Engineering company Wirth Research has been named a winner in the Low Carbon Champions Awards for its WR Aerokit for HGVs.
The WR Aerokit, which has been developed in partnership with Eddie Stobart, is an innovative application of British motorsport technology to reduce both aerodynamic drag and carbon emissions of heavy vehicles.
Commenting on the WR AeroKit, the judges said, “Wirth Research has very successfully applied its cutting-edge motorsport expertise to reduce aerodynamic drag from HGVs.”
Wirth Research began development of the WR AeroKit for HGVs in 2010. As part of a long-running strategy to use its core motorsport experience to diversify into new sectors, the company started detailed Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis to understand the designs and air flow modifications required to reduce the aerodynamic drag of HGVs.
More than 500,000 miles of real-world testing of the WR AeroKit was conducted throughout 2014. Independent testing was carried out at both the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) and Millbrook in Bedfordshire, with the results matching or even exceeding those generated by CFD testing.
The resulting WR AeroKit is a proprietary set of components that can be tailored to different types of vehicle, and includes a range of roof and chin spoilers, bumper turning vanes and trailer kits.
The testing results showed that, fitted to an unkitted truck from new, the Wirth Research WR AeroKit reduced aerodynamic drag by 33%. Compared to the existing air management system used by Eddie Stobart vehicles, the Wirth Research WR AeroKit was shown to deliver 10% less aerodynamic drag. Corresponding CO2 emission reductions were recorded in line with the decrease in aerodynamic drag.
Nick Wirth, President and Technical Director of Wirth Research, said, “In many ways, enhancing the drag performance of HGVs is the ultimate aerodynamic challenge. The results have been such that we have committed to invest heavily in the research and tooling to develop and bring the WR AeroKit to market, so convinced are we of the technology’s benefits to drag reduction and the lowering of carbon emissions.”