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Kenworth's Rented Engineering Approach

When one sees a large commercial truck roll down the highway, aerodynamic efficiency doesn’t usually come to mind.  However, the engineers at Kenworth are utilizing some fairly sofisticated fluid dynamic methods to improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles.  Trimming and tapering small valences and flaps will save an average driver $400 per year in fuel.

Larry Anderson, president of food-delivery company A&A Express, recently ordered several of [T660] the trucks. “Every new truck we get is more efficient than the last,” says Anderson, who estimates that the new rigs and careful driving could save him a half-million dollars a year on gas. “That’s the only way we’ve stayed in business.”

The Kenworth engineers are using rented computing time to do so. They’re buying metered time from design-software firm Exa on an IBM cluster.  The previous design method involved building clay models and running them wind tunnels.  Later, they replaced the wind tunnels with smaller machines, but they were simply not large enough to deliver accurate detail.

Go Kenworth go!  For more info on this, read the full article here.

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