Chemnitz University of Technology SAX4 car Eco-marathon

Photograph courtesy Fortis Saxonia

Shell Eco-marathon Europe People's Choice Contest

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School: Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany)

Team: Fortis Saxonia

Car Name: SAX4 (Hydrogen Prototype category)

What is special about your car? SAX4 has a multiple redundant electromechanical steering system called Steer-by-Wire. The signals coming from the control column are handled by a military motion controller. Current velocity and lateral acceleration are factored into the output signal which influences the steer angle of the rear wheel. The single rear wheel acts as propulsion as well. A self-made, low-loss permanent magnet synchronous motor is integrated into the rim.

Why fuel efficiency is important to your team? One goal of our nonprofit organization Fortis Saxonia e.V. is to promote environmental awareness to the public. For that reason we take part in a fair amount of local and national exhibitions and symposiums. Fossil fuels are limited and energy in general is getting more and more expensive. Because of that everybody should think about his or her energy consumption. And our team sees its task in beating the drum for fuel efficiency in vehicles.

Who or what inspired youon the way to Eco-marathon? Some of us were inspired by the Formula 1. The Eco-marathon is to some extent very similar, just the goal is way more commendable. It is all about efficiency not acceleration or top speed. But to be in a young and enthusiastic team, working together at a challenging project and traveling throughout Europe—and maybe someday even the world—to take part in competitions and exhibitions, that is what is very similar to the Formula 1.

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