Our race is only 10 days away!
Dear partners and hydrogen enthusiasts,
It is finally time to pack all our stuff and hop on the boat to England! During the race week, we will keep you posted on all our channels, because a lot will be happening for our team and of course we wouldn’t want you to miss any of it! First, the latest updates about the team and the car, before everything is set in motion for the race!
For the educational videos, we went to Apeldoorn to talk to HyMove. HyMove manufactures fuel cell system for heavy vehicles, such as buses. We talked to Jan van Beckhoven, CCO of HyMove, and learned all about how these systems are implemented, how they work and what can still be done. Keep an eye out on our social media to watch the video as soon as it comes out!
Green Team Twente 2020!
The last months, we have also been busy with recruiting the new team. Now we can finally introduce you to the Green Team Twente that will arrive on the track with a new hydrogen car in 2020! They are very enthusiastic and can’t wait to start their year of learning, improving and having fun! We have started to get the new team familiar with the car and the tasks that they will be involved with next year.
Challenger Event SEM NL
As you may have already seen in our other newsletters, we participated in the Challenger Event of SEM NL. We set multiple attempts there and obtained some good results. A few of our systems were not yet in the car, so we are striving to reach a much higher efficiency on the SEM of Europe! Hopefully this will al work out well! All the information about our experience at this event is written down in our previous newsletters and on our website (these newsletters can also be found there). The technical improvements we made as a result of the outcomes of SEM NL, are elaborated upon in the section below (Technical Updates).
Apart from the on-track award, there are also multiple off-track awards. Last week, we handed in our documents for the off-track awards of the Shell Eco-Marathon! We competed for the communications award and the technical innovation award!
The communications award is given to the team who best communicates their team, their goal and the SEM to the public. As we have focused on education this year (educational videos, high school visits etc.), we hope we can distinguish ourselves from the other teams. Apart from that, we have grown a lot in our social media reach and talked to multiple news channels and papers which is great for the promotion of our team and furthering our goals.
For the technical innovation award, we think we can win with our renewed drivetrain! We have put a lot of effort in the redesign of our gearbox and driveshaft, which has paid off. By using innovative materials (such as titanium) and continuing on the path of urban cars (e.g. using oil bath lubrication instead of grease), we distinguish ourselves from other teams.
As we already told you, we went to the Shell Eco-Marathon Challenger Event of NL. In response to this, we have improved the last things to have an even better car at SEM Europe.
Besides the improvements we are making, we are also testing our car a lot. We have been able to drive a few days at the circuit of Kartworld in Emsbüren to test our car there! Two weeks ago, we also went to Circuit Zandvoort! It gave a nice chance to inspect the track of the Formula 1 of next year. Of course, we still drove with the goal of having the highest efficiency instead of being the fastest car on the circuit…
The results of the Challenger Event with respect to the efficiency were promising. Afterwards, we found out there was a minor error in our electrical system, which caused a significant drop in efficiency during the Challenger Event. This in combination with other small software adjustment has strengthened our faith in the final race: the SEM Europe. The days left before we will leave are mostly used to test reliability so no new problems will arise during the SEM. When we look back at the past year, we look back on a great and instructive year in which we have achieved a big increase of efficiency in the hydrogen system.
The last couple of weeks have been a very exiting period for the mechanical team, as the testing phase of the new driveline has begun. This new driveline was not yet in the car during the Challenger Event of the SEM NL. The new driveline was the most comprehensive project of the mechanical team this year with the goal of achieving less friction in the transmission as well as increasing the acceleration and top speed of the car. The central part of the driveline consists of a gearbox which, in combination with four DC motors, generates sufficient torque and speed for the car to drive with.
The design of the gear transmission is created in collaboration with Hankamp Gears B.V. which was a valuable source of knowledge and experience for the mechanical team. The housing as well as all other components were produced by Huima Specials. Huima worked closely together with the team in order to produce a gearbox that is as light as possible. With the assembly of the gearbox, Lubribond played an important role providing the right adhesives to bond the gears with and titanium shafts. Finally the drive shaft has been produced by Wolters Metaaltechniek B.V. Specialized in working with high grade materials such as titanium, Wolters enabled the mechanical team to produce a new driveshaft which is only a sixth of the weight of the previous design.
Right now, the Aurora 2 has been fitted with the new driveline, which has already proven itself on multiple testing days as well as at the Zandvoort circuit!
During the Challenger Event, we fortunately did not have any big or serious electrical problems and we got through the technical inspection without any trouble. This means that we have a reliable electronic system in the car. However, we could still make further improvements on the performance of the Aurora 2, and that’s what we have been working on the last few weeks.
Not all our newly designed circuit boards had been installed in the car yet, when we were participating at the SEM NL. After returning from this event, we focussed on getting these boards ready in time for the SEM in London. Besides this, there were a few systems in the car that we would like (better) spares of, so we worked on creating and improving these boards.
In the meanwhile, we have also designed our own Arduino-like boards; these Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) have a microcontroller that can be connected to our CAN-bus and can be used to make any type of fast prototyping board. So if a board and a spare both unexpectedly break down, or we need a different implementation, we can use these boards as a foundation.
The last few months, we also worked on making a transmission test bench. We are now working with the setup, you can see on the picture. We are testing and running in the gears, which is required to remove the last rough bits of the gears. After the running in period the gears will be more efficient!
A mathematical model for the Challenger Event was made, which needed a few extra values before it could be used; our maximum speed through the corners of the circuit of the Challenger Event. After the technical inspection, we could test this and complete the model that gave us the mode optimal driving strategy for the Challenger Event. The strategy worked out well and we had very consistent lap times of 112 seconds.
After the Challenger Event, we received our new gearbox and implemented it into our car. This new gearbox changed our acceleration capabilities, so new tests were done in order to change the mathematical model into one that represents our car with the new gearbox.
Below, you can see the track that we are driving on next week during the race. At the moment, the characteristics of our motors are still being implemented in the mathematical model, after which the model is ready for the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe!
2-5th July: Our last event of the year! The Shell Eco-Marathon! We will race at the circuit of Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, Surrey, UK.
This Friday, we will leave from our workspace in Enschede to London! We will arrive at the circuit in the morning of Saturday, the 29th of June! From the 30th of June until the 2nd of July, the technical inspection will find place. Hopefully this will all proceed succesfully and we will pass the technical inspection fast! When we have passed this inspection we can practice on the track, this is possible at the 1st and 2nd of July. Our competition days will be at the 3th and 4th of July! The exact time sloths for our class will hopefully be announced soon, we will let you know when we hear it. For an overview, check the scheme below! The 5th of July, the DWC grand finals will find place, if we may participate, depends on our performance at the SEM Europe competition. You will hear more from us soon!
Follow us on social media for the most recent updates during the race. We will update you with a daily short newsletter every day! On our website you can find all the information about the race.
We are very excited, hopefully you are too! See you on the track!