Available tractive effort (F) can be used to determine a number of vehicle performance characteristics including vehicle acceleration and top speed. For determining vehicle acceleration, Eq. 2.2 can be applied with an additional term to account for the inertia of the vehicle’s rotating parts that must be overcome during acceleration. This term is referred to as the mass factor (γm) and is introduced in Eq. 2.2 as
γ− = mF R ma (2.19)
where the mass factor is approximated as
2 01.04 0.0025m γ ε= + (2.20)
Two measures of vehicle acceleration are worthy of note: the time to accelerate and the distance to accelerate. For both, the force available to accelerate is Fnet = F − ΣR. The basic relationship between the force available to accelerate, Fnet, the available tractive effort, F (which again is the lesser of Fmax and Fe), and the summation of resistances is illustrated in Fig. 2.5. In this figure, Fnet is the vertical distance between the lesser of the Fmax and the Fe curves and the total resistance curve. So, referring to Fig. 2.5, at speed V′, Fnet will be Fmax − ΣR, and at V″, Fnet will be Fe − ΣR. It follows that when Fnet = 0, the vehicle cannot accelerate and is at its maximum speed for specified conditions (grade, air density, engine torque, and so on). Such was the case for the vehicle described in Example 2.2. When Fnet is greater than zero (the vehicle is traveling at a speed less than its maximum speed),
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