Green Team Twente won the Shell Eco-marathon in London. With their hydrogen car ‘Aurora 2’, the team was able to reach an equivalent of 1 to 760. This win puts the team at three won Shell Eco-marathons, with which it shows that it can reach the limits of efficiency time and time again. In addition, the team won the Driver's World Championship and the communication award. Green Team Twente has the world's fastest energy-efficient car and a communication award.
Team manager Matthias Haalstra: "This year we focused a lot on reliability and that shows.” In the run-up to the Eco-marathon the team competed in a race in Oss, with the primary goal of testing the car. Although it wasn’t an official competition, the team’s results were very positive. “We had faith in the car, especially after the race in Oss, but we couldn’t have dreamt it would go as well as it did”, says driver Yanna Kraakman.
The Shell Eco-marathon is one of the world’s largest student races, and here the focus is on efficiency instead of speed. The Green Team Twente takes part in the UrbanConcept class, which challenges the participants to design a car suitable for urban traffic. This includes meeting requirements such as having a windscreen wiper and a certain amount of luggage space.
Green Team Twente had several shots at achieving a result; but the first attempt hit the bull’s-eye right away. At that first attempt, an efficiency of 230km/m3 was achieved, equivalent of 1 litre of petrol per 722 kilometres. The third attempt, however, was even better: at an equivalent of no less than 1 to 760 there was every reason to celebrate. “Everything went like it should have, we didn’t face any major problems”, according to Remko van Gestel, the hydrogen specialist.
In addition to the normal race, the team also won the Driver's World Championship (DWC) and the communication award. At the DWC, the best UrbanConcept teams rode against each other at speed, and thus also Green Team Twente. The team, which had already prepared for this speed race in the design phase of this year, was the first to cross the finish line with a big lead. Although this already made Green Team Twente the big winner of the Shell Eco-Marathon, the icing on the cake was also the communication award. This award is about bringing out the team, the vision and the race itself as extensively as possible.
The fuel cell, the car’s heart, has been upgraded in the past year. This system turns hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, which fuels the electric motors and powers the wheels. “Compared to the old system, this new fuel cell is more efficient and it works better at higher temperatures”, hydrogen specialist Marieke Altena shares. “Because of that, this fuel cell provides more certainty in the race.”
Aside from the fuel cell, many other parts have of course been upgraded as well. The gearbox has been completely redesigned, the drive shaft is now a lot lighter and all electronics have been adjusted to cope with the interference of the large number of communication systems in London.
This year, the team also created a model that determines the optimal driving strategy. Strategist and driver Yanna Kraakman: “With this model, we can determine exactly how fast we need to drive and how we need to take the turns, everything to drive as efficiently as possible.”
Green Team Twente consists of 21 UT and Saxion students who work full-time or part-time on the promotion of hydrogen. They do this by building this economic hydrogen car; however, they also give guest lectures at schools and make educational videos. They do this to put hydrogen on the map, to familiarise people with this still often unknown form of clean energy storage.