IME at Shell Eco-Marathon

3 May 2019
Amnani Adnan
1004

On the 29th April – 2nd May 2019, Shell has organized one of the most exciting event that involves high school students and university students from all over the world at our very own racetrack – Sepang International Circuit and we (IME & SOLIDWORKS)  had the honour of being a partner in this event. With over 30 years of experience in engineering and constantly pushing forward, we have always been a huge supporter in nurturing STEM education to ensure that the engineers of tomorrow will be able to shape the future. With aligning interests, we had to participate and show our support for an event with such history and significance. Now, let us dive into the details of this event.

The Shell Eco – Marathon is a platform for high school and university teams to come together and push their boundaries through hands-on experience to achieve high energy efficiency vehicles in the form of a competition. With over 3 decades of history and involving thousands of teams across the world, I assure you that you will be surprised by the sheer scale and atmosphere of this event. This marks their 10th Anniversary for Shell Eco-marathon Asia and they have decided to return to SIC (Sepang International Circuit) where it all first began for the Asia series.

This competition involves 2 vehicle classes which are UrbanConcept and Prototype. The UrbanConcept vehicles have 4 wheels and features similar to a road car whereas the Prototype class is a 3-wheeler and designed to be superlight weight. Teams have the freedom to choose how their vehicle will be powered, which are the Internal Combustion Engine, Battery-Electric or Hydrogen Fuel Cell.

URBANCONCEPT PROTOTYPE
Vehicles with familiar road car features Ultra-efficient
4 Wheels Lightweight
3 Wheels

Drivers will participate in 2 types of competition; ‘Mileage Challenge’ and ‘Drivers’ World Championship’. As the name suggests, the Mileage Challenge features the most distance travelled with 1 litre of fuel and the Driver’s World Championship which will test the driver’s ability to cross the finish line first within the allocated energy through their strategy, speed and skill. To put into perspective, the 2018 winning team was able to travel a distance of 2,341 kilometers on just 1 litre of petrol. That’s the equivalent distance of travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Yangon, Myanmar! How in the world of chicken nuggets did they manage that?  Also, trying to strategize and constantly and adapting to the driving conditions is not an easy task especially in a circuit such as Sepang.

Personally, we think that it would be very challenging due to the harsh conditions in Malaysia. The heat will be a major factor as well as how technical the track is, Shell has chosen the more technical part of Sepang International Circuit for the competition and it consists of steep gradients and technical corners. Therefore I think that the main factors in this competition would be heat management, driver’s skill and mental fortitude. Did we forget to mention that drivers had to wear full race suits in their cars with minimum to no ventilation throughout the race? Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any more challenging, teams have to pass 11 inspections before being seen fit to compete in track!

This year, we have a total of 109 teams from 19 countries across Asia Pacific consisting of 5 Malaysian Teams. Surprisingly none of our Malaysian Teams used combustion engines!

Malaysian Teams Category Engine Type
#307 Genesis UTAR Prototype Battery Electric
#310 UMP Tech (University Malaysia Pahang) Prototype Battery Electric
311 Grüne Welt (Multimedia University Melaka Campus) Prototype Battery Electric
#611 Team Monash UC UrbanConcept Hydrogen
#614 UiTM Eco Planet UrbanConcept Hydrogen

We went looking for our Malaysian representatives and couldn’t get hold of all of them. This was probably because everyone was trying to get through the 11 tests! However, we did come across team #310 UMP Tech who has already passed all 11 test and got their stickers to prove it! Also they were kind enough to let us take a look at their car and we had a short Q&A session with them!

On the left is a picture of us investigating their car and on the right we have a team photo!

Team UMP Tech is running a battery electric setup with in-house fabricated carbon fibre chassis. They have been testing their car and have reported things are looking good, rear-biased weight distribution and with just the bare minimum! Team UMP has been in this competition for their 3rd year and we are hoping to see a competitive race from them!

Pictures of #310 UMP Tech

However, when we went to visit team #307 Genesis UTAR….. we found this …..

Bummer….

We didn’t let that stop us from snoopin’ around their car!

Seems like they got rid of extra weight by not having seats at all! Just a few fluffy cushions will do!

Since they were not around, we decided to interview Team #322 UTB Ecodrive Team from Brunei instead…

Just some quick features about their car, they were running on an internal combustion engine from a motorcycle and this was their first time participating! They had lots of tech loaded in their car with LCD screens that shows various data, well-done to their electrical team! As this was their first time, their biggest challenge was designing the chassis in SOLIDWORKS. After speaking to various teams, they all seem to face challenges in designing an aerodynamic and solid chassis. Most teams had only done chassis design but not any kind of simulation study and we were happy to provide them with more information on simulations and design!

Moving on to Team #311 Grüne Welt (Multimedia University Melaka Campus)

Grüne Welt (German) translates into Green World
They have a solid looking car and we had a discussion with their lecturer/ supervisor regarding designing the car as well as some talks on simulation! Apparently they’re keen on trying out SOLIDWORKS and were very excited about its capabilities!

We caught team #611 Team Monash UC during inspection and gave out some freebies!

Out of all the cars we have seen from our Malaysian representatives, Monash’s car looks the most comfortable and probably is the biggest in size we’ve seen so far! The car looks fast with a sleek aerodynamic design. Rear-biased weight distribution as they have a trunk in the back with metal plates stacked to keep the rear end sitting low!

Lastly, we visited Team #614 UiTM Eco Planet

Looks like they’re a little busy …….

It was a long day for us and for the participants as well. As it was a busy day for the teams trying to get through inspection, we had a hard time trying to get hold of them. However, more content on the event will come soon!