Pioneering the application of motorsport technology to HGV drag reduction
Bicester, Oxon, UK, 10 September 2015 – Leading UK engineering and aerodynamics specialist, Wirth Research, has been named a winner in the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) Low Carbon Champions Awards for its patented WR Aerokit™ for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
In development since 2010 as part of a strategic partnership with Eddie Stobart, the WR AeroKit is a cutting-edge and innovative application of British motorsport technology that delivers truly outstanding performance and results in terms of HGV drag reduction and lowering carbon emissions.
Wirth Research was named a winner in the ‘Low Carbon Initiative by an SME’ category.
The LowCVP Champions Awards celebrate achievement and innovation in low carbon road transport, with the winners announced at Cenex in Millbrook by Robert Llewelyn. LowCVP managing director, Andy Eastlake, said: “There are so many reasons to commend the contribution of this year’s entries to cutting emissions. The winning entries, and those recognised in the short list, are all exciting examples of the vibrant and innovative low carbon road transport sector in the UK.”
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.”
Michael Hurwitz, Director for Energy and Technology at the Department for Transport, and a LowCVP Awards judge, said: “The UK vehicle market is at the forefront of innovation in low carbon technology, production and operation, which is essential to deliver the decarbonisation of transport needed to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. These awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the achievements and excellence of UK innovation. It is exciting to see such vibrantapplications and cutting edge technologies as the government continues to support industry with £500 million invested in low emission vehicles over the next 5 years.”
Better known for its motorsport heritage, Wirth Research began the development of the WR AeroKit for HGVs in 2010. In line with a long running strategy to use its core motorsport experience and capability to diversify into new sectors (ranging from refrigeration to architecture), 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, and if such modifications were feasible. The results were outstanding.
The WR AeroKit is a proprietary set of components from Wirth Research that can be tailored to each type of vehicle, and includes in-house designed roof and chin spoilers, bumper turning vanes and trailer kits.
More than 500,000 miles of real-world intensive physical testing of the WR AeroKit was conducted during the course of 2014. Independent and physical testing at both the Motor Industry Reseach Association (MIRA) and Millbrook in Bedfordshire was also carried out, and the results matched, and in some cases exceeded, those generated by CFD testing at Wirth Research HQ in Oxfordshire.
The first adopter of this new technology is the UK’s leading multimodal transport and logistics business, Eddie Stobart Logistics Limited.
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.”
“It started as an aerodynamic challenge, and has resulted in an environmentally-conscious technology that helps deliver on the corporate social responsibility commitments of fleet operators. Along with the whole team at Wirth Research, I am thrilled with this award from the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership.”
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About Wirth Research
Wirth Research is a fast growing innovative engineering company specialising in research, development, design and manufacture for the motor racing industry and other high technology sectors. Founded in 2003, the business pioneers the use of advanced virtual engineering technologies, developed in-house, which enable the use of a complete simulated vehicle design, development and testing process reducing the need for wasteful manufacture of development models and prototypes. Additionally, Wirth Research has developed valuable in-house resources such as world class composite manufacturing capability, flow simulation and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) services and a driver-in-the-loop simulator with a bespoke thermal tyre model.
In motorsports, Wirth Research has a long-term partnership with Honda Performance Development Inc. (HPD), on the design, development and manufacture of the multiple championship-winning ARX sports car programme.
For further information contact:
0207 287 9610