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Dynamic Airfoil for Vehicles

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244866D
Publication Date: 2016-Jan-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 57K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system and method that dynamically control the specifications of the airfoil affixed to the top of a semi-truck cab. Based on environmental factors such as air pressure and wind speed, as well as preset data about the vehicle, the system automatically changes the orientation of the airfoil to optimize the truck’s fuel efficiency.

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Dynamic Airfoil for Vehicles

Tractor-trailer trucks that are in service travel hundreds of thousands of miles per year at highway speeds; any small increase in fuel efficiency can result in a large amount of money saved for the driver or company. Increased fuel efficiency can also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas and other emissions. Even a small fuel economy increase could result in substantial savings over time. An example is a truck with a large fixed

airfoil, which has worse aerodynamics and therefore worse fuel economy when towing

a tanker or flatbed trailer as opposed to a standard box trailer. The reverse is also true.

Fixed airfoils on trucks do not account for variations in speed, environment, or the size or height of trailer that the truck is pulling. Airfoils are built statically, with fixed

dimensions, and the only way to change these is to either swap out the entire airfoil or change trucks to one that has a desirable airfoil for the immediate event. This is a static solution to a dynamic need.

A dynamic airfoil is needed to allow the truck to achieve optimal fuel efficiency in

varying conditions and with different sizes of trailers. A dynamic foil can automatically

change its dimensions and angle in real time.

The novel contribution is a system and method that dynamically control the specifications of the airfoil, based on a plurality of calculations and predictions, which

then controls the expansion and pitch of the airfoil.

The novel system comprises an airfoil that sits on the top of a semi-truck cab, and changes its orientation to optimize fuel efficiency based on environmental factors such as air pressure and wind speed, as well as preset data about the vehicle. This allows the truck to achieve optimal fuel efficiency at varied speeds and when towing different types of trailers.

The dynamic airfoil is affixed to the roof of the cab or can be applied to sit along the trailing edges of the sides of th...