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Shell Eco-marathon: Technical Tips

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Shell Eco-marathon events require dedication and attention to detail. No team wants to be in a position where they’ve put in all the hard work only to fall at the final hurdle of Technical Inspection. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Here, you’ll find technical tips from Shanna Simmons, Global Technical Director of Shell Eco-marathon, to help you prepare for your event and ace the Technical Inspection.

1. Preparing your team

Before you begin to think about designing or building your car, it’s worth getting your team organised and deciding roles and responsibilities within it. This event requires real dedication, so here are a few tips to ensure you’re prepared:

  1. Define your team roles
    It’s really important to decide who in your team is responsible for what, so define their roles. Appoint a Team Leader, a Safety Manager, a Logistics Coordinator and a confident Driver. It’s also a great idea to recruit mentors with prior experience.
  2. Define your project
    Before you get started, your entire team should read the Rules. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us. We then advise drawing up an accurate budget and fundraising plan. Make sure your budget includes your shipping quotes and contact your sponsors early on.
  3. Before shipping
    Before you ship your vehicle, it needs to be fully built and test-driven. Try to get several hours of driving in a safe location prior to travelling to Shell Eco-marathon. Also, run your own Technical Inspection to be confident your vehicle is compliant before it arrives at the event. We’d urge you to take Technical Inspection very seriously. If your car doesn’t comply with every rule, you won’t get access to the track. Aim to pass Technical Inspection on the first day.
  4. Documents and communication
    Please print the required technical documents and bring them with you. Digital copies are not accepted. All Shell Eco-marathon Competition Rules and instructions are in English, so please ensure your team managers and drivers understand English.

Media

Media Type

YouTube

Media ID

geUec8bVC6U

Title

Tech Tips - Team Preparation | Shell Eco-marathon

Transcript

Transcript

00:00
Hi, I'm Shanna, and we have some advice

00:02
for getting your team ready for the Shell Eco-marathon competition.

00:13
This event requires real dedication,

00:16
so here are a few tips to ensure you're prepared.

00:19
One.

00:20
It's really important to define team roles,

00:23
like appointing a team leader, safety manager,

00:25
logistics coordinator and confident driver.

00:32
It's also a great idea to recruit mentors with prior experience.

00:37
Once your team is in place, the next stage is to define your project.

00:41
Two.

00:42
Before you get started, the team should carefully read the rules.

00:46
If you have any questions, please reach out to us.

00:50
We advise drawing up an accurate budget and fundraising plan.

00:56
Make sure it includes your shipping quote, and contact sponsors early.

01:01
Three.

01:02
Before shipping your vehicle, it needs to be fully built and test driven.

01:07
Try to get several hours of driving in a safe location

01:11
prior to travelling to Shell Eco-Marathon.

01:14
Also, run your own technical inspection

01:17
to be confident your vehicle is compliant before it arrives.

01:22
Please take technical inspection very seriously.

01:25
If your car does not comply with every rule,

01:29
you will not get access to the track.

01:33
Aim to pass technical inspection on the first day.

01:36
Four.

01:39
Please print the required technical documents and bring them with you.

01:44
Digital copies are not accepted.

01:49
All Shell Eco-marathon competition rules and instructions are in English,

01:53
so please ensure your team manager and drivers understand English.

02:00
For more information, read our newsletter,

02:03
join our webcasts and ask any questions.

02:05
We are happy to help you.

02:07
Good luck with your preparation!

2. Designing a vehicle with safety in mind

While you’ll be thinking of ways to design super energy-efficient vehicle, it’s essential to build a car that keeps your driver safe while they’re at the wheel. Here are some tips that should help.

  1. A solid floor
    Every vehicle must have a solid floor that completely separates the driver’s compartment from the road.
  2. The vehicle body
    The vehicle body needs to fully surround the driver, so no open-top compartments are permitted. The bodywork should have a solid and sturdy construction to protect the driver, so don’t use materials like thin film, cardboard or fabric. The bodywork also needs to cover all mechanical parts when viewed from above.
  3. Make sure there’s a bulkhead
    The vehicle must have a bulkhead to separate your driver from the energy compartment in the event of a fire.

There also shouldn’t be any manual access from the driver to the energy compartment. The bulkhead should be made from a fire-retardant material like carbon fibre or sheet metal. If you’re using wood, you’ll need to add additional material to the energy compartment, such as aluminium.

Make sure the bulkhead reaches all the way to the top and sides of the vehicle, leaving no gaps between the body cover and the bulkhead. Try to run the wires underneath the bulkhead. If there are any gaps, try to fill them in with fire-retardant material like metal tape and protect the wires from chafing.

Additional tips for Urban Concept vehicles

If you’re building an Urban Concept vehicle, keep these extra tips in mind: Make sure the wheel covers are integrated into the bodywork. Your driver’s door opening needs a minimum dimension of 500 x 800mm and the chassis and bodywork must not infringe on this space, because the driver needs to be able to quickly enter and exit the vehicle.

Since the beginning of 2019, it is mandatory for two doors to be built on all Urban Concept vehicles. It’s also worth noting that bubble-top openings are not allowed.

Be prepared for your design check
Submit your technical drawings, photographs or animations of your entire vehicle in advance, so we can notify you if your design is non-compliant. For more information, make sure you read the Shell Eco-marathon Rules early, and get in touch if you have any questions.

Media

Media Type

YouTube

Media ID

6HfVGd7nXjE

Title

Tech Tips - Vehicle Design | Shell Eco-marathon

Transcript

Transcript

00:00
Hi, I'm Shanna, and we have some technical tips on vehicle design,

00:04
to comply with our rules for Shell Eco-marathon.

00:14
The safety of your driver is a top priority during the competition

00:18
as accidents may happen.

00:21
Yikes!

00:22
Your vehicle's design should keep your driver safe

00:25
in the event of a crash or rollover,

00:27
so here's a bundle of tech tips that apply to all vehicle types.

00:31
Cool, man.

00:33
Every vehicle must have a solid floor

00:35
that completely separates the driver's compartment from the road.

00:41
The vehicle body needs to fully surround the driver,

00:44
so no open-top cars are permitted.

00:46
To protect the driver,

00:48
the vehicle's bodywork should have a solid and sturdy construction,

00:51
so do not use materials like thin film,

00:54
cardboard or fabric.

00:56
Rejected!

00:58
The bodywork also needs to cover all mechanical parts when viewed from above.

01:03
Your vehicle must have a bulkhead

01:05
to separate your driver from the energy compartment

01:08
in the event of a fire.

01:11
There should be no manual access

01:13
from the driver's compartment into the energy compartment.

01:16
No.

01:18
The bulkhead should be made from a fire-retardant material,

01:21
like carbon fibre or sheet metal.

01:23
If you use wood,

01:24
you need to add additional material to the energy compartment, like aluminium.

01:30
Make sure the bulkhead reaches all the way to the top and sides of the vehicle,

01:34
leaving absolutely NO GAPS between the body cover and the bulkhead.

01:42
Try to run wires underneath the bulkhead.

01:44
If you have any gaps, fill them with a fire-retardant material,

01:47
like metal tape, and protect the wires from chaffing.

01:55
If you're building an Urban Concept vehicle,

01:57
keep these additional tips in mind.

02:01
Make sure the wheel covers are integrated into the bodywork.

02:04
Remember, your driver's door opening needs a minimum dimension of 500 x 800 mm...

02:10
...and the chassis and bodywork must not infringe on this space,

02:13
as the driver needs to be able to quickly exit the vehicle.

02:19
We recommend building a door on both sides of the vehicle.

02:22
In fact, two doors will be mandatory beginning in 2019.

02:26
Note that bubble-top openings are NOT allowed!

02:31
Please submit your technical drawings, photographs and/or animations

02:35
of your entire vehicle in advance,

02:37
so that we can notify you if your design is non-compliant.

02:40
For more information, read the Shell Eco-marathon rules carefully!

02:44
Please start your vehicle design early,

02:46
and reach out if you have any questions.

02:49
See you on the track!

English - Subtitles

3. Roll bars and safety

Unfortunately, collisions do happen, and we want to make sure every driver is safe at Shell Eco-marathon. Here are the things you should know about roll bars and safety belts.

Roll bars
If your team’s car rolls over, your driver will be relying on the roll bar for their protection. They must extend beyond the driver’s shoulder when seated in a normal driving position.

The roll bar must have a minimum of a five-centimetre gap around the entire racing helmet. It needs to be strong enough to endure at least a 70kg static load, and we’ll test this by applying this in several different directions during Tech Inspection.

As for its construction, it’s fine to use tubular steel or panel-type roll bars that are integrated into the chassis.

Safety belts
As for safety belts, we want to see either a five-point or six-point belt system with the mounting points fitting to the strongest part of the vehicle and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The waist straps, which normally contain the locking system should be mounted 90 degrees to the floor for a Prototype vehicle, or between 45 and 60 degrees to the floor for an Urban Concept vehicle.

The belt should meet in the centre of the lower abdomen. Crotch straps should be mounted directly below the bottom of the driver’s spine. They may fasten directly into the locking mechanism, or loop through the waist straps and fasten via the shoulder straps.

Make sure the shoulder straps are mounted approximately 10 degrees below the shoulder. Once your driver’s safety belts are tightly fastened and you’ve got the excess straps secured, you should be good to go.

Remember, these safety measures should be in place before your driver begins practising. Even prior to Shell Eco-marathon. They should also wear their one-piece race suit, protective gloves and helmet. Please practise in a safe area, not on public roads. For more on this, take a look at Articles 26 and 29 in the Rules.

Media

Media Type

YouTube

Media ID

C8JMMMylHvs

Title

Tech Tips - Roll Bars & Safety Belts | Shell Eco-marathon

Transcript

Transcript

00:03
Hi, I'm Shanna, and I'm going to give you a few tips

00:06
on vehicle Roll Bars and Safety Belts.

00:16
Unfortunately, collisions do happen...

00:21
...and we want to make sure every driver is safe

00:23
in the event that their vehicle crashes.

00:30
First off, let's take a look at the vehicle roll bar.

00:33
If the car rolls over, your driver will be relying on the roll bar for protection.

00:39
We need to make sure the roll bar extends beyond the driver's shoulders

00:42
when seated in a normal driving position - no slouching!

00:46
Oh, no!

00:47
The roll bar must also have a minimum five-centimetre gap

00:51
around the entire racing helmet.

00:54
It needs to be strong enough to endure at least a 70 kilogram static load,

00:58
and we will test this by applying this load

01:00
in several different directions during tech inspection.

01:04
As for roll bar construction,

01:05
it's fine to use tubular steel or panel-type roll bars

01:09
that are integrated into the chassis.

01:12
Now, let's buckle up and talk safety belts.

01:18
We want to see either a 5-point or 6-point belt system

01:22
with mounting points fitted to the strongest parts of the vehicle

01:25
and according to manufacturers' instructions.

01:27
Yeah!

01:29
The waist straps, which normally contain the locking mechanism,

01:32
should be mounted 90 degrees to the floor for a prototype vehicle,

01:36
or between 45 and 60 degrees to the floor for an Urban Concept vehicle.

01:40
Cool, man!

01:42
The belt should meet in the centre of the lower abdomen.

01:45
Crotch straps should be mounted directly below the bottom of the driver's spine.

01:50
They may fasten directly into the locking mechanism

01:53
or loop through the waist straps and fasten via the shoulder straps.

01:58
Make sure shoulder straps are mounted

01:59
approximately 10 degrees below the shoulder.

02:03
Once your driver's safety belts are tightly fastened

02:06
and you've got excess straps secured, you should be good to go.

02:14
And remember, these safety measures should be in place

02:17
BEFORE your driver begins practicing,

02:20
even prior to arriving at Shell Eco-Marathon.

02:23
They should also wear their one-piece race suit,

02:26
protective gloves and helmet.

02:28
And please practice in a safe area,

02:32
not on public roads!

02:34
Check out Articles 26 and 29 of the rules for more information.

02:38
Buckle up and stay safe out there!

4. Telemetry: what is it and how does it work at Shell Eco-marathon?

Telemetry allows us to transmit data about car position, speed and energy consumption live to teams and spectators at Shell Eco-marathon events.

Our telemetry data gives teams information that can help them learn and improve, and for spectators it adds excitement, as they can see exactly what’s happening as the race unfolds.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sensors in the car transmit information to an onboard computer
  2. The computer sends information to a cloud-based server
  3. The server processes the data and fires it back down where students and spectators can see it on displays and on social media.

How does the telemetry system monitor energy consumption?
You’ll need a different component installed, depending on the energy type of your vehicle.

  • Internal Combustion Engines – The primary sensor is the liquid flow meter. It will precisely and accurately measure how much fuel flows between the tank and the engine.
  • Battery-Electric – A joulemeter measures the electrical energy being used. It needs to be positioned between the battery and the vehicle’s electrical system. In the case of internal combustion engine vehicles, the starter motor must come after the joulemeter.
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell – The energy consumption is measure by a Hydrogen Flowmeter. This sensor tracks how many normal litres of hydrogen are consumed by the fuel cell.

What about the On Board Computer (OBC)?

Here, we’ll take a closer look at the On Board Computer, or OBC that all vehicles will need. First of all, the OBC is powered by its own battery, which will be supplied by the organisers at each event.

The computer has several components. An external element with GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular antennae, and an internal component that connects the sensors and the telemetry battery. It’s important that the external component has a free view of the sky.

It must not be covered by any parts of the car. Siding can be used around the housing but only if all OBC buttons and LEDs are easily accessible. When it comes to mounting your On Board Computer, it should be mounted within 10 degrees of the horizontal.

Media

Media Type

YouTube

Media ID

2L2Mpr4BMJc

Title

Tech Tips - Telemetry | Shell Eco-marathon

Transcript

Transcript

00:00
Hi, I'm Shanna, and we have some technical tips

00:03
about the telemetry system that's used for Shell Eco-marathon competitions.

00:15
Telemetry allows us to transmit data about car position, speed and energy consumption

00:20
live to teams and spectators at Shell Eco-marathon events.

00:31
Our telemetry data gives teams information that can help them learn and improve,

00:35
and for spectators it adds excitement,

00:37
as they can see exactly what's happening in real time, while the race unfolds.

00:42
Here's how it works.

00:46
Sensors in the car transmit information to an on-board computer...

00:50
The computer sends information to a cloud-based server...

00:54
The server processes the data...

00:57
...and then fires it back down,

00:59
where students and spectators can see it on displays and on social media.

01:06
Let's look at how the telemetry system monitors energy consumption.

01:11
You'll need a different component

01:13
depending on the energy type of your vehicle.

01:17
For internal combustion engines, the primary sensor is the Liquid Flowmeter.

01:22
It will precisely and accurately measure how much fuel

01:25
flows between the tank and the engine.

01:28
For Battery Electric vehicles,

01:30
a joulemeter measures the electrical energy being used.

01:33
It needs to be positioned between the battery

01:36
and the vehicle's electrical system.

01:39
In the case of internal combustion engine vehicles,

01:42
the starter motor must come after the joulemeter.

01:47
For hydrogen fuel cell vehicles,

01:49
energy consumption is measured by a Hydrogen Flowmeter.

01:53
This sensor tracks how many normal litres of hydrogen

01:56
are consumed by the fuel cell.

01:59
Now, let's take a closer look at the On Board Computer, or OBC,

02:03
that all vehicles will need.

02:04
First of all, the On Board Computer is powered by its own battery,

02:08
which will be supplied by the organisers at the event.

02:12
The computer has several components:

02:14
an external element with GPS, WIFI and cellular antennae,

02:18
and an internal component that connects the sensors and the telemetry battery.

02:23
It's important that the external component has a free view of the sky.

02:29
It must not be covered by any parts of the car.

02:32
Siding can be used around the housing,

02:34
but only if all OBC buttons and LEDs are still easily accessible.

02:40
Yeah!

02:42
Finally, the On Board Computer should also be mounted

02:45
within 10 degrees of horizontal.

02:48
That's it for our Telemetry tech tips.

02:50
As a final reminder, don't forget to keep your components and wiring neat,

02:54
away from moving parts of the car,

02:56
and avoid any electromagnetic interference.

02:58
If you need further help, please check out Articles 80 through 85 of the rules

03:03
or contact the tech team with any questions.

5. Motor controllers for battery-electric vehicles

For Battery-Electric vehicles, we’ve decided to ban store-bought motor controllers so that all teams learn about the requirements of their electric motor. Once the control requirements are understood, individual system components like a single-board control computer and the power driver stage can be specified and integrated into the system.

If you want to design your own controller or power stages and integrate them into a printed circuit board (PCB), that’s great, but please ensure that the letters “SEM” are etched onto the PCB to identify the board as custom-built for the Shell Eco-marathon event.

By the way, don’t be tempted to buy a controller and modify it, our eagle-eyed Technical Inspectors will spot it!

We want you to develop the motor controller yourself, so this also means we outlaw motor controller evaluation kits or the individual kit components, including software.

For more information about motor controllers, please see Article 67 of the Rules.

For more detailed rules, please find the full Global Rules here.

Media

Media Type

YouTube

Media ID

MWqleKAKPT4

Title

Tech Tips - Motor Controller | Shell Eco-marathon

Transcript

Transcript

00:00
Hi, I'm Shanna, and we have some technical tips about motor controllers

00:04
that you need if you're building a battery electric vehicle.

00:15
For battery electric vehicles, we've banned

00:17
"store bought" motor controllers

00:19
so that teams learn about the requirements of their electric motor.

00:23
Once the control requirements are understood,

00:26
individual system components like a single-board control computer

00:29
and the power driver stage can be specified and integrated into the system.

00:33
If you want to design your own controller or power stages

00:37
and integrate them into a printed circuit board, or PCB, that's great,

00:41
but please ensure that the letters "SEM" are etched onto the PCB

00:46
to identify the board as custom built for the Shell Eco-marathon event.

00:50
And by the way, do not be tempted to buy a controller and modify it

00:54
or just take it out of its packaging,

00:56
our eagle-eyed technical inspectors will spot it!

00:59
We want you to develop the motor controller yourself,

01:02
so this also means we outlaw motor controller evaluation kits

01:05
or the individual kit components, including software.

01:09
For more information on Motor Controllers, please check out Article 67 of the rules.

01:13
Good luck designing your motor controllers!
English - Subtitles

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