- Restrictions on Access:
- Open Access.
- Automated platoons can allow vehicles to travel safely at close proximities, can prevent traffic congestion and most importantly can improve average fuel economy. Aerodynamic drag is a significant source of energy dissipation in tractor-trailers, accounting for as much as 20% of energy lost at high speeds. Despite a growing interest in automation techniques, few studies exist on truck platoons with a focus on vehicle ordering and spacing. Reducing the drag force on vehicle bodies by minimizing the coefficient of drag offers an effective way to maximize their fuel efficiency.In this work, experiments are conducted to estimate the drag coefficient of 2- and 3-member platoon combinations of medium-duty Volvo VNL-300 day cab trucks. The relative drag of the leading, middle and trailing trucks is compared by recording the axial drag forces on 1/64 scale models in a wind tunnel. The average drag coefficient ratio shows us that drag-reductions of around 36% are possible at distances of 3m for full-scale 2-truck platoons. The analyzed result helps engineers understand the fundamental tradeoff between platoon spacing and fuel savings. The proposed solution offers greater incentive to test full-scale vehicles in a real highway environment. Such a development can greatly reduce the carbon footprint of these vehicles in addition to reducing fuel costs.
- Dissertation Note:
- B.S. Pennsylvania State University 2018.
- Technical Details:
- The full text of the dissertation is available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file ; Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view the file.
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