Wirth Research Named a LowCVP Carbon Champion Award Winner for ‘WR AEROKIT’ Developed in Association with Eddie Stobart

September 11, 2016

Pioneering the application of motorsport technology to HGV drag reduction

  • LowCVP award winners announced and named ‘champions of innovation and dynamic progress in lowering road transport emissions’
  • Wirth Research named winner in ‘Low Carbon Initiative by an SME’ category
  • In development since 2010, the WR AeroKit has been developed in association with Eddie Stobart Logistics Limited
  • WR AeroKit proven to deliver significant and measurable drag reduction over typical HGV air management kits
  • Independently tested and verified at MIRA and Millbrook

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.

Testing Results

  • Fitted to an unkitted truck from new, the Wirth Research WR AeroKit reduces aerodynamic drag by 33%
  • Compared to the existing air management system used by Eddie Stobart, the Wirth Research WR AeroKit was shown to deliver 10% less aerodynamic drag
  • Corresponding CO2 emissions reduction recorded in line with expectations based on the decrease in aerodynamic drag

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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