Wood, R. M.: Impact of Advanced Aerodynamic Technology on Transportation Energy Consumption, SAE 2004-01-1306, Nov. 2004 (436 KB)


An assessment of the role of fluid dynamic resistance and/or aerodynamic drag and the relationship to energy use in the United States is presented. Existing data indicates that 16% of the total energy consumed in the United States is used to overcome aerodynamic drag in transportation systems. Application of existing pressure drag reduction technologies to all ground vehicles within the United States will reduce yearly energy costs by 20 billion dollars.

Wood, R. M., Bauer, S. X. S,: Simple and Low-Cost Aerodynamic Drag Reduction Devices for Tractor-Trailer Trucks, SAE 2003-01-3377, Nov. 2003 (628 KB)


Three simple, low cost aerodynamic drag reduction devices have been developed for application to the trailer of a tractor-trailer truck. The three devices have undergone extensive operational testing where they have amassed over 85,000 miles of use. These technologies have shown a combined fuel savings of 10% at an average speed of 47.5 mph. This improvement in fuel economy correlates to an equivalent drag reduction of approximately 30% with a corresponding drag coefficient of 0.45. Observations and anecdotal evidence from the test activity have shown that the addition of these devices to the trailers has not had a negative impact on either the operational utility of the trailers or the maintenance procedures and requirements.

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