The Loh Down On Science

Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes. Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh

Trucks Suck

by The Loh Down On Science

A new invention to improve gas mileage in trucks, buses, and other aerodynamically challenged vehicles.

Want an introduction to suction reduction?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

And with a fuel-saving breakthrough that seriously blows.

Peak fuel efficiency for most vehicles is about fifty-five miles per hour.

But at seventy miles an hour, almost sixty-five percent of fuel is consumed to overcome aerodynamic drag.

That's why CARS are made so sleek in front.

But in "bluff body" vehicles--those with a squared-off profile like busses, trucks, and Hummers-- a lot of drag actually comes from the back.

That's because at high speeds, air coming around the squared-off rear end curls inward, forming a vortex of turbulent low pressure. It sucks against the flat back of the vehicle, creating drag --and even worse gas mileage.

To get around this, Kambiz Salari at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory devised a fan assembly that attaches to the rear end of bluff body vehicles.

Fed by power blowers and a chamber of compressed air, the fans blow backward into the low pressure vortex.

This equalizes pressure, reduces turbulence, and lessens drag.

Resulting in one Chevy TRUCK that doesn't suck! Just a jingle idea. Think about it.

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