After a really hard night, with some very last minute tweaking, we installed a Kinetic Energy Recovery System on our car at Shell Eco-marathon Europe. Even though the KERS system was pretty untested, we still chose to give it a chance, since we already had already set a new record of 612.3 kilometers on one liter of gasoline yesterday. (See also DTU Roadrunners 2013: Focusing On Evolution Instead of Revolution and At Eco-marathon Europe, Testing Commences)
But nothing comes easy when pushing the boundaries. Almost right at the start line, the KERS system had an unexplained malfunction, but after some desperate system restarts the KERS was finely charging the super capacitor. Expectations were high, as we expected the KERS to regain energy enough for 50 extra kilometers on top of the 612km we made yesterday without KERS.
The result was delivered, a disappointing 502km. What went wrong? Immediately after leaving the track, we inspected the car and found that the 20-kilogram luggage had broken off the hinge and was resting on the KERS pinwheel. Running the car without suspension on this last run induced too much stress, and the aluminium luggage hinge came off.
Gluing on carbon fibre has, in all, been somewhat of a challenge. Also, choosing the right resin (glue) and procedures is difficult, and requires some further testing.
So until next year, the best record in the popular Urban Concept class is still defended by DTU Roadrunners from Denmark’s from Denmark’s Technical University at 612.3 km/l.
Thanks to Pascal Mikkesen for this post: Pascal is an engineering student at the Technical University of Denmark. He’s been a part of the Danish DTU Roadrunners eco car team since summer 2012 as the official team leader.