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Projects Updates for Illini EcoConcept

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  1. Final Report submitted to SSC - EcoConcept

    The target dates listed in the original application have become irrelevant as two years have passed since the application date. However, this year the team built a new carbon fiber chassis and body for the first time in multiple years which was one of the major goals listed in the original application. The car was named EV-1. Because many of the project leads graduated, the team went through drastic leadership changes and lost most of its knowledge about carbon fiber work. Tremendous efforts were made by the remaining members, which ultimately led to our team relearning how to work with carbon fiber. This allowed us to create our first new and completely customized carbon fiber chassis. This year’s chassis design allowed for a decrease in weight and higher structural strength compared to prior designs. The team also switched fuel categories to keep up with the growing focus on battery powered vehicles. Doing so entailed manufacturing a battery powerful enough to power the concept car as well as designing a safe battery management system. The battery successfully passed the official Shell Eco-Marathon safety inspection. Switching to the battery electric fuel category reduced the overall weight of the vehicle as there is no longer a bulky hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen cylinder in the car. The team participated in the Shell Eco-Marathon 2018 competition on the Sonoma Raceway. EV-1 passed the technical and safety inspections which are a set of rigorous tests performed to ensure the safety of the driver and other participants. Many teams do not make it past these inspections. While last minute technical difficulties disabled the team from qualifying to compete, EV-1 was featured in the front row of Shell’s family portrait.

  2. SSC funds EV Concept

    The Registered Student Organization, Illini Eco Concept, will design and build a battery powered concept car to participate in the annual Shell Eco-marathon. In doing so, the team hopes to promote the use of sustainable energy in the automotive field and educate UIUC students about the technology behind electric vehicles. The automotive industry is predicted to greatly decrease its carbon footprint if society shift towards the use of electric vehicles over internal combustion engine vehicles. However, there is often backlash against the use of electric vehicles due to misconceptions about their abilities. This student team will educate its members to design and manufacture an energy efficient electric vehicle and the ecological advantages it can offer.

  3. Funding Letter - Illini EcoConcept

    This project funds the Illini EcoConcept team for their efforts to design and manufacture a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Urban Concept Vehicle to compete in the Shell EcoMarathon Competition in 2017. While the competition has always been centered on energy efficiency, it also promotes and rewards innovation that leads to a more sustainable energy system to support communities around the globe. Specifically, in the Urban-Concept Vehicle division, teams compete to have the most efficient vehicle that incorporates many features of real-world cars, such as wet-weather driving ability, headlights, turn indicators, and so on. The Illini EcoConcept has chosen to power their vehicle using hydrogen fuel cell, which has been gaining popularity lately, and is seeking to break the competition efficiency record in the coming school year. The team would like to build on the 2nd place finish in the Americas region last year and be able to compete in the world championship. Specifically, the team strives to (i) promote the use of hydrogen fuel cell as a clean alternative to combustion engines, (ii) build a whole new drivetrain system that would eliminate the causes of inefficiencies found in the previous years, (iii) design and fabricate a lighter chassis and body, and (iv) develop an air-cooling system that would prevent overheating of the system. This proposal directly funds: 1) Parts and Supplies 2) Manufacturing Costs for Custom Modules.

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