This work performs computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations using a transient URANS (unsteady Reynolds averaged Navier–Stokes) turbulence model to investigate the influence of lateral skirts — located in the lower part of a semitrailer truck — in terms of reducing the total drag force and fuel consumption savings. The total drag force values are calculated for three semi-trailer trucks speeds (i.e. 60, 70 and 100 km/h), compared, and then validated against experimental results carried out in a wind tunnel reduced model scale (1:28). The relative errors of the aerodynamic drag force parameter are assessed in order to quantify the accuracy and the reliability of the numerical modeling results with regard to the experimental results. In addition, the flow pattern around the semi-trailer truck is then investigated to determine how the induced flow field is channeled, and where the recirculating zones are modified and developed when using the additional skirt device.

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