NTU "Batmobile" wins two awards at the second Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2011
NTU’s latest eco-car, the Nanyang Venture IV, clinched the top spot for the Diesel fuel category at this year’s Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2011, held at Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The NTU team also won the Off-Track Award for Safety, thanks to its many innovative safety features, such as a crumple zone to protect the driver in an event of frontal crash.
In the three-day international competition which ended yesterday (9 July), Nanyang Venture IV was ranked a commendable 11th out of 33 entries in the Prototype Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) category, based on measurement units of kilometre per litre of fuel.
The only Singapore prototype car that participated in the ICE category, it attained an impressive fuel efficiency of 564 km per litre, thanks to its innovative streamlined design, advanced steering controls and an ultra-lightweight body made of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) body shell.
The distance that could be travelled per litre of fuel by the car is about the length of the journey from Singapore to Ipoh, Malaysia.
Without the driver, the diesel car weighs less than 50kg and can reach speeds of about 70km/h.
The Safety Award is also a recognition of Nanyang Venture IV's abilty to withstand impact from the top, in the event it flips over. Its bulkhead can withstand more than 1400 newtons of force, doubling the regulation of 700 newtons. The installed seatbelts also exceeded requirements as it was a secure six-point harness instead of the standard five-point harness.
Safety regulations also require an evacuation to be done under ten seconds. NTU’s driver took only three seconds evacuate the vehicle, thanks to the removable steering wheel.
Student leader of the Nanyang Venture IV team, Tinagaran Puvanasan, 22, a second year student from the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, said the team worked hard day and night to get the car working in peak condition to achieve its maximum fuel efficiency.
“We are really happy to have won the two prizes, especially when this is our first attempt at building a diesel car and participating in an international race. Our success validates the hard work and long hours we have poured into building it. This is an experience which can never be gotten in the classrooms and we are grateful for the guidance given to us from our professors.”
The team was led by visiting professor Rohana Sarath-Kumar Senanyake.
A total of 94 student teams from 12 countries gathered at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 7 to 9 July to compete at the second Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2011.
The annual competition challenges students to design, build and drive a vehicle that can travel the furthest distance on the least amount of fuel.
The teams had different choices of fuel: gasoline (petrol), diesel, FAME (bio-diesel), ethanol, LPG, hydrogen, plug-in electric and solar.
The efficiency of electric cars running on hydrogen, battery and solar, is measured in km per kilowatt hour of electrical energy instead of km per litre for other cars.
Student teams participated in either the Prototype or Urban Concept categories. For the Prototype category, teams entered futuristic prototypes focused on maximising fuel efficiency through innovative design elements. For the Urban Concept category, teams entered more "roadworthy" fuel-efficient vehicles.
This is the third time NTU is participating in a Shell Eco-marathon event. The first Nanyang Venture I solar car debuted in the marathon held in Germany on 7-9 May 2009, coming in fourth out of eight in the prototype solar category.
The second time NTU participated was at the inaugural Shell Eco-marathon Asia held last year (2010) at Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Nanyang Venture III clinched the top prize for the solar category and was the only one out of five solar cars to qualify. One of the criteria for the solar category was that the car must generate more power than it would consume.
NTU also participated in the World Solar Challenge 2009 with Nanyang Venture II, where solar cars raced down a route of 3,000 km across Australia. Venture II emerged 11th out of 25 teams.
For more information on the Shell Eco-marathon, please visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon.
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