NTNU students participate in Eco-Marathon
This week some of Europe’s best engineering students are gathered in London to compete in energy efficiency on the roads. Students from NTNU have high ambitions with their innovative and high-tech environmental friendly vehicle.
After almost 12 months of hard work, the DNV GL Fuel Fighter team is ready to show the world what their car is good for. The team from the Norwegian Technical & Natural Sciences University (NTNU) will compete in the class of electric concept cars in the European edition of the Shell Eco Marathon.
Sivert Hatletveit from Molde is Project Manager for the Norwegian team, who has developed the car further since last year’s competition.
– We want not only to excel in the Shell Eco Marathon, but want to contribute to the shaping of the future by solving real challenges. It has been time consuming and a lot of work, but it has also been very useful to learn about teamwork and gain insight into other disciplines, not just my own field of expertise, says Sivert, who is a graduate student in mechanic engineering.
The vehicle is approximately the same size of an ordinary passenger car, but it weighs extremely little as the hull is cast in carbon fibre. Advanced machine engineering and an aero-dynamic design will make the car as environmentally friendly as possible.
– We have made many changes to the car since last year. The design of the steering wheel and dashboard, as well as some mechanical parts, have been attracting a lot of attention in London, says Sivert.
The DNV GL Fuel Fighter team consists of 30 students from different departments; mechanical, electrical, design, research & development and even marketing. To be approved to enter the Shell Eco Marathon, the car goes through a thorough technical and safety inspection.This can often be a time-consuming process over several days, but the Norwegian team passed the tests in less than 4 hours.
– That we passed the inspection so quickly I think is a record for NTNU and something that indicates that we have a good car. The fact that we have developed the car further from last year rather than building one from scratch, combined with the fact that several of the team members joins for the second year running, could be an advantage for us, says a hopeful Mechanical Engineer, who was the team’s designated driver during the 2017 competition.
The Norwegian team has tested the car on the 970 meter long race track. The circuit consists of a cordoned section of London streets. In the race the cars must complete 15 rounds in less than 35 minutes. Thousands of students participate in this year’s Shell Eco Marathon and the competition is fierce.
– This year’s circuit presents additional challenges. It’s shorter than last year and there will be several cars on the track at the same time. We therefore need a driving strategy that is more similar to urban driving. There are also two ninety degree turns where we have to adjust our speed to negotiate. Our strategy is to secure a result first, then we can experiment a little to stretch the limits as far as we can, the Project Manager says. The teams get up to four attempts in the competition and it is the best result that counts.
More than 30 years
In last year’s Shell Eco Marathon, the French team Microjoule-La Joliverie secured first place in their class when they completed 2503.9 km. – That is comparable to a return trip from London to Marseilles, on the equivalent of 1 litre of fuel.
– The Shell Eco Marathon is science, technology and engineering at its best. Although results can not be compared from one year to the next due to changes in driving conditions and tracks, we see that the students constantly stretch the limits of what they can achieve. The Norwegian team from NTNU is known to be highly professional and technically competent. They broke the world record in 2009 and it had been great with a comeback this year, but whatever their results, they have every reason to be proud of what they’ve achieved, says Norwegian Shell Representative in London, Alice Bergfall.
For more than 30 years, Shell has challenged students worldwide to develop, design and build cars that can run as long as possible – using the least amount of energy. The Shell Eco Marathon is the very heart of the Make the Future Festival, which takes place in Queen Elizabeth Park for the third consecutive year.
About Shell Eco-Marathon
Shell Eco Marathon and Global Competition, which gives science students the opportunity to transform theory into practice by developing, building and testing ultra-energy efficient vehicles.
The annual student contest takes place in Asia, America and Europe. The teams that deliver the best results in the regional events go on to the World Championships – where they compete against teams from the rest of the world.
The idea behind the Shell Eco Marathon was born in 1939, when researchers at Shell’s Labaratorium in the United States had a friendly competition on who could drive the furthest on one litre of fuel. In 1985, the first official Shell Eco Marathon was held in France. The competition has developed in step with technology and today the teams use a variety of advanced solutions as well as more environmentally friendly sources of energy.
For more information on the Shell Eco Marathon, visit the website or see the latest news about the competition on Facebook or Twitter.
© Shell / NTNU / #Norway Today