aerodynamic drag changes associated with drag reduction technologies for light-duty vehicles, technologies were evaluated through full-scale testing in a large low-blockage closed-circuit wind tunnel equipped with a Ground Effect Simulation System (GESS) and a Road Turbulence System (RTS). This study was commissioned by Transport Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada to support potential updates to light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission regulations. The technologies investigated include active grille shutters, production and custom underbody treatments, air dams, ride height control, side mirror removal and combinations of these. This paper focuses on mean surface, wake, and underbody pressure measurements recently introduced to complement aerodynamic force measurements. Surface pressures were measured by installing up to 40 surface pressure disks at strategic locations on four sedans and two small SUVs.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of the Influence of Close-Proximity Traffic on the Aerodynamic Drag Experienced by a Tractor-Trailer Combination

Recent research to investigate the aerodynamic-drag reduction associated with truck platooning systems has begun to reveal that surrounding traffic has a measurable impact on the aerodynamic performance of heavy trucks. A 1/15-scale wind-tunnel study was undertaken to measure changes to the aerodynamic drag experienced by heavy trucks in the presence of upstream traffic. The results, which are based on traffic conditions with up to 5 surrounding vehicles in a 2-lane configuration and consisting of 3 vehicle shapes (compact sedans, SUVs, and a medium-duty truck), show drag reductions of 1% to 18% for the heavy truck model, with the largest reductions of the same order as those experienced in a truck platooning scenario. The data also reveal that the performance of drag-reduction technologies applied to the heavy-truck model (trailer side-skirts and a boat-tail) demonstrate different performance when applied to an isolated vehicle than to conditions with surrounding traffic.