The students from Luleå University of Technology, as part of Team Baldos, has conducted tests to a deadline for their little cranberry red car Baldos. On Friday, tests were made on the Arcus hall in Lulea and on Saturday afternoon they are off to Rotterdam in the Netherlands to compete in this year's Shell Eco Marathon.
- It's been fun to work and we have used a lot of time. One wants to do well and you have a concrete goal. We will compete in Shell Eco Marathon and you only have one chance, says Maria Rodiouchkina, LTU students' project leader.
She says that the planning has been meticulous in the final weeks and everything has been reviewed thoroughly by help of a flow chart to synchronize different parts. To begin with, the students in the team was responsible for diffrent areas such as motor, generator, electric motor and so on., But in the end it was teamwork all the way.
This year, unlike previous, Team Baldos consists solely of engineering students who is completing their third year on the machine program. In previous years, there was participation from several programs.
The purpose of the tests made in advance, first at F 21 in Luleå, a week ago and on Friday at Arcus Hall, was to calibrate and fine tune the various components of the car. This year's Baldos follows the same principle as before in that it is a so-called series hybrid. It is partly operated with a motor which runs on ethanol as by a generator charging a battery of capacitors. The energy from the capacitors in turn drives an electric motor that alternates with the ethanol engine to drive the car. This year, the team, in contrast to previously, purchased what is needed for the electronics, e.g. something called a PLC that is a software that through relays controls the loading of the capacitors and automatically starts the electric motor. There are also a new internal combustion engine in the car.
- We have changed to a much more robust motor than earlier. The engine we have now has double the capacity compared to last time Baldos competed in the Shell Eco Marathon, said Erik Nilsson, student and technical director of the project.
It is a little larger variation on a moped engine and a proper construction to be a moped, or rather a scooter, who now sits in Baldos. It is 50 cubic meters compared to the 25 cubic who was in the car last time Baldos participated in the Shell Eco Marathon. This machinery was tested a final time of Arcus Hall on Friday and this year's driver of the car is Rasmus Nordstrom.
- It's really exciting and fun to go away to Holland and drive this car in the race, he says.