NYSERDA Funds Aerodynamic Devices to Boost Freight Truck MPG
August 31, 2009
Albany, NY —The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced today that it will provide $499,645 to ATDynamics for development of next-generation aerodynamic technology to improve the fuel economy of large trucks. The goal is to cut diesel fuel consumption by 10% for long-haul trucks.
ATDynamics will develop active flow control (AFC) devices that reduce aerodynamic drag by modifying airflow at the rear of tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles. Clarkson University will assist in designing the devices and performing wind tunnel tests. NYSERDA previously has funded Clarkson to develop passive devices to cut truck aerodynamic drag, and ATDynamics has incorporated some of this technology into the firm’s existing product line-up, which today is on display at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas. The AFC product will broaden the range of vehicle types—including trailers with roll-up doors-- that can be modified for improved aerodynamics.
Francis J. Murray, Jr., NYSERDA President and CEO said, “This technology has the potential to reduce U.S. diesel fuel consumption by more than two billion gallons per year, significantly reducing production of greenhouse gases and air pollution, while also reducing truck operating costs and creating manufacturing jobs. This project directly aids Governor David Paterson’s program to reduce our dependence on petroleum products and reduce air emissions.”
“To carry on our role as a pioneer in trailer aerodynamics, we're providing the long-haul trucking industry with a technology that is well established in aerospace engineering,” said Andrew Smith, CEO of ATDynamics. “With support from New York State, we can turn active flow control into a trucker-tough product that is cost-effective for our fleet customers and OEM partners.” The NYSERDA funding will be matched by the company's own investment in AFC over the next two years.
AFC requires installation of pneumatically powered actuators at the rear perimeter of the truck (or around the perimeter of the trailer doors in a tractor-trailer combination). The system works by promoting a smoother, less turbulent transition for the airstream flowing off the rear of the truck, reducing the size and intensity of the low-pressure air pocket that develops behind a blunt-tailed vehicles and which serves to retard vehicle forward motion.
As part of the project, ATDynamics will identify New York State firms who will assist in manufacturing the end product. Beginning in 2010, ATDynamics will partner with fleets operating in New York to evaluate AFC during on-road operations. Plans call for the product to be commercially available to trucking fleets nationwide by 2012.
Advanced Transit Dynamics, Inc. (ATDynamics) designs and delivers best-in-class fuel-efficiency technology for the freight transportation industry. ATDynamics is an affiliate of the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership and a member of the American Trucking Association's Technology Maintenance Council. Based in South San Francisco, CA, ATDynamics works with trucking fleets throughout North America to save fuel costs and reduce vehicle emissions. Since its founding in 2006, the company has generated widespread recognition, including management awards, product accolades and government funding to develop next-generation technologies. For more information, please visit www.atdynamics.com or call (888) ATD-TAIL.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) was established by law in 1975 as a public benefit corporation. NYSERDA provides energy-related technical and financial packaging assistance to businesses and institutions to promote energy efficiency and economic development, as well as providing energy research and development programs that promote safe and economical energy production efficiency technologies in New York State. NYSERDA also analyzes the effect of New York’s energy, regulatory and environmental policies on the State’s business, institutional, and residential energy consumers.
Colleen Ryan, NYSERDA
518-862-1090 ext. 3359
Last Updated: 11/26/2012