Shell Eco Marathon
8 August 2011
379 kilometers on one liter of fuel: Students of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences develop economic diesel vehicle
The Shell Eco-marathon is the largest energy efficiency competition in Europe, challenging technically interested students around the world. The annual events take place in Europe, Asia and America. The objective of the Shell Eco-marathon is to challenge students to design and build a vehicle that can travel the furthest distance on a single liter of fuel, whilst producing the lowest emissions possible. Students are allowed to use both conventional and alternative sources of energy to power their vehicles.
Eleven highly motivated students of the degree programs Mechatronics and Automotive Engineering at HsKA rose to the challenge: They wanted to design and build their own vehicle WIM (in German short for "less is more") to take part in this year's Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2011, in the category diesel-powered prototypes on the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, in Brandenburg, Germany.
But before they could take part in the race, a lot of work lay ahead of the students' team at the faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics.
The project was officially launched in November 2010. The "High Efficiency Karlsruhe" team was first divided into the two groups "chassis" and "motor", in order to work on the tasks and challenges in small, efficient expert teams. The teams built a completely new front wheel suspension, designed a brake system, optimized the engine and its installation, chose a drive train and last but not least optimized the driving strategy.
The team was able to successfully register for the competition and in the following months pushed ahead at full speed. Four weeks before the competition WIM was started and tested on the campus for the first time.
At the end of May 2011, the team hit the road for Lausitzring: After the technical and safety-relevant requirements had been checked, all five judged trials of the Shell Eco-marathon were successfully performed, without any incidents. In the course of the competition, results could be continuously improved through modifications of the vehicle and at the end of the week, the Karlsruhe team obtained place 4 among the diesel-powered vehicles. WIM had traveled a distance of 379 kilometers on one liter of diesel fuel, which corresponds to a fuel consumption of less than 0.3 l/100 kilometers.
The High Efficiency Karlsruhe team has thus reached its goal. They took part in the Shell Eco-marathon with the vehicle they had developed and built, and successfully performed all judged trials. Now they are already making plans for next year, as the team then wants to participate in the Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2012, in the Netherlands.