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Wind and Structures
  Volume 11, Number 4, July 2008 , pages 257-273

Aerodynamics of an intercity bus
Rajnish Sharma, Daniel Chadwick and Jonathan Haines

    A number of passive aerodynamic drag reduction methods were applied separately and then in different combinations on an intercity bus model, through wind tunnel studies on a 1:20 scale model of a Mercedes Benz Tourismo 15 RHD intercity bus. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling was also conducted in parallel to assist with flow visualisation. The commercial CFD package CFXTM was used. It has been found that dramatic reductions in coefficient of drag (CD) of up to 70% can be achieved on the model using tapered and rounded top and side leading edges, and a truncated rear boat-tail. The curved front section allows the airflow to adhere to the bus surfaces for the full length of the vehicle, while the boat-tails reduce the size of the low pressure region at the base of the bus and more importantly, additional pressure recovery occurs and the base pressures rise, reducing drag. It is found that the CFD results show remarkable agreement with experimental results, both in the magnitude of the force coefficients as well as in their trends. An analysis shows that such a reduction in aerodynamic drag could lead to a significant 28% reduction in fuel consumption for a typical bus on intercity or interstate operation. This could translate to a massive dollar savings as well as significant emissions reductions across a fleet. On road tests are recommended.
Key Words
    bus; aerodynamics; drag; fuel consumption; vehicle aerodynamics.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

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