Brushed and brushless DC motors power Shell’s Eco-Marathon
The many months of hard work paid off for the University of Oxford at this year’s Shell Eco-marathon challenge when they won the coveted Technical Innovation Award.
The European leg of this global competition was held in Rotterdam last month, where over 200 entries from universities and technical institutes competed to travel the furthest on the equivalent of one litre of fuel.
The Technical Innovation Award was presented to the team in recognition of 3 major enhancements in this years vehicle i) an Android App that maps the efficiency of the motor in real time for the driver to optimise the driving style; ii) a reconfigurable photovoltaic array that allows optimisation of the solar energy use and; iii) a clutch mechanism that allows regeneration braking while free-wheeling.
The Energy & Power Group (EPG) from the University of Oxford were delighted their vehicle, nicknamed Peggie also travelled 54% further per kWh this year compared to last which gave them 7th place (up from 12th in 2012). The Group consists mainly of DPhil students in Engineering, the driver (Lucy Mahoney) is a DPhil in Geography specialising in transport but there are also students included from the areas of Physics and Chemistry. The Team Manager is DPhil Student Robert Camilleri and the Technical Manager is DPhil Student Peter Armstrong.
maxon motor uk has worked with the Group for several years, giving advice and guidance on how to improve the vehicles performance. Some of maxon’s most efficient off-the-shelf DC motors were tested before selecting the brushed RE 50 and the brushless EC 60, powered by the latest ESCON 50/5 servo motor controller.
Peter Armstrong, Head of the Technical Team at EPG, commented ‘We were honored to receive the Technical Innovation Award. There were some formidable entries among the 200 competing teams from across Europe, some of whom had developed exciting technologies in areas such as: rapid prototyping, novel drive arrangements and intelligent throttle control. maxon’s sponsorship and technical support was instrumental in achieving a 20% improvement in our drive-line efficiency which exceeded our expectations significantly.‘
Peggie can be seen, and more can be heard about the design and build, at the maxon motor uk workshop at The Engineering Design Show at The Ricoh Arena, Coventry on October 3rd at 11.15am.