Wind Tunnel Evaluation of Potential Aerodynamic Drag Reductions from Trailer Aerodynamic Component Combinations
The use of devices to reduce aerodynamic drag on large trailers and save fuel in long-haul, over-the-road freight operations has spurred innovation and prompted some trucking fleets to use them in combinations to achieve even greater gains in fuel-efficiency. This paper examines aerodynamic performance and potential drag reduction benefits of using trailer aerodynamic components in combinations based upon wind tunnel test data. Representations of SmartWay-verified trailer aerodynamic components were tested on a one-eighth scale model of a class 8 sleeper tractor and a fifty three foot, van trailer model. The open-jet wind tunnel employed a rolling floor to reduce floor boundary layer interference. The drag impacts of aerodynamic packages are evaluated for both van and refrigerated trailers. Additionally, the interactions between individual aerodynamic devices is investigated.