Malaysian students from five local universities did the country proud having bagged five awards from five different categories at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2012. University Malaya, University Sains Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA and University Malaysia Pahang managed to walk away with trophies in hand as well as cash prizes as their smiles beamed from ear to ear.
<!--more-->This year's competition saw 119 student entries from 18 countries across Asia and the Middle East coming a little more prepared than before as 109 vehicles were able to pass technical inspections with the goal of being able to travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy in their sights.
Students were given a choice of entering their vehicles in either the Prototype or UrbanConcept category where the Prototype vehicles were of course a tad more futuristic and smaller in size in order to help reduce drag and increase efficiency. As for the UrbanConcept category, the students were required to build their vehicles that had very similar looks to today's passenger cars and not only must it possess exceptional fuel-economy, it also had to withstand being driven in wet-weather conditions.
With regards to propulsion, students were also given the choice of utilising the internal combustion engine that could run on either diesel, gasoline, ethanol, fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) or Shell Gas to Liquids; even zero-emission propulsion systems were included in the mix as they looked to harnessing the power of the sun (solar) to fuel cells and battery electric technologies
To add complexities to an already complex set of rules for this competition that could probably rival the FIA's Formula One rule-book, students were also given the opportunity to compete off-track for awards on safety, technical innovation, design and communications; and to help motivate them was a USD1,000 cash prize for the winning team.
At the end of the day, Team UMech of University Malaya took second prize for their Hydrogen fueled Prototype stead, followed by Team UiTM Eco-Planet of University Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam also claiming second prize for their Hydrogen-fueled UrbanConcept vehicle. Team UKM1 of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) took the top spot for their solar powered UrbanConcept vehicle as did Team SAE-UMP Chapter of University Malaysia Pahang (UMP) for their Diesel powered UrbanConcept.
Overview of Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2012 winners:
1st - NP Distanza-Proto of Ngee Ann Polytechnic (SIN) achieved 112km/kWh
2nd - UMech of University Malaya achieved 89.1km/kWh
1st - SOLOMON Fuel Cell Vehicle Team of National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences (Chinese Taipei) achieved 63km/kWh
2nd - UiTM Eco-Planet of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam achieved 42.3km/kWh
UKM1 of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)*
SAE-UMP Chapter of University Malaysia Pahang (UMP) achieved 50.8km/kWh
*Valid run but energy consumption higher than production
- Team USM-EVT of University Sains Malaysia for their unique UrbanConcept vehicle made of wood. The biodegradable and modular design went beyond reducing fuel consumption and emissions constructed with eco-friendly materials.
Best Team Spirit:
The “Best Team Spirit Award” was presented to team TIP Mileage from the Technological Institute of the Philippines who stood out with their collaborative spirit, positive dynamics and highly energised attitudes.
Perseverance in the Face of Adversity:
The “Perseverance in the Face of Adversity Award” was presented to team PLM Alpha3 of Pusat Latihan Mekanik, Brunei Darussalam for the team’s strength of will and determination to put together a valid entry with limited resources and funding. By collecting scrap metal and unwanted items for sale to raise funds, the team was able to complete their vehicle for entry into the competition.
The “Design Award” was presented to the SOLOMON Fuel Cell Vehicle team from the National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Chinese Taipei based on a set of criteria comprising originality, aesthetics, exterior and interior finishing as well as new technologies applied. The team’s Star Wars-inspired “Jedi Knight” design stood out for its superior finishing featuring the team’s own logo and branding, ergonomic interior to maximise the driver’s performance as well as touch-screen technology within the vehicle.
In the Prototype category, the “Safety Award” was presented to the Nanyang Technological University’s Diesel Car Racing Team from Singapore who used advanced technological solutions to meet and exceed safety requirements.
The “Communications Award” went to Beijing Technological University’s BIT QAT I for taking communications beyond fund-raising for the team. The team’s efforts to raise public awareness on clean energy and reducing carbon emissions with public exhibitions at museums and talks at local schools helped them stand out and walk away with the ”Communications Award” prize.
The “Technical Innovation Award” was presented to the DLSU Eco-marathon Team – Proto from Philippines’ De La Salle University. The team impressed judges with an innovative battery management system and smart cruise control function to electronically ensure the best fuel efficiency possible. Judge Lee Grant from the Southwest Research Institute said “They had the most advanced telemetry system I have seen at Shell Eco-marathon Asia.”
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