Configurable trucks save up to 25 percent fuel

September 06, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In the EU research project TRANFORMERS (Configurable and Adaptable Trucks and Trailers for Optimal Transport), an international consortium has taken on the task of improving the fuel efficiency of trucks. The Fraunhofer LBF has developed a sensor system for measuring the loading volume and a battery housing for supplying an electric auxiliary drive in the trailer. The system is intended to reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 percent and thus emit less CO2. At the same time, it is intended to reduce the risk of congestion.

Trucks are primarily designed for a maximum load weight and optimized for only a few missions. The TRANSFORMERS project, on the other hand, relies on a modular approach with the load optimization trailer and the hybrid-on-demand trailer, which adapts the trucks to the current mission. Modular, hybrid drive concepts including aerodynamically and load-optimally adapted vehicle architecture can bring decisive advantages for more energy and transport efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and reduce fuel costs.

The Van Eck Load Optimization Trailer features electric roof height adjustment, a load volume sensor and a double-floor system. Once the trailer has reached its maximum permissible mass without fully utilising its volume, the roof can be lowered to reduce drag. The sensor system developed by the Fraunhofer LBF for measuring the load height determines the current utilization of the load volume. If, on the other hand, the permissible total mass has not yet been reached, pallets can be loaded on top of each other with the help of the double-floor system in order to make full use of the maximum load height and thus increase transport efficiency.


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