Over 70% of the freight tonnage in the US is moved by trucks consuming over 54 billion gallons of fuel per year. At highway speeds, aerodynamic drag uses over 65% of the total energy of the vehicle. Aeromutable has designed an add-on active flow control device capable of reducing the power required to overcome aerodynamic drag by over 16%. This device uses air injection in the back of the trailer to help the incoming flow negotiate sharp corners, reduce separation on the trailer—which is responsible for 50 - 60% of the total drag—and ultimately reduce drag. Since fuel is responsible for as much as 40% of the operating costs in this industry, Aeromutable’s device will increase the industry’s profitability while significantly decreasing its carbon footprint. An additional benefit of Aeromutable’s dynamic wake shaping technology is enhancing truck stability and safety under non-ideal conditions (especially intermittent cross winds).
David Manosalvas-Kjono (PhD Aero & Astro) PIs: Prof. Juan J. Alonso (Aero & Astro) and Prof. Antony Jameson (Emeritus Aero & Astro)
Innovation Spotlight: A Driving Force January 2021