The case for vehicle aerodynamics

Bourne, Lincolnshire, UK: Enhancing the aerodynamic shape of a truck reduces the drag resistance, improves the flow control around the vehicle and leads to lower fuel consumption.

Drag reduction devices such as those developed by British company Aerodyne do this, saving engine power and therefore fuel while giving the vehicle a steadier ride.

Aerodyne was established in 1979 by Ambrose Kingston, an engineer who was running a logistics company and experiencing many of the same problems faced by fleets of all sizes today – how to save fuel, increase profits, and enhance vehicle appearance.

In order to reduce the fleet’s fuel consumption, research was carried out on the various fuel-saving devices available. After extensive road tests and vehicle monitoring, the effectiveness of these devices was proven. Here are three cases studies demonstrating the benefits.

1-Reynolds Catering saves 20% on fuel costs

“We were amazed at Aerodyne’s Airkit producing over 20% fuel-saving – they’ve opened further fuel-saving opportunities for Reynolds, helping us to meet our environmental goal,” said Steve White, head of national fleet, Reynolds Catering.

Reynolds Catering has cut fuel consumption by as much as 20 on its Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans by using Aerodyne supplied cab roof deflector and sidewing kits, modified to fit around the fridge. 

In 2019 Reynolds purchased five Mercedes Sprinter refrigerated box vans and checked the average fleet MPG over a period of weeks, at this stage no Airkit was fitted.  Once the Aerodyne air deflector kist has had been fitted, the average fleet MPG over a number weeks was again checked though the telematics with the Airkits providing a fuel-saving of over 20%.
3.5 tonners are light-weight vehicles so most of the engine power is consumed overcoming aerodynamic drag.  This means an improvement to the aerodynamic shape of the vehicle will see strong fuel-saving even at lower speeds.

“We were amazed at Aerodyne’s Airkit producing over 20% fuel-saving – they’ve opened further fuel-saving opportunities for Reynolds, helping us to meet our environmental goal,” said Steve  White, head of national fleet, Reynolds Catering.

http://aerodyneuk.com/case-study/aerodyne-helps-reynolds-catering-save-over-20-of-fuel-costs/

2-Aerodynamics gives Ocado a 7.2% fuel-saving

After a 4-month trial, the Aeromatic has produced an additional 7.2% fuel-saving above any fuel-savings from the fixed height Airkit

Ocado, which converted to CNG-powered tractors in 2019, needed a wind deflector system that could work with both 5m high double-decks and 4.2 m high single-deck trailers.

Aerodyne’s Aeromatic deflector, an upgraded ersion of its Auto-Adjust version – automatically switches between the 5 m and the 4.2m trailers, or any trailer height between.

There is no need for driver input and so no danger of driver-error. The system is cross-braced, making is sturdy and robust, Aeodydne says.
 
“Aerodyne stood out for their attention to detail. The system modelled well and there was a willingness to develop something that would meet all our criteria. Working with Aerodyne has been straightforward. It was clear from day one that they were keen to work with us to get to where we wanted to be,” said Graham Thomas, fleet services manager, Ocado.

After a 4-month trial, the Aeromatic has produced an additional 7.2% fuel-saving above any fuel-savings from the fixed height Airkit.  This significantly reduces fuel costs and emissions. It also increases the range – a vital factor for any CNG operator due to the current lack of filling stations.

http://aerodyneuk.com/case-study/7-2-fuel-saving-for-ocado-group/

3- Tesco gains 2.1% fuel-saving on double decks

Tesco’s participation in the double-deck trailer project will play a part in Tesco’s long-term ambition to be a zero-carbon business by 2050

Bourne, Lincolnshire, UK: Work by a UK consotrium into truck aerodynamics has led to a 2.1% fuel-saving on Tesco’s double deck trailers.

Funded in part by the government agency Innovate UK and partly by industry bodies, the research consortium has two main goals –
• To reduce the kerb weight of a standard double-deck trailer by two tonnes – optimising its carrying capacity
• To achieve a 14% reduction in its drag coefficient – saving fuel and cutting CO2 emissions

Truck aerodynamic company Aerodyne is part of the consortium contribution and carried out wind tunnel tests on changes to the original prototype double-decks. These include
• an Aerodyne-developed front top moulding
• a vertical central ‘blade’ on the front bulkhead – also an Aerodyne development
• a modified version of the tapered rear end

Early results suggest a dramatic improvement in efficiency.  Pressure measurements were taken at the front and rear of the trailer, with data suggesting the new top moulding and vertical blade offer a combined 6% reduction in the trailer’s drag coefficient. Meanwhile, the tapered tail adds a further 3.4% – a combined reduction of 9.4% CD.

The consequences for fuel-saving with these developments are considerable. Early signs are that a significant 11.2% less diesel per tonne-km of transport work will be used than the standard trailer (9.1% due to increased payload; 2.1% from aerodynamics)

Tesco’s participation in the double-deck trailer project will play a part in Tesco’s long-term ambition to be a zero-carbon business by 2050. Its road transport operations will play a significant role in achieving this target. The company has committed to reducing CO2 emissions per-case-of-goods-delivered by 25% compared to their 2011/12 baseline.

http://aerodyneuk.com/case-study/new-aerodynamic-devices-for-tesco-double-deck-trailers-bring-extra-2-1-fuel-saving/

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