Developed environmentally friendly concept car for India

Published: 15 December 2014

An eco-friendly vehicle that runs on a fuel cell, and is essentially free of emissions, is something that would provide significant environmental benefits in India's congested cities. That was one of many exciting concepts presented in Sirius, the reputed project course for final year students at the Master of Science Programme in Mechanical Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

Fuel cell provides better air

Auto Rickshaw is the name of a project where mechanical engineering students developed a concept car for the Indian market. Only in the Indian city of Mumbai, there are over 250,000 auto-rickshaws, and most are driven by combustion engines causing considerable pollution.

– Our concept car is powered by electric motors and a methanol-powered fuel cell. The vehicle is continuously recharged using the fuel cell, and the emissions it causes is virtually non-existent, something like the breathing of a small child. We also considered hydrogen, but fuel cells driven by metanol is a more mature product. However, we still have a bit to go before the world is ready for fuel cell-powered, electric vehicles, the technique may need to be slightly cheaper, says Emil Hallengren, student in Industrial Design Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

– The most rewarding with the project has been to go all the way. From testing, CAD, manufacturing, and then testing again to get feedback on whether we could meet the requirements we set for ourselves.

Machine plants by itself

Another exciting project focused on developing an off-road vehicle to be used for testing and evaluation of, for example, mechanized planting and off-road mobility. Eventually, you want an autonomous vehicle that can replace the current manual afforestation, which is a heavy and time-consuming work. SLU and the Cluster of Forestry Technology are partners.

– We have made a basic machine that will later become an autonomous forestry vehicle. What has been the most fun is that we got to build something on our own, it's simply a cool machine. It is also prepared for external equipment and an electrical control system, says Henrik Rånman who reads the last year of the Master of Science Programme in Mechanical Engineering.

Other projects in Sirius 2014

Bosch Rexroth Mellansel AB

The students have developed a prototype of a fixed displacement hydraulic pump that can be used with an electric motor. The pump is a highly flexible system with virtually no maintenance needs and is also adapted for mass production.

Kiruna Wagon AB

Here, students have developed a loading basket with fewer components, resulting in reduced weight, which increases the load capacity. The loading basket has been designed to be easy to load and unload, as well as being easy to maintain and cost effective to manufacture.

LKAB

The project focused on developing a support system for a rotary cooler. The solution is flexible and easy to monitor and maintain. LKAB will implement the cooler support system in a pelletizing plant during the spring 2015.

Volvo Construction Equipment

The students have implemented a product development process from concept to prototype that will help Volvo to reduce fuel consumption and lifecycle costs for products such as dumpers.

AB Sandvik Coromant

The group has worked with cutting tools and found a solution that combines the advantages of two existing products. It shall cope with the increased cutting forces from today's machines and the tool holder should meet the ISO-standard. The result was so successful that it may result in a patent application.

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