REVOLUTIONARY INFLATABLE AERODYNAMIC SOLUTIONS
"AERO-TAIL" AERODYNAMICS IMPROVE CLASS 8 TRUCK FUEL ECONOMY BY 3.5%
AeroVolution's Aero-Tail product is an inflatable aerodynamic device, which meets the 5' overhang US DOT length regulations for "Non-Rigid" Aerodynamic Devices. This advanced "dual-walled" patented design has 4 panels (2 per side), designed to hold it's shape without an internal frame. Utilizing a "Drop-Stitch" PVC material, developed for the Heavy Duty Inflatable Boat Industry, the panels create a 2.5" thick inflated shell for this shape, which greatly minimizes air supply/pressure requirements. Universal attachments to the corner posts of all "Box Trailers" have been located, simplifying installation and operations. Once inflated over closed doors, the stable inflated shape holds itself structurally in place, streamlining the air for a clean exit, reducing drag and improving fuel economy.
The Aero-Tail splits in half, opening and folding with the doors to side of the trailer. Access to cargo at loading docks is a simple deflation of inner chambers allowing the panels to fold and compress with the doors as they swing to the side of the trailer. Inflation is under a minute per side, deploying with either a remote air supply or running from the rigs on-board air system. Bayonet buckles clip the boat-tail together at centerline, final pressure added for full inflation, you're ready for the road and saving fuel!
SAE Type II Fuel Economy Tests were conducted by Kenworth R&D's Fuel Efficiency Team. Base-Line Test: Identical KW T2000 Tractors, Utility Trailers and weighted loads traveled the routine 500 Mile Round Trip from Renton, WA to the Dalles, OR and back. (New base-line tests are run with each experiment) Then the test was run, one rig with AeroVolution's Aero-Tail, one without. The test revealed true aerodynamic performance and fuel economy improvements, as speeds were regulated one mile over speed limits respectively for the states. Averaging 58.5 mph, not accounting for traffic slow downs and congestion, the fuel efficiency numbers can only improve with open roads long-haulers are accustomed to. Couple this data with higher average speeds, this innovation will show greater fuel economy performance.
Further testing has been done in collaboration with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Smart Way Transportation Program), supporting the "aero" performance in relation to emissions reduction. These tests were performed in 2005 at the Continental Tire Proving Grounds, in Uvalde, Texas by the SouthWest Research Institute. The Canadian National Research Center has generously invited AeroVolution and other emerging aerodynamic fuel-efficiency devices to test performance in the Full-Size wind-tunnel at the CNRC in Ottawa, Canada. (March of '06) Soon to be released technical SAE papers on these tests will be linked on this site, when available (ETA mid-July '06).
The photos and information above are of a first generation prototype. Shape consistency for test purposes has continued, with variations of materials and construction. Before AeroVolution will offer this product to the market, deployment and durability are being fine tuned with fleet evaluations, to create the most user-friendly product with the optimal return on investment. Please check back, or we can update you by email with product advancements and launch announcements.
Click here to read a recent press release from Kenworth/PACCAR.
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