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American Shipper

Improving truck trailer aerodynamics

Improving truck trailer aerodynamics

   South Carolina-based company BMI Corp., in partnership with the U.S. Energy Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has developed a technology that improves the aerodynamics of long-haul truck trailers and could potentially save the industry millions of gallons of fuel.

   Using the nation's most powerful computer — the DOE's Cray XT-5 'Jaguar,' BMI designed a 'SmartTruck Under Tray System,' a set of integrated fairings that improve the aerodynamics of 18-wheeler (Class 8) long-haul trucks.

   BMI said if all 1.3 million Class 8 trucks in the United States were configured with its fairings, trucking companies could collectively save 1.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually, or about $5 billion.

   With the installation of the under tray system, BMI said 'the typical big rig can achieve fuel savings of between 7 and 12 percent, easily meeting the new California Air Resources Board mandate that calls for a minimum mileage improvement of 5 percent.'

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