Aerodynamics: Wheel Skirts
Semi-Truck Upper Wheel Skirts
Patent Due to Issue August, 2019: US2018/0043944
Following the logic presented for shielding the uppermost wheel to minimize vehicle drag, the same solution can be applied to the open wheels of semi-truck tractors to minimize drag. Due to issue Patent US 2018/0043944 discloses an embodiment of this related invention, shielding only the critical faster-moving uppermost portion of the wheel.
First Fuel Economy Road Test of Upper Wheel Skirt Invention for Semi-truck Tractors.
Road tested twice in late 2017 in controlled tests in Pecos, Texas by Messilla Valley Transportation Solutions, a non-optimized prototype upper wheel skirt were shown to increase fuel efficiency for a semi-truck tractor, averaging a measurable fraction of one percent real fuel savings. Properly configured, we expect the achievable actual fuel savings may eventually attain up to a one percent savings, thereby offering substantial cost-effective fuel savings to transportation fleets.
Confirmed trends demonstrated in bicycle testing for increasing effectiveness under higher headwind conditions, has also been confirmed in testing of our upper wheel deflectors for semitrucks. Even when facing relatively light headwinds, the fuel savings achieved was about double that measured against no headwinds in road testing in Pecos, Texas.
This further demonstrates that our upper wheel skirts indeed offer the potential to dramatically increase fuel efficiency against stronger headwinds. Thus, for fleets operating in the mid-western states where headwinds can be quite strong, our upper wheel skirts can become even more fuel efficient.