A new project by Renault Trucks aims to improve the energy efficiency of truck and trailer combinations.
Known as FALCON (Flexible and Aerodynamic Truck for Low CONsumption), the aim of the project is to develop and test innovative technology that reduces the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of Renault trucks.
The focus of the FALCON project is to develop a new experimental combination that will consume 13% less fuel than a standard trailer pulled by a Renault Range T truck.
The work will focus on four key priorities: optimising the aerodynamics of tractor/semi-trailer units, developing connected tyres with low rolling resistance, introducing new fuel-saving driving aids and improving the engine, gearbox and rear axle through a new generation of Rankine heat recovery systems and use of special lubricants.
With the exception of the Rankine system, the technology is set to be integrated into a demonstration vehicle and tested under real-life traffic conditions by the end of 2018.
François Savoye, Energy Efficiency Strategy Manager at Renault Trucks, said, “The technical developments are aiming to achieve a maximum return on investment of two years in normal operating conditions, with a view to starting production in the medium term. It is worth noting, however, that over half the technology tested in our previous vehicle laboratory, Optifuel Lab 2, was then used in standard Renault Trucks Range T trucks.”
“The FALCON project, which is due to end in 2020, offers Renault Trucks a new laboratory on wheels not only for assessing technology aimed at further reducing the fuel consumption of trailer trucks, but also in preparation for the requirements of future regulations on the CO2 emissions of heavy goods vehicles, together with volumes, dimensions and tyres.”