Proc, K., Chaney, L., and Sailor, E., "Thermal Load Reduction of Truck Tractor Sleeper Cabins," SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 1(1):268-274, 2009, doi:10.4271/2008-01-2618.
Several configurations of truck tractor sleeper cabs were tested and modeled to investigate the potential to reduce heating and cooling loads. Two trucks were tested outdoors and a third was used as a control. Data from the testing were used to validate a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model and this model was used to predict reductions in cooling loads during daytime rest periods. The test configurations included the application of standard-equipped sleeper privacy curtain and window shades, an optional insulated or arctic sleeper curtain, and insulated window coverings. The standard curtain reduced sleeper area heating load by 21% in one test truck, while the arctic curtain decreased it by 26%. Insulated window coverings reduced the heating load by 16% in the other test truck and lowered daytime solar temperature gain by 8°C. The lowered temperature resulted in a predicted 34% reduction in cooling load from the model. Modeling also predicted doubling cab insulation could reduce cooling load by 35% and up to 54% with the sleeper curtain closed. Infrared images of the truck cabs identified other potential areas to reduce heat loss that included areas around window and door seals, at body and structural seams, and areas where insulation may be lacking around air circulation ducts.