A mere few days after Shell Eco-marathon 2013, everyone from Eco-Runner Team Delft is still in a whirl. The team did a great job getting second place in the hydrogen prototype class. Even though we fought and hoped for first place, second is still a great achievement.
The week started perfectly. The Ecorunner managed to get through technical inspection without many problems. That enabled us to do some test laps on the real track at Ahoy on Wednesday. This gave us insight on the things that still needed improving in order to get the most out of the Ecorunner. We set about doing this Wednesday night, and were completely prepared to do more test laps on Thursday.
However, the weather was terrible on Thursday. Due to it raining all day, we were not able to do test laps. We were, however, able to test our electronics and fuel cell statically.
Friday, the pressure was on. We had to perform now, in our first official attempt. Everyone was focused and the attempt went very well. We set a score of 2,521 km/l (5,930 mpg), which was a team record. However, we noticed some flaws after we finished, so there was still room for improvement. Unfortunately a second attempt was impossible on Friday, because the rain had started once again.
Saturday we had some bad luck when our accessory battery got overheated and one of the cells melted down. This caused us to set no valid attempt on Saturday, but we were convinced that we could do it on Sunday.
Sunday everybody was very tense. The team from Amsterdam, H2A, had beaten our score on Saturday, so we were in second place now. This caused us to be under a lot of pressure, since we were going for first place! Our first attempt ended after little more than one round due to a light crash, when one of the vehicles had come to a stop in a corner. The second attempt on Sunday turned out to be our best. We set a score of 2,914 km/l (6,584 mpg), which turned out to be enough for second place.
All in all, we had a great week full of fantastic experiences and we learned a lot. All of this will be put into good use to set an even better score next year, hoping we’ll get first place then!