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Regional winner of Decarbonising Road Freight Challenge with Shell Lubricants

Learn more about the Galway Energy-Efficient Car team’s aerodynamic approach to the road freight decarbonisation challenge.

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XsqKNd3Y0hI

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Team Galway Energy Efficient Car : Pitch the Future | Shell Eco-marathon

Transcript

Title: Session #8 - Galway Energy Efficient Car

Duration: 1:43 minutes

Description:

Members of the Galway Energy Efficient Car Team describe their experience of creating their entry for Pitch the Future.

Session #8 - Galway Energy Efficient Car Transcript

[Background music plays]

Bright, uplifting instrumental music.

[Video footage]

Four team members on a video call, speaking parts of a sentence in sequence, against an animated background of yellow and aqua turning gears.

Team members

Hi. We are the Galway Energy Efficient Car Team.

[Video footage]

Split screen of all four team members smiling and waving. All are young men wearing T-shirts.

[Animated sequence]

Aqua background, with wavy dotted lines moving. Words appear in yellow and white.

[Text on screen]

Pitch the Future, decarbonizing road freight transport with Shell lubricants. Galway Energy Efficient Car Team, Ireland.

[Video footage]

Team member 1 appears on the screen. As he speaks, a rapid series of scenes appear. A young man and a young woman dressed for test driving approach a vehicle. A young woman stands over a desk in a workshop, bending to type on a keyboard. Pan out to show the screen she is looking at, which shows a CAD design of a car chassis. The young man and woman lift a real car chassis from a workbench. The young woman's face is shown, she is strapped into a car wearing a driving helmet. She pulls the visor down. The driver's view of the car is shown as it drives on a test track. The bonnet of the car is visible, and industrial structures are visible in the background.

Team member 1

The Galway Energy Efficient Car story began in summer of 2013, when some of our senior lecturers heard about a competition to build the most energy-efficient cars and started work on making the first Irish entry.

[Video footage]

Team member 2 appears on screen. As he speaks, footage from the team pitch video is shown. A three-dimensional model of an HGV is shown, which rotates on the screen. The model changes to indicate engineering ideas, showing airflow around the vehicle.

Team member 2

Our idea for Pitch the Future is to reduce the overall drag of HGVs and to improve the fuel economy of HGV vehicles.

[Video footage]

Team member 3 appears on screen. As he speaks, a rapid series of shots of other team members, including young men and women, shows on the screen.

Team member 3

Pitch the Future is important to us because we believe it is crucial to continue to innovate and create in order to make a better tomorrow.

[Video footage]

Team member 2 appears on the screen. As he speaks, footage from the team pitch video plays, showing three dimensional models of components of an HGV. A model of a human figure is shown in front of the model HGV, with geometric measurements showing the effect of adding the component to the front of the HGV.

Team member 2

The biggest challenge we faced in this competition was to create an idea which would have a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions while also having a practical, real world scalability by minimizing the effect these solutions had on the driver of the vehicle and other road users.

[Text on screen]

What has your team learned?

[Video footage]

Team member 4 appears on screen. As he speaks, footage from the team pitch video plays, showing a three-dimensional model of wheel covers, which are then attached to the model HGV.

Team member 4

One thing we learned from taking part in Pitch the Future challenge was the importance of collaborating as a team, particularly when trying to complete tasks before a deadline.

[Text on screen]

Why are you proud of your team?

[Video footage]

Team member 3 appears on screen. As he speaks, footage from the team pitch video plays, showing a three-dimensional model of a component, which is then attached to the model HGV, covering the gap between the cab and the trailer. 

Team member 3

We are proud of team's achievements because, despite the hindrances as a result of Covid-19, we still managed to effectively communicate with each other and work together to design a pitch for the future that we are proud of.

[Text on screen]

Three words you think best describe Pitch the Future?

[Video footage]

Team member 1 appears on screen. As he speaks, the screen splits to show all four team members. They smile and wave.

Team member 1

Interesting, exciting and insightful.

[Audio]

Shell jingle plays.

[Graphic]

Shell logo centered on a background of animated turning gears.

[Text displays]

#MakeTheFuture #ShellEcoMarathon © Shell International Limited 2020

With an aim to decarbonise road freight transport, the Galway Energy-Efficient Car team identified the aerodynamics of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) as a key area of potential improvement, following the discovery that a large proportion of engine power is required to overcome aerodynamic drag at high speeds.

Proposing an innovative aerodynamic HGV design, the team tackled a number of key areas of the traditional HGV that could be improved, including:

Truck face

Recognising that a flatter truck face increases the density of air and subsequently causes drag, the team proposed a curved surface that helps guide air around the truck more effectively.

Trailer gap

Another area that compromise the aerodynamics of an HGV is the gap between the truck and trailer, because it disrupts airflow and forms a vacuum. To overcome this, the team’s solution is a deflector that opens behind the cab automatically, reducing the gap when at high speed.

Wheels

Next, the team considered how to improve HGV wheels. Taking inspiration from the dimpled surface of a golf ball, they suggest wheel covers are attached to the rims, which reduce the wake to a greater degree than the smooth surface of traditional tyres.

Trailer tail

Lastly, the team targeted the trailer tail, recognising that adding a vortex generator could change the flow of the boundary layer by creating turbulence in a similar way to their wheel covers. Placing these at the rear of the truck helps to reduce the overall drag effect.

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