Active Aerodynamic Flow Control for Reduced Fuel consumption of Trucks

The Invention The invention improves the flow of air around the aft (rear) section of trucks and other heavy road vehicles (such as UAV's). A small add-on device incorporates a novel air flow control valve which generates suction and high frequency oscillations, forcing the air to conform to the shape of the add-on device and reducing drag. This is most relevant to vehicles traveling at highway speeds for long distances The Need The technology is based on using novel suction and periodic or pulsed excitation flows for the reduction of aerodynamic drag of trucks. The device cross-section can take the shape of a curved surface, such as a segment of a cylinder or any elliptic-like cylinder, that is connected to the aft-region of blunt shapes, such as truck-trailers. Suction is applied from slots or holes at 100 to 120 deg on the cylinder (where 90 deg is the original blunt-body trailing-edge) and pulsed blowing is applied further downstream. Applied together, they have the effect of improving the flow of air around the blunt edge of the rear of the truck. This combination, as an add-on device has not been used before for blunt shapes' drag reduction. The device would be self-contained and will have no moving parts. Pressurized fluid would be drawn from the existing truck systems or from an auxiliary system. Control would be automatic, operated by the driving speed or fluid dynamic pressure relative to the blunt-bluff body. The device itself would be flexible and movable to allow opening doors and the like on the aft-surface Potential Applications Fuel expenses are the highest budget item in maintaining a fleet of trucks. At highway speeds, aerodynamic drag is responsible for 65% of energy expenditure (DOE report). The leading edges of trucks have been fitted with above-cab flow diverters, but the aft section, which is the next major contributor, has not been addressed. Our studies have shown that up to 20% reduction in drag can be achieved, translating to over 10% fuel reduction. Our method is significantly more efficient than current methods. The ROI for installing the device should be approximately 12 months.

Over 2 million large trucks registered in U.S., probably a similar number in Europe. Both areas have extensive highway systems where the product is particularly effective. Possible target markets are companies holding a large fleet of trucks. These include retail chains, parcel delivery services, Wholesale suppliers, the military and many others. The device can be installed as an add-on to existing trucks at low expense and within a few hours Patent 2 US provisional patents submitted Tech Transfer Officer Mr. Larry Loev Office: +972-3-6406544 Fax: +972-3-6406675 Mail: Larry.loev@ramot.org

Inventor(s): Avi Seifert

Type of Offer: Licensing



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