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And if so, what configuration would be best suited to optimize drag reduction between the two trailers of an LCV.This study could be performed at both gaps to quantify the incremental effect of add on devices, compared to the large reductions that are achieved via the removal of one of the tractors.

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However, this is still 40% of a very small number, and 8% of a very large number but the fact remains that increasing vehicle length increases the relevance of frictional drag reduction strategies and has much less effect on pressure drag.

The size of the gap between the lead and trailing trailer plays a significant role in the amount of drag experienced by the combination vehicle, particularly at higher yaw angles.

For heavy-duty vehicles, such as tractor-trailer combinations, the drag coefficient increases significantly with yaw angle.

In cold Canadian climates, the aerodynamic drag in winter can be nearly 20% greater than at standard conditions, due to the ambient air density.

This number increases to 0.13 higher at a yaw angle of 5 degrees.

Therefore, adding a second trailer to form an LCV, and thus doubling the freight capacity, results in a very modest increase in drag coefficient of approximately 10% at zero yaw angles and 22% at five degree yaw angles when compared to the single trailer vehicle.

For highway tractor-trailers and intercity buses, this results in about a 10% increase in fuel consumption from drag when compared to the reference temperature, further emphasizing the importance of aerodynamic drag reduction strategies for the Canadian climate.

The results of one study indicated that an LCV’s drag coefficient while pulling two trailers can be as little as 0.05 higher than a conventional vehicle pulling one trailer at 0 deg wind yaw angle.

The full report, (PDF, 2.06 MB), is available as a PDF. This document contains confidential information that is proprietary to NRC’s Centre for Surface Transportation Technology.

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