Shell Eco-marathon Asia – Student vehicles improve mileage performance despite a more challenging street circuit
Indonesia and Thailand have emerged major victors at Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Asia 2014 with four and three champion titles each respectively. Team How Much Ethanol from Panjavidhya Technological College Thailand drove 2,730km on a litre of ethanol – the highest mileage recorded at this year’s competition and the equivalent distance from Manila to Jakarta. The team is joined by fellow Thai winners Sakon Nakhon Technical College in the Prototype Gasoline category and Rattanakosin Technological College in the Prototype Battery Electric category. Since Shell Eco-marathon Asia started in 2010, Thai teams have been dominating the leader-boards with their winning ultra-efficient vehicles.
“Our winning formula was to focus 97% of our efforts on designing the car and 3% on the engine. Our car was custom-designed around our designated driver for optimal performance and we built the engine to maximise the capacity of our car,” said Chumphol Sitthios, team manager for Panjavidhya Technological College.
We also practiced on a Thailand circuit which has a similar layout to Luneta Park.
Indonesian student teams bagged four Urban Concept wins – Universitas Indonesia for Urban Concept Gasoline, University of Sumatera Utara for Urban Concept Ethanol, Politeknik Negeri Pontianak for Urban Concept Diesel and Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember for Urban Concept FAME. This is Universitas Indonesia’s second consecutive win in the Urban Concept Gasoline category with a new best performance of 301.7km/l – almost double their previous results.
“We are proud to be representing Indonesia again and competing alongside other countries in an international event like Shell Eco-marathon Asia. We’re so happy with the victory and to improve our score this year – we designed the car body to be more aerodynamic and improved the energy efficiency of our engine system,” said Pither Supermando, Student Team Manager, Sadewa Otto, Universitas Indonesia.
Improved Mileage Performance in Five Categories
Student participants of the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2014 overcame the challenges of a new urban circuit to clock improved mileage results in five out of 12 categories, compared to the previous edition. New best scores were recorded for Prototype Diesel by China’s Tongji University at 616.2km/l, Prototype Gasoline by Sakon Nakhon Technical College at 1,796.0km/l, Urban Concept Gasoline by Universitas Indonesia at 301.7km/l, Urban Concept Battery Electric by Institute of Technical Education Singapore at 126.3km/l and Urban Concept Diesel by Indonesia’s Politeknik Negeri Pontianak at 70.3km/l.
This is the first year Shell Eco-marathon Asia takes place on the streets of Luneta Park in Manila, having previously been held at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur. The new urban setting is designed to test the boundaries of fuel efficiency in a real world environment.
“A street circuit certainly presents more difficulty as vehicles tend to consume more energy while navigating urban roads. The fact that teams are still making marked improvements on their scores and clocking new personal bests is extremely impressive,” said Norman Koch, Shell Eco-marathon Technical Director.
This year’s winners bested 105 student teams from 15 countries across Asia and the Middle East. Teams submitted vehicle entries in either the Urban Concept or Prototype category in any of the seven different energy types. Results are measured on who can drive the furthest on the equivalent of 1 kWh or 1 litre of fuel.
Closing the event, Edgar Chua, Shell companies in the Philippines Country Chairman said: “In the Philippines we have a saying ‘the youth are our hope for the future.’ When I look at all the young, budding students and what they have achieved at Shell Eco-marathon Asia, I too am inspired myself. I hope they have had a great experience – in learning new skills, absorbing new cultures and making new friends.”
Six Off-Track Awards Presented to Outstanding Student Teams
In addition to the 12 On-Track awards, teams also competed for six Off-Track Awards that tested the team’s various technical and creative skills, as well as their approach to safety and sustainability. A panel of experts from various fields judged the students on a variety of categories that covered Safety, Communications, Technical Innovation, Vehicle Design, Perseverance and Spirit of the Event and the Shell Helix Tribology Award. The Shell Helix Tribology Award is an off-track award that recognises student teams that demonstrate the use of lubrication engineering principles to improve the fuel efficiency result of their vehicles.
The “Perseverance and Spirit of the Event” award went jointly to Team MIT Eco-Warriors of the Madras Institute of Technology India and DLSU Eco Car Team- Electric from De La Salle University, Philippines. Team MIT Eco-Warriors miraculously turned around a vehicle entry in two days after they discovered that their vehicle would not arrive in Manila on time for the competition. DLSU Eco Car Team- Electric lent their 2011 vehicle entry and assisted Team MIT Eco-Warriors in securing vehicle parts in Manila.
“We are so grateful for all the support from Shell, De La Salle University and all the other teams from other countries who have rallied to help us. When we cleared technical inspection, we felt so relieved and on top of the world achieving something which seemed almost impossible a few days ago. We are honoured to be presented this off-track award,” said Subramanian Senthil Kumar, a student representative of Madras Institute of Technology.
Shell Eco-marathon Asia also welcomed thousands of visitors to Asia’s first ever Shell Energy Lab – a spectacular experience for people of all ages showcasing the future of energy, technology and mobility.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.