The Performance Innovation Transport group made use of good new last week, as the not-for-profit engineering and research group announced that the results of a five-year performance evaluation of the side-skirts did the job they were meant to do.
The announcement was made at the Energotest Transport Canada test track in Plainville, Quebec. The test results noted the skirts consumed almost 7% less fuel than vehicles that were similar but lacked the skirts. Trailers with undercarriage devices consumed 1.43% less fuel on average than those without deflectors.
“The goal of these trials was to identify the real value of each technology so fleet operators can focus their implementation efforts where they get the best value and can more easily justify their capital investment,” said Yves Provencher, director of PIT. “Our controlled test-track fuel efficiency studies accelerate technology implementation and provide the commercial vehicle industry with the information it needs to make sound technology choices.”
PIT tested side skirts from Freight Wing, Laydon Composites, Ridge Corporation, and Transtex Composite. The fuel savings with the devices ranged anywhere from 5.2% to 7.45% as compared to vehicles that lacked the skirts.
When it came to fuel economy evaluations, PIT noted that trailer undercarriages air deflectors supplied fuel savings from 0% to 2.2%, which was a marked underscore from the wings.
Fuel consumption for the tests was measured by weighing portable tanks after each trip. Testing consisted of the baseline segment of vehicles not fitted with any modification. Such measurements were taken from a control group, and results were resented as an average of fuel consumption for the tests.
Further tests on fuel efficiency will be evaluated using the SAE J1526 Type III fuel consumption tests, which will compare consumption of one component of a combination vehicle. The compared tractors will be switched mid-test.
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