Researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed nation’s first urban solar electric car with cutting-edge 3D-printed body casing that is having nearly 150 parts. The two eco-cars, dubbed as NV8 and NV9, are racing in this year’s the Shell Eco-marathon Asia that is taking place in Manila at the end of this month.
The NTU Venture (NV) 8 is framed on carbon fiber with a single shell chassis. It is expected to enter the Shell Eco-marathon Asia this year in the Urban Concept category. According to Ilmi Bin Abdul Wahab, researcher who led the development of 3D-printed NV8 the 3D-printed cabin is built from lightweight plastic, which maximizes the internal space as well as takes the care of driver’s comfort level.
Top limit of the concept car is 60 km/h while at the same time it can maintain low energy consumption level.
Students from NTU have also developed silicon solar cells based NTU Venture (NV) 9, which happens to be a three-wheeled eco racer car. The NV9 can cover sharp track turns with minor speed loss because of its unique tilting ability, similar to that of motorcycle racing.
Along with NV8, the NV9 will also race in Shell Eco-marathon Asia but in Prototype category.
Highest fuel efficiency
With an aim of attaining highest fuel efficiency, both the eco cars have been fabricated from the scratch by the NTU researchers, which took them nearly a year to complete.
Researchers have made use of their innovative engineering techniques in developing silicon solar cells that can be molded into the car’s structure. Consequent upon which they were able to capture the maximum amount of solar energy along with the tilting mechanism in NV9 without losing much of the speed, added Professor Ng Heong Wah, mentor of the teams.
Winston Tan from the NV9 said that the tilting mechanism has been inspired from the motorcycle racing, where racers lean to either side for balancing the centrifugal force while speeding through the sharp turns. Hence, their design resembles a mixture of F1 racecar and a glider plane.
Source: Nanyang Technological University