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Spirits high at Shell Eco-marathon

For several months Cliff Slogrove from SSTL’s Optical Payloads Group in Sevenoaks has lead a double life. When he wasn’t helping build optical payloads for satellites, he was helping schoolchildren from the nearby Langley Park School for Boys (LPSB) in Beckenham, Kent prepare for the Shell Eco-marathon Youth Challenge UK.
Gas sipping car
The Shell Eco-Marathon Youth Challenge UK is an annual fuel economy competition organised by Shell Global Solutions. Competitors from schools and youth teams construct a vehicle that meets the required safety aspects and run it around a circuit using as little fuel as possible. The best designs consider aspects of aerodynamics, rolling resistance, engine efficiency and driving techniques to achieve the highest fuel economy. This year’s event took place 2nd-3rd July 2008 at the Rockingham Motor Racing Circuit. The LSPB team comprising 14 boys, 3 teachers and Cliff came fourth in the 17-strong schools class. Their Honda GX31-engined Spirit 2 car achieved 646 miles per gallon, breaking the school’s previous record of 400.6 by 246 mpg. Unfortunately, after that things started to go a little wrong for the team. The next run Spirit 2’s engine failed after 5 laps and the drive chain came off. Their second car, Spirit 1, had a run of 333mpg and improved to 359mpg but couldn’t compete with the likes of "Green Meanie". The students had fitted a GPS to Spirit 2 so they could see where it was on the track and the speeds it was doing. The speeds recorded were 9 to 25 miles per hour, with 2 burns of the engine per lap. The max speed was 35+ miles per hour! Team LPBS won the "spirit of the event" award by lending our spare engine to one team and our spare carb to another. The teams had to perform in the media spotlight, TV show News Round was filming and BBC Northampton radio even interviewed student Matt Shirley.





08 August 20080 Comments1 Comment

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