The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Navistar are testing drag-reducing devices that could cut big rig fuel use by 12 percent, or 3.4 billion gallons a year. The devices would fit into the areas of the truck that produce the most drag, making it more aerodynamic and reducing the energy needed to propel the truck.
At highway speeds, semi-trucks use more than half of the energy from their engine overcoming drag. With these devices placed at crucial points like the trailer base, underbody and the space between the tractor and trailer, the drag is significantly reduced. The fuel savings amount to a reduction of 36 million tons of CO2 emissions a year -- the same as four 1-GW power plants -- and a cost savings of $10 billion a year for the U.S. trucking industry.
The LLNL's devices, along with other commercially-available ones, are being tested at NASA's Ames Research Center in the world's largest wind tunnel where researchers hope to coax even greater fuel efficiency through the large-scale testing. Trucks could be retrofitted with the devices in as little as three years.
written by mike, February 21, 2010
written by dictionar german, February 21, 2010
written by Mark Whittington, February 28, 2010
|< Prev||Next >|