Eye on fuel efficiency


Students of Manav Rachna International University have designed a prototype car that can run 123km/litre.

The team with their MRV3 prototype.

The team with their MRV3 prototype.

The search to minimise energy requirements has marked many an effort in the twentieth century. One such search has led to the establishment of the Shell Eco-marathon — a contest for high school and college students to construct the best ultra energy-efficient car. They will have to drive as far as possible with an equivalent of one litre of fuel, with cars they themselves have designed and built. This started as a friendly wager between Shell Oil Company employees, in 1939, over who could drive the farthest using a litre of fuel. The winner of that contest covered 21 km per litre. Today, according to information given on the competition website, some achieve distances equivalent to driving from Paris to Germany!

What is news for us is that the students of Manav Rachna International University have been engaged in designing and building a similar fuel-efficient car and will be participating in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia, challenge, in February.

Himanshu Malik, a member of the team that worked on this project, says, “It took us three months to fabricate this car. There are electric vehicles also, but we are participating in the diesel category.” The team comprising about 20 members was drawn from the second, third and final years of the automobile engineering department. The O.P. Bhalla Innovation and Incubation Centre of the university made available its workshop for the students, day and night. “We used to stay on in the nights and work, having attended classes in the daytime,” adds Himanshu.

The core team led by its captain, Karamvir Singh, has been interested in this challenge for three years now. “We had prepared for it last year, but the event was cancelled. We are looking forward to participating this year,” says Pratik Sharma, another team member.

This year the contest will be held in Manila, in The Phillipines, and the Manav Rachna team plans to run the MRV3 which can run a distance of 123 km per litre. It weighs 180 kg and the body is made of glass fibre — 21 kg in weight. It has a turning radius of four metres. Karamvir and Aman Agha, the manager of the team, have come up with the idea of putting in an alcohol sensor. The car will not start unless the driver takes a breath-analyser test. Another feature of the car is that the engine is separated from the driver seat by fire-resistant material and also the steering mechanism is thus separated from the driver’s compartment.

 

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