Freight Wing Trailer Aerodynamics Final Technical Report

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Freight Wing Incorporated utilized the opportunity presented by a DOE category two Inventions and Innovations grant to commercialize and improve upon aerodynamic technology for semi-tuck trailers, capable of decreasing heavy vehicle fuel consumption, related environmental damage, and U.S. consumption of foreign oil. Major project goals included the demonstration of aerodynamic trailer technology in trucking fleet operations, and the development and testing of second generation products. A great deal of past scientific research has demonstrated that streamlining box shaped semi-trailers can significantly reduce a truck’s fuel consumption. However, significant design challenges have prevented past concepts from meeting industry needs. Freight Wing ... continued below

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22 pages

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Graham, Sean October 31, 2007.

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Description

Freight Wing Incorporated utilized the opportunity presented by a DOE category two Inventions and Innovations grant to commercialize and improve upon aerodynamic technology for semi-tuck trailers, capable of decreasing heavy vehicle fuel consumption, related environmental damage, and U.S. consumption of foreign oil. Major project goals included the demonstration of aerodynamic trailer technology in trucking fleet operations, and the development and testing of second generation products. A great deal of past scientific research has demonstrated that streamlining box shaped semi-trailers can significantly reduce a truck’s fuel consumption. However, significant design challenges have prevented past concepts from meeting industry needs. Freight Wing utilized a 2003 category one Inventions and Innovations grant to develop practical solutions to trailer aerodynamics. Fairings developed for the front, rear, and bottom of standard semi-trailers together demonstrated a 7% improvement to fuel economy in scientific tests conducted by the Transportation Research Center (TRC). Operational tests with major trucking fleets proved the functionality of the products, which were subsequently brought to market. This category two grant enabled Freight Wing to further develop, test and commercialize its products, resulting in greatly increased understanding and acceptance of aerodynamic trailer technology. Commercialization was stimulated by offering trucking fleets 50% cost sharing on trial implementations of Freight Wing products for testing and evaluation purposes. Over 230 fairings were implemented through the program with 35 trucking fleets including industry leaders such as Wal-Mart, Frito Lay and Whole Foods. The feedback from these testing partnerships was quite positive with product performance exceeding fleet expectations in many cases. Fleet feedback also was also valuable from a product development standpoint and assisted the design of several second generation products intended to further improve efficiency, lower costs, and enhance durability. Resulting products demonstrated a 30% efficiency improvement in full scale wind tunnel tests. The fuel savings of our most promising product, the “Belly Fairing” increased from 4% to 6% in scientific track and operational tests. The project successfully demonstrated the economic feasibility of trailer aerodynamics and positioned the technology to realize significant public benefits. Scientific testing conducted with partners such as the EPA Smartway program and Transport Canada clearly validated the fuel and emission saving potential of the technology. The Smartway program now recommends trailer aerodynamics as a certified fuel saving technology and is offering incentives such as low interest loans. Trailer aerodynamics can save average trucks over 1,100 gallons of fuel an 13 tons of emissions every 100,000 miles, a distance many trucks travel annually. These fuel savings produce a product return on investment period of one to two years in average fleet operations. The economic feasibility of the products was validated by participating fleets, several of which have since completed large implementations or demonstrated an interest in volume orders. The commercialization potential of the technology was also demonstrated, resulting in a national distribution and manufacturing partnership with a major industry supplier, Carrier Transicold. Consequently, Freight Wing is well positioned to continue marketing trailer aerodynamics to the trucking industry. The participation of leading fleets in this project served to break down the market skepticism that represents a primary barrier to widespread industry utilization. The benefits of widespread utilization of the technology could be quite significant for both the transportation industry and the public. Trailer aerodynamics could potentially save the U.S. trucking fleet over a billion gallons of fuel and 20 million tons of emissions annually.

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22 pages

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FG36-05GO15158
  • DOI: 10.2172/918696 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 918696
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc889917

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • October 31, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Oct. 31, 2016, 6:20 p.m.

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Graham, Sean. Freight Wing Trailer Aerodynamics Final Technical Report, report, October 31, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc889917/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.