The Effect of Platooning on the Engine Cooling System

Open Access
Block, Brian James
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Stephanie Stockar, Thesis Supervisor
  • Stephanie Stockar, Honors Advisor
  • Sean N Brennan, Faculty Reader
  • Dynamic Programming
  • Platooning
  • Control
  • Fuel Consumption Savings
Platooning has been proven to be a very effective way to reduce air drag on heavy duty trucks and therefore decrease fuel consumption. While in a platoon, though, the reduced ram air speed limits the cooling ability of the engine thermal system. To compensate for this, the fan may have to turn on earlier and more often which results in an auxiliary load on the engine which in turn cuts into the fuel consumption benefits of platooning. In order to examine the effect that different platooning distances have on the cooling system of a Volvo VNL300 day cab truck, Dynamic Programming (DP) is used to determine the global optimal solution for the fan activation within a predetermined usage cycle. This thesis examines the tradeoff between fuel consumption and temperature tracking for different platoon distances.