The idea behind the Energy-efficiency-competitions in which the TUfast Eco Team competes in, is best described as follows:
Travel a certain distance within a certain amount of time
while using as little energy as possible.
The regulations further outline this principle. Specific rules determine the distance, as well as the time, and the average velocity, in addition to describing an obligatory size of the vehicle, power source and security measures.
Until now, the Eco Team has participated in the Shell Eco-marathon, the Solar Race Region de Murcia, the Educ-Eco and plans to attend other competitions in the future.
The Shell Eco-marathon is an international competition focused on long term mobility, giving student-run teams from around the world the possibility to design vehicles centered around energy-efficiency. It dates back to 1939, when Shell-employees started the first race, which lead to three individual competitions today, being carried out in America, Europe, and since 2011, in Asia.
Within the event, the organizers differentiate between the Prototype and the Urban Concept categories. Whilst the prototype cars are built around the lowest possible energy-consumption the Urban Concept vehicles have to have road traffic capabilities up to a certain degree.
Furthermore the vehicles are split up into groups according to the propulsion methods as follows: In addition to the Internal Combustion Engine and the Electric Propulsion class, the latter is divided into the categories Fuel Cell Powered and Battery Electric, according to the specific energy source.
After a technical inspection, the predominant evaluation of the energy efficiency of the cars is calculated in kilometers per kilo-watt-hour. The vehicle is supposed to travel as far as 16,3 km within a time limit of 39 minutes, carrying a driver weighing at least 50 kg. This results in a minimal average speed of 25 km/h. On top of this, there are several Off-Track-Awards, through which a jury honors teams for excellent work concerning security-concepts, team-marketing, technological innovation, and many more. Teams can enter a maximum of 3 of the before-mentioned categories.
In 2015 the TUfast Eco team participated at the Shell Eco-marathon for the fifth time, now. The technical inspection has shown that eLi15 is the lightest vehicle among the field of 197 competitor. Beyond that we could prove our design to the jury and were awarded the desirable Design Award. After an excited duel with another German team the TUfast Eco team could close the season of 2015 with an astonishing success of eLi15 in the Battery Electric Prototype category. With a result of 863km/kWh in the last attempt we could prove our design once again and were placed 1st.
Thanks to all friends, follower and supporter, who made this possible!
Read more here and learn how we managed our week in Rotterdam from our perspective.
This was the first year where we took our completely new designed vehicle eLi14 to competition. With this vehicle, we tried to incorporate and improve everything we have learned from H-TU 11 through eLi12+. The new regulations said that we have to use an in-house designed motor controler. Unfortunately, we had some issues with some new components during the competition and thus only reached the 17th place. Learn more.
In May 2013 the Shell Eco-marathon Europe took place in Rotterdam, once again. By a change in the regulations the former two categories “Solar”, and “Battery-Electric” were combined. We were now able to integrate solar cells with a surface limited to 0,17 m2, in addition to our lithium-ion battery, and therefore increase the optimal range of our prototype. Changes to the electronics and control system, as well as modifications to the running gear and the bearings further improved the performance.
After an exciting competition with a several setbacks, we placed 2nd, reaching a mark of 958 km/kWh, which translates into a distance exceeding 8400 km per liter.
This success marked the last competition for our prototype eLi 12+, which would be replaced by an all new design in late 2013, the eLi14.
During the following year, several changes took place. On the one Hand, we had changed our propulsion method from hydrogen fuel cell to battery power, and on the other, the competition didn’t take place at a race track, but rather in Rotterdam, Netherlands, for the first time.
With our completely renewed vehicle, we placed 4th, with an outstanding 570 km/kWh – the equivalent of 5000 km per Liter Gasoline.
Our first entry in a Shell Eco-marathon took place at the Lausitzring-racetrack in Germany, which we attended with our first vehicle-construction, the H-TU 11. Despite initial problems and no official run, we were able to present a considerably light vehicle.
The Educ-Eco is a competition held in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, which is visited mostly by french teams. The regulations are similar to the Shell Eco-marathon, though here no in-house built motor controler must be used. At the Educ-Eco, vehicles are seperated into prototype and Ecocitadin (Urban Concept) and may use different sources of energy. The track is a public street near the city center of Colomiers which is closed for traffic during the event. The track is a bit easier than that at the Shell Eco-marathon, but in every lap the car has to pass through a small valley under a bridge twice. The minimal average speed is again 25 km/h.
The Educ-Eco 2015 was held one week before the Shell Eco-marathon 2015. This gives us the change to drive eLi15 unter competiton conditios for the first time, this season. Even more we had two new drivers which meet some traffic on the track. Nevertheless, we could show our best and got the 1st place with an average energy-consumption of 1888km/kWh. This year it’s offical but it was a hard way to get there. Furthermore, we have won three Off-Track Awards. And finally the “Grad Prix” in the Prototype class. Learn more.
The Educ-Eco 2014 was held only two weeks after the Shell Eco-marathon 2014 and featured a lot of drama. We could improve eLi14 in the time between the events and were hoping for a good result. After some ups and downs at the competition, we got the best result, but were disqualified for reasons we couldn’t understand. Learn more.
SOLAR RACE Región de Murcia
The SOLAR RACE Región de Murcia is a Spanish event, which is attended by students, who develop energy-efficient vehicles with alternative concepts of propulsion.
The vehicles are split up into Experimental Vehicles and Street Vehicles, much like in the context of the Shell Eco-marathon. Common concepts competing within separate classes are bio-fuelled, hydrogen, solar-powered, and electrical plug-in vehicles.
Within the environment of this competition, the vehicles have to complete a series of at last three runs over a distance of 3.479 km at the Cartagena Speed Circuit at a minimal average speed of 25 km/h.
The mentioned track is more complicated than the Shell Eco-marathon-track, because the element of descending and ascending road is added. This is demanding for our vehicle, having been designed for the flat trac in Rotterdam, but with small adaptions and a new driving-strategy, it is ready for the contest.
At the Murcia SOLAR RACE 2012 we reached an average energy-consumption of 1.917 Wh/km or 522 km/kW which resulted in a placement as 3rd. In addition, the integrated construction of our eLi 12+ rear axle was even awarded with the Technical Innovation Award.