Fuel efficiency options: Application informs your specs

Fuel efficiency options: Looking to application to inform your specs

Stemco, the provider of TrailerTail rear trailer aerodynamic equipment, recently announced its DataLogger fuel efficiency testing technology. Developed in partnership with IOSiX, LLC, DataLogger plugs into a tractor’s J1939 diagnostic port and accesses engine data while a field technician conducts a test with the fleet’s tractor-trailer and driver.

According to Stemco, the DataLogger testing protocol and filtering algorithm were developed to isolate aerodynamic variables such as inconsistent wind, temperature and traffic when measuring fuel economy improvements. In the more than a dozen fleets that have tested TrailerTail using DataLogger, the company adds, results were consistent with fuel savings reported in actual use.

Complicated element

The FPInnovations’ Performance Innovation Transport (PIT) Group, a not-for-profit engineering and research group for the North American trucking industry, is a neutral testing organization for green transportation technologies.

In its “Fuel Consumption Tests for Evaluating the Accuracy and Precision of Truck Engine Electronic Control Modules to Capture Fuel Data,” an SAE paper, the group states, “Fuel consumption has always been an important component in transportation costs and a very complicated element to measure.”

That’s especially true when it comes to diesel engines, the PIT Group explains: “Engine ECMs record information referring to engine and vehicle performance and operation: fuel consumption, idle time and fuel use when idling, engine speed, engine load, gearing, PTO time, speed and engine load versus engine speed, cruise control use, braking, engine and transmission oil and coolant temperatures, stoppage information, operational history etc. Original equipment manufacturers provide fuel consumption via the ECM using a comprehensive algorithm, which takes into consideration parameters such as engine speed, road speed, distance, volume used in each pump stroke, etc. However, this measure does not account for fuel energy content, density or temperature.”

The PIT Group goes on to note that as fleets make extensive use of ECMs to gather fuel consumption data it conducted testing on the accuracy and precision of truck engine control modules concerning fuel consumption data. The tests compared the ECM fuel consumption data with fuel consumption measurements using portable tanks and high precision scales, converting pounds of fuel used into gallons.

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