Smart aerodynamic drag reduction for reducing vehicle fuel consumption
Founding Year: Venture initiated in 2011
Virtual Streamlining is developing smart aerodynamic drag reduction systems for deployment on large transport vehicles. These ‘hidden’ devices generate pulsed jets of air which act like a virtual boat-tail in the wake behind the vehicle.
Unlike typical devices, this system is able to streamline the body without modifying its physical shape, and can actively adapt to varying driving conditions. Proof-of-concept trials have demonstrated drag reductions of up to 15%, yielding a potential fuel saving of 5-8% per annum on a typical articulated lorry.
R&D is currently focused on improving operational efficiency in preparation for full-scale road trials with a major fleet operator in the near future.
Team Members: Jonathan Morrison (Professor of experimental fluid mechanics); Anthony Oxlade (experimental fluid mechanics, Ph.D.); Marcos Garcia De La Cruz Lopez (experimental fluid mechanics, Ph.D.); Michael Foster (CEO Charter International, retired).