Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vans Go Green: Novel Spoiler Design Reduces Fuel Consumption

Date:
November 18, 2008
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Research published in the International Journal of Vehicle Design, the team describes how a new vehicle spoiler design can improve fuel consumption as well as vehicle handling.

As if the drivers of minivans and utility vehicles needed any more encouragement to drive fast between jobs, US researchers have designed a new rear spoiler for bluff-backed vehicles that can reduce drag and lift significantly.

Related Articles


Writing in the International Journal of Vehicle Design, the team describes how the new spoiler could improve fuel consumption as well as vehicle handling.

Inchul Kim of Metacomp Technologies, in Agoura Hills, California, working with Xin Geng and Hualei Chen of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, explain that a traveling vehicle experiences two main aerodynamic forces.

The first is drag, or air resistance, and is in the opposite direction to the movement. The second force is lift, which is perpendicular to the drag and to the road.

The greater the drag, the more energy is needed to propel the vehicle and so the more fuel that it uses to cover the same ground at a given speed. Lift reduces the amount of friction between the tires and the road and so lowers traction. This also reduces efficiency as well as deleteriously affecting handling.

Kim and colleagues have used the principles of fluid dynamics, which were first developed in the nineteenth century, to create a computer model of a moving mini-van, on which they could test a spoiler design for the twenty-first century.

"The scientific principle and geometry of the new rear-spoiler are completely different from those of conventional spoilers that have been used so far," the researchers explain. Conventional spoilers resemble an inverted plane wing and generally working by increasing the downward force on the back of the vehicle as well as improving the flow of air across the bluff rear. The new rear spoiler resembles a wave in profile rather than a wing and acts like a diffuser when it is attached to the back of a vehicle. The air pressure on the back of a vehicle with the new spoiler is higher than that on the back of a vehicle without it, the researchers explain.

The team's calculations suggest that the spoiler can reduce drag by 5% and switch lift from positive to negative at 67 mph. Given that more than two-thirds of a vehicle's power is consumed overcoming drag at highway driving speeds, this could translate into a significant fuel saving of up to several miles per gallon. This could amount to a saving of several hundred dollars a year depending on mileage as well as a concomitant reduction in carbon emissions.

Equally, however, the increase in vehicle power could be exploited by an unscrupulous driver to push the mini-van to the speed limit.

"The new rear spoiler can be applied to other minivans, vans, sports-utility-vehicles and buses," the team says, "With the new spoiler attached, the vehicles having a bluff back would have not only a higher mileage but also better stability." The researchers are currently optimizing the design for further performance improvements.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Vans Go Green: Novel Spoiler Design Reduces Fuel Consumption." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110153704.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2008, November 18). Vans Go Green: Novel Spoiler Design Reduces Fuel Consumption. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110153704.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Vans Go Green: Novel Spoiler Design Reduces Fuel Consumption." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110153704.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU, Russia, Ukraine Seal Breakthrough Gas Accord

EU, Russia, Ukraine Seal Breakthrough Gas Accord

AFP (Oct. 31, 2014) Russia agrees to resume gas deliveries to war-torn Ukraine through the winter in an EU-brokered, multi-billion dollar deal signed by the three parties in Brussels. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Relief After “gas War” Is Averted

Relief After “gas War” Is Averted

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 31, 2014) A gas war between Russia and Ukraine has been averted. But as Hayley Platt reports a deal was only reached after Kiev's western creditors agreed to partly funding the deal. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover opened a $800 million engine manufacturing centre in western England, creating 1,400 jobs. Duration: 00:45 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

Buzz60 (Oct. 30, 2014) A start-up company called Krossblade says its SkyCruiser concept flying car solves the problem with most flying car concepts. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins