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Technical Paper

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

2019-04-02
2019-01-0648
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 16% 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.
Journal Article

Measurement of the On-Road Turbulence Environment Experienced by Heavy Duty Vehicles

2014-09-30
2014-01-2451
Terrestrial winds play an important role in affecting the aerodynamics of road vehicles. Of increasing importance is the effect of the unsteady turbulence structure of these winds and their influence on the process of optimizing aerodynamic performance to reduce fuel consumption. In an effort to predict better the aerodynamic performance of heavy-duty vehicles and various drag reduction technologies, a study was undertaken to measure the turbulent wind characteristics experienced by heavy-duty vehicles on the road. To measure the winds experienced on the road, a sport utility vehicle (SUV) was outfitted with an array of four fast-response pressure probes that could be arranged in vertical or horizontal rake configurations that provided measurements up to 4.0 m from the ground and spanning a width of 2.4 m. To characterize the influence of the proximity of the vehicle on the pressure signals of the probes, the SUV and its measurements system was calibrated in a large wind tunnel.
Technical Paper

Potential for the Accumulation of Ice and Snow for a Boat-Tail Equipped Heavy-Duty Vehicle

2016-09-27
2016-01-8141
With increasing use of boat-tails on Canadian roads, a concern had been raised regarding the possibility for ice and snow to accumulate and shed from the cavity of a boat-tail affixed to a dry-van trailer, posing a hazard for other road users. This paper describes a preliminary evaluation of the potential for ice and snow accumulation in the cavity of a boat-tail-equipped heavy-duty vehicle. A transient CFD approach was used and combined with a quasi-static particle-tracking simulation to evaluate, firstly, the tendency of various representative ice or snow particles to be entrained in the vehicle wake, and secondly, the potential of such particles to accumulate on the aft end of a dry-van trailer with and without various boat-tail configurations. Results of the particle tracking analyses showed that the greatest numbers of particles impinge on the base of the trailer for the no-boat-tail case, concentrated on the upper surface of the back face of the trailer.
Journal Article

Simulation of Atmospheric Turbulence for Wind-Tunnel Tests on Full-Scale Light-Duty Vehicles

2016-04-05
2016-01-1583
During the past year, a novel turbulence generation system has been commissioned in the National Research Council (NRC) 9 m Wind Tunnel. This system, called the Road Turbulence System was developed to simulate with high fidelity the turbulence experienced by a heavy duty vehicle on the road at a geometrical scale of 30%. The turbulence characteristics that it can simulate were defined based on an extensive field measurement campaign on Canadian roads for various conditions (heavy and light traffic, topography, exposure) at heights above ground relevant not only for heavy duty vehicles but also for light duty vehicles. In an effort to improve continually the simulation of the road conditions for aerodynamic evaluations of ground vehicles, a study was carried out at NRC to define the applicability of the Road Turbulence System to aerodynamic testing of full-scale light duty vehicles.
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