By Larry Dignan
Posting in Design
Students from the Université Laval in Quebec, Canada won the internal combustion crown in Shell's Eco-marathon with a prototype vehicle that got 2,564.8 miles per gallon.
Students from the Université Laval in Quebec, Canada won the internal combustion crown in Shell's Eco-marathon with a prototype vehicle that got 2,564.8 miles per gallon (above).
Shell's fifth annual Eco-marathon Americas is a challenge for students to design, build and test fuel-efficient vehicles.
A team from Louisiana Tech University won the UrbanConcept class with a vehicle (below) that had 646.7 mpg.
Among the notable categories:
- 62 teams entered.
- Prototype entries included 39 vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Of those engines, 32 were gas powered and the remaining 6 entries were split between ethanol and biodiesel.
- 17 prototype vehicles included nine plug-ins, five solar powered and three fuel cell/hydrogen.
- UrbanConcept entries had nine internal combustion engines with seven powered by gas and two with diesel. This category also included three alternative vehicles---a plug-in, fuel cell and solar vehicle.
Here's the full list of winners:
Internal Combustion Engine
First Prize: With a best run of 2,564.8 mpg, the team from Université Laval in Quebec, Canada won a US$5,000 first prize with their vehicle, NTF 5.0.
Second Prize: With a best run of 1,798.7 mpg, the team from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind. won a US$2,500 second prize with their vehicle, Indy.
First Prize: With a best run of 2,564.8 mpg, the team from Université Laval won a US$1,000 first prize with their vehicle, NTF 5.0.
First Prize: With a best run of 574.8 mpg, the team from Wawasee High School in Syracuse, Ind. won a US$1,000 first prize with their vehicle, Diesel Weasel.
Alternative Gasoline Energy
First Prize: With a best run of 871 mpg, the team from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Ill. won a US$1,000 first prize with their vehicle, Blue Lightning.
Second Prize: With a best run of 758.7 mpg, the team from Alden Conger High School in Alden, Minn. won a US$1,000 second prize with their vehicle, Green Machine.
Alternative Diesel Energy
* First Prize: With a best run of 179.1 mpg, the team from St. Paul’s School in Covington, La. won a US$1,000 first prize with their vehicle, Clawzz.
First Prize: The Cicero North Syracuse High School team from Cicero, N.Y. achieved 44.1mi/kWh and won a US$1,500 first prize with their Clean Green Machine vehicle.
Second Prize: The Lamar University team from Beaumont, Texas achieved 29.3 mi/kWh and won a US$1,000 second prize with their vehicle, Shell Shocker.
First Prize: The Mater Dei High School team achieved 386.2 mi/kWh and won a US$1,500 first prize with their vehicle, 7th Gen.
Second Prize: The Grand Rapids High School team from Grand Rapids, Minn. achieved 237.7 mi/kWh and won a US$1,000 second prize with their vehicle, X~of~L.
First Prize: The Drexel University team from Philadelphia, Pa. won a US$1,500 first prize with their solar vehicle, Green Dragon, which achieved 89.7 mi/kWh.
Internal Combustion Engine
First Prize: With a best run of 646.7 mpg, the team from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La. won a US$5,000 first prize with their vehicle, Roadster.
Second Prize: With a best run of 586.6 mpg, the team from Mater Dei High School won a US$2,500 second prize with their vehicle, George.
First Prize: With a best run of 646.7 mpg, the team from Louisiana Tech University won a US$1,000 first prize with their vehicle, Roadster.
First Prize: With a best run of 186.5 mpg, the team from Granite Falls High School in Granite Falls, Wash. won a US$1,000 first prize with their vehicle, Philippe’s Bulldozer 2.0.
First Prize: The University of Missouri team from Columbia, Mo. Achieved 13.8 mi/kWh and won a US$1,500 first prize with their vehicle, Tigergen 2.
Solar Power Energy
First Prize: The Purdue University team from West Lafayette, Ind. won a US$1,500 first prize with their solar vehicle, Celeritas, which achieved 64.5 mi/kWh.
Apr 18, 2011
lol @jackvandijk. That's one way of looking at it (through rose colored glasses). But the big difference is, in 1972, you'd be buying gas a couple times a month (if your car COULD hold $10 worth). Now, you'd be buying gas every day. Bummer! Pretty soon, buying gas in $10 increments may have you stopping every 10 miles or so. I remember a time when buying $1 worth wasn't at all embarrassing... now I feel like a hobo if I only have $5 on me at the time. ~ There are 10 types of people in the world... those who understand binary, and those who don't. And of these, only 10/3 understand fractions. The moral: Learning binary, you shouldn't hesitate, before assuming, you're missing eight. As for fractions, they make me queasy. Why not just round, and make'em easy.
@Edwin1234, @wpeckham: I think the best alternative is to try to consolidate chores to use less overall gas and to try to avoid driving all together whenwhen possible. The entries may not be "real world" but I think that lets the students focus entirely on the technology that matters rather than trying to overcome real world limitations. The next step would be to replicate the technology IN a real world situation using a production car as a base. On the same note it may even be better to start with the production automobile--by designing around the end design it may cut a lot of time and effort that could be used in implementing the technology directly.
This kind of contest is held regularly in Europe. The high mileage vehicles are usually long skateboard, powered by a small engine. They are very light weight, and top speed is around 12 miles per hour. The highest mileage I have seen worked out to around 7,000 MPG. All the moving parts are coated with something like Teflon, The motors are operated at close to the thermodynamic limit, and they pick very light drivers. Most of the engines disengage and turn off if power is not needed. Letting the things coast. Electric had hybrid cars like the Prius use some of the same tricks to get over 50 MPG on the road. None of these vehicle would do for driving as most people do. Air resistance is crucial. So is weight reduction. Reduced friction for bearing and transmission are also critical. Many of these cars need the engine rebuilt after every 5 miles or so. But, they do show what is possible.
What amazes me is that these small players could do it. The big auto makers should have been doing this all along.
I only counted a little over $30,000.00 in prize money. So for less than $100,000.00 (counting misc. to run the event) Shell probably recieved $1 million in advertising exposure. Plus the looking-like-we-are-promoting-green illusion. Someone got a good bonus.
@Hates Idiots Winning such a competition doesn't necessarily require new technology or innovation. The magic key word here is optimization. You can optimize anything to a very high degree IF you target just 1 parameter and leave all others to a minimum. The one asked for here is ECONOMY and the other parameters sacrificed are: speed, load range (single speed, specific load), acceleration, endurance, safety, comfort, features, control, feedback etc. (from the rules): For their attempt to be validated, Teams shall complete the ten laps at an average speed of 15 mph. This means single speed is ok from start to end for the prototype category. What consumes energy (except engine and transmission losses) is mostly acceleration and friction. With a single-speed & stable load race you eliminate acceleration and you can optimize the engine and power transmission to a single speed so you're left just with internal and external air friction (drag). Given the low speed and the smooth level track (with minimum tire friction) you just need a highly aerodynamic (impractical) design to minimize air-friction too. Having said that, there have been cases of true innovation, even patents -but that's rare.
We want specifics--including how to make these critters adaptable to VW-eating potholes and the connivances of staged-collision racketeers. Give us a real story, please, on the top contenders. @Peckham--Should I assume you're a certifiable Aryan-Nation Nazi just because your eyes aren't brown? Are you planning a forked-tongue treaty, sending slavers, or merely expanding your Zyklon B ovens? Edwin's point was valid, even if badly written.
The numbers being thrown around bring new meaning to the term RUNNING ON FUMES. The numbers being thrown around bring new meaning to the term RUNNING ON FUMES. Some of them translate to less than 1 milliliter per mile. I hope the students have patents on their work. If the numbers are real it should make them rich and get them Nobel Prizes.
From the rep[lies that i read i gather that the meaning of this technological achievement is not understood by any of those that chose to reply. I wonder what it will take, $100.00 per gallon or more ?? certainly $4.25 a gallon as here in NY seems not to have anyone particularly upset.
I don't understand how a motor can even idle long enough to run 2564 miles (assuming 20mph, it needs to run for 128 hours, over 5 days). My mower won't even idle that long. But these things are not only idling, but pushing at least 200 pounds I'd say. Even using composits, keeping weight low, it'd still weigh more than a moped, which gets less than 100mpg... So how the heck are they doing this? I'm even more impressed with the plug-in battery category... 386mi/KWHr. 1KWHr of energy costs 10-cents (sorry California, you're just getting screwed, lol), so for the cost of 1 gal of gas, you can travel nearly 14,000 miles! Circle the globe for less than cost of 2 gallons!!! And so many high school teams won. That's great. Its just a real tragedy that the prizes were so small. Our government never bats an eye when shooting a multi-million $ missal at someone, or spend $1900 for a hammer (seriously), but fails to provide incentives for innovation, especially, innovation that may mean the difference between this country (or humanity itself) surviving or sinking. Apathy, greed and corruption are so ingrained in society/government, I'm afraid that things cannot change before time is up.
The Canadians have been fooling us dumb Americans since the 50s. In the late 50s they said, 'we have a carburetor that gets 100mi/gal', just send us your money. Send and weep! NO! I did not.
...is not to introduce new technology, but to give students the experience of an engineering process from start to finish. Some of the numbers are impressive, but they weren't intended for real-world work. Every cool and useful invention once started as a concept, which these folks came up with and actually had to implement - a feat most people never had to chance or took the initiative to do. The hands-on experience will turn some of these guys (and gals, I hope) into some productive engineers in a few years. Sounding like a liberal, bleeding-heart, PC bonehead notwithstanding, I genuinely mean it when I say, "Good job. Go teams!"
Seriously, at what speed does this vehicle travel? Is it at least at an average speed of 20mph, or typical city speeds? Does it carry at least two 150 pound passengers, with both in the vehicle? Is there room for at least a briefcase in the trunk? Until vehicles must meet REAL objectives, all this is just a smoke and mirrors, with a laser light show, no substance!
Actually, the top record for fuel cell is 11,516.34 mpg equivalent and for combustion engine 6,973.41 mpg -both from France. Top performers: Prototype - fuel cell: Europe: 11,516.34 mpg (France) Americas: 1,837 mpg (USA) Asia: 1,408.46 mpg (Malaysia) Prototype - internal combustion Europe: 6,973.41 mpg (France) Asia: 3,579.73 mpg (Thailand) Americas: 2,487.5 mpg (Canada) Prototype - Solar Americas: 4,548 mpg (USA) Asia: 743.51 mpg (Singapore) UrbanConcept - fuel cell Europe: 1,757.52 mpg (Netherlands) Asia: 1,440.45 mpg (Singapore) UrbanConcept - Internal combustion Asia: 558.87 mpg (Indonesia) Americas: 437.2 mpg (USA) The solar category is the only obscure one... No mention about battery capacity and size of panel. Just that they should "produce more power than they consume". So with a motor that consumes less than the panel produces, the larger the battery capacity the better! Also the larger the panel the better -if large enough it won't need the battery it would go as long as there is sun... go figure. P.S New tech doesn't come out from such competitions, these are only useful for school-practice and ...most importantly, clever marketing from Shell to juniors!
Thats amazing, who needs gas; see the results of alternate fuels. Guys keep up the good work. I really appreciate the job Smartplanet website is doing.
What's sad is that none of these winners recouped their actual cost to build their machines from the prize money!
Have them modify my old Chevette, 32 mpg in 1979, to get 80 mpg or my 1988 Cavalier, 48 mpg, get over 100 mpg and I'll be impressed.
Now let's get real. The contest rules should be a vehicle that can transport a max of 4-6 people on a city road route. These are great prototypes but if they are serious are mileage, develope it and test it in the real world of transportation. Now.... that would be be great. Congradulations to all that took the first step in future transportation.
Should be for a vehicle that can carry 4 people and three bags of groceries. Adding all that extra weight makes this year's performance impossible, at least for the first time out, so let's just shoot for about 600 mpg. Oh, and did I mention that it should sit high enough so that the driver isn't looking under the car in front of him?
a lot of response to the 2,568 mpg, no one seems to notice Louisiana Tech's accomplishment of 646 mpg with a gasoline internal combustion engine, the same as in most cars today. Market that please, I want 600+ miles per gallon from gasoline.
who brings their cat to a school function! =p seriously awesome numbers and phenomenal engineering! go my fellow frogs! =)
Another problem is getting the real milage to unit of fule of a car bult to useable,safe , adult size/weight. Nice card board car modles not useable in real world.
Reply to #1: The photos show the cars going downhill, unless the photographer was leaning. I'm curious to know how far they all traveled. I assume it was a loop, and not all downhill! To the reporters: Were they REALLY able to measure both distance and fuel use to FIVE digits of precision? Now THAT's impressive!!!
So, did they burn a half cup of fuel and then derive the MPG from that performance of the vehicle? It would be nice to know...really big numbers are soooo cool to write about though...
ya right lets do this with something you can go to the store with and buy some food to bring home with out tieing it to the roof
With what appears to be only 3 wheels, the winning vehicle would be classified as a motorcycle and not subject to the same safety rules as cars, so is actually doable. It looks like it would haul quite a few groceries, as well. It would be really hot in the summer, though! And, of course, you wouldn't be able to see very well sitting that low. Hopefully, they're doing enough innovation here that their success will translate to the real world.
There was absolutely no information given as to how this incredible (literally) achievement was reached, or how the figure was determined. What fuel(s) did it use? How fast and how far did it go? Was that mileage the peak or was it steady? Why do you even bother to write such an empty story?
Edwin1234, I bet your eyes are brown. Every drop of petrol I tank will be used by the engine to transport my family. Unless your tank leaks, the same is true for you. The fuel you use driving 100 miles is the same no matter how you purchase your fuel. If you buy one liter an hour, or ten liters every 10 hours, burning 20 liters costs the world (and you, generally) the same.
"39 vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Of those engines, 32 were gas powered and the remaining 6 entries were split between ethanol and biodiesel" -- good math
PEOPLE ARE DRIVING AROUND WITH BILLIONS OF GALLONS OF GAS IN THEIR TANKS WHEN THEY ARE NOT GOING TO USE IT ALL AT ONCE. STOP GETTING A FULL TANK OF GAS, BUY ENOUGH TO DO YOUR CHORES. BY FILLING YOUR TANK YOU ARE CREATING A SHORTAGE AND MAKING IT A DEMAND. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THOSE GREEDY OIL INVESTORS WANT.
Really, you want to drive a tin can like that? Drop in the groceries and they fall through the floor! How about a contest for mileage using stock vehicle frames...similar to stock car but for energy efficiency. Or, just plain stock-car racing where the winner is not only the fastest, but the one that consumes the least fuel! THAT would get some viable technologies into play!
Be real nice if it was a real world Test. Maybe with a Family, Dog, Cat on the way to a School event etc..
My question is how fast where they going? how fast can they go from 0-60mph these are things that matter most to me. When these are solved I guess they can mass produce for everyday use
woundedegomusic, There are NO downhills in downtown Houston, which is where this takes place. flat flat flat.