Simulating the Future!

Altair is a proud sponsor of the world`s longest running student competition, the Shell Eco-marathon, and we were happy to be a part of the first Make the future event to be held in India at the Madras Motor Racing Track in Chennai. The Make the Future event was an exciting four days dedicated towards imagining the future of mobility. The main attraction of the event was the Shell Eco-marathon race which is dedicated towards inspiring young engineers to build better, more efficient and more environment-friendly cars. This is an especially critical and important mission that the Make the Future event advocates as the Eco-marathon prototype of today may be the passenger car of tomorrow.

The Shell Eco-marathon competition sets the goal for the student teams to design, build and race cars that go the longest distance while consuming the least amount of energy. About 250 students from 18 teams from all over India and one team from Oman competed for the tops spots. Students can choose to design one of two vehicle classes: In the Prototype class, contestants create futuristic vehicles with incredible aerodynamics. The Urban Concept calls has the added challenge of meeting some of the real-life needs of drivers. Students can also choose from two possible engine types: Internal Combustion – cars running on fuel, including petrol, diesel, and biofuel and the Battery Electric category vehicles, powered by hydrogen fuel cells or lithium-based batteries. The winning car for the Urban concept IC engine category at this event had a mileage of nearly 154 kmpl while the best Prototype Battery Electric vehicle clocked about 362.5 km/kWh. One thing that was really obvious was the winning edge and the enormous improvement to the performance of these cars Altair can provide with our weight reduction and aerodynamic solutions

While these numbers are already incredible relative to the best passenger cars the engineer’s mind always asks: What could make the better?? Light-weighting and aerodynamics are the two design areas that will have the greatest impact upon the overall fuel efficiency of the cars. Altair Inspire with its state of the art optimization technology and it’s unbelievably easy to use interface empowers the students to explore light-weighting options with little to no training required. Almost every component of a car can be redesigned using topology optimized concepts generated by Altair Inspire to save upto 40% of its original design mass. Although the use of composite materials by some teams helped them to make lighter cars, composite optimization using Altair OptiStruct could’ve made them even lighter and yet stronger. It is not possible for even the best engineer to conceive the most aerodynamic design without the data from a wind tunnel test. Altair Virtual Wind Tunnel brings this advantage right to the student’s computers without the hassle of meshing. VWT eliminates the need for meshing and it’s easy to use interface allows the students to set up an entire analysis in less than 20 minutes.

Altair sympathizes with the vision and ideals of the Shell Eco-marathon and we’re dedicated towards building the foundation towards a better and a more environment friendly future by enabling engineers all over the world to put their ideas to make them into reality.


About Rahul Ponginan

Technical Manager - Academic Program
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