SZE team wins Europe's biggest energy efficiency competition with world record

The SZEnergy Team, a team of students from Széchenyi István University, has won first place in Europe's largest energy efficiency competition, the Shell Eco-marathon in Assen, the Netherlands. The Győri team managed to cover a world-record 284 kilometres on 1 kilowatt-hour of energy, beating teams from major technical universities such as Munich, Toulouse and Milan.

The SZEnergy Team, a team of students from Széchenyi István University developing an energy-efficient vehicle, presented its vehicle, named SZEmission, in 2019. The period since then has been about perfecting the car, with almost all the technology under the bodywork replaced. More importantly, however, there was plenty of time for testing, so students could try out even the smallest settings on the ZalaZONE test track.

All of this gave the members a healthy sense of confidence as they looked forward to the Shell Eco-marathon, the first physical event since the coronavirus pandemic, and the fruits of their hard work paid off: the team finished in the lead, beating their Western European rivals to a world record. SZEmission's superiority is demonstrated by the fact that the vehicle produced the best energy readings in four different measurement stages in different weather conditions - despite the technical problems encountered.

 "During the handover, some minor changes had to be made to the vehicle in response to the judges' request. This tested the team's ability to react, but we handled the problem in a calm and well-managed manner," said team manager Máté Miklós, who added that there was mutual assistance between them and the French TIM UPS INSA team, who shared a garage with them, which showed the good sportsmanship and camaraderie between the rivals involved.

Szenergy win1.jpgThey were ahead of everyone: the SZEnergy Team members had every right to raise their hands in the air after their victory in Assen, the Netherlands.

We also asked the team leader about the secret of his success.

"Over the last three years we have got to know the car well and our improvements have worked. In addition, the team has built up a professional knowledge base that we can now draw on. The racing experience of our experienced members has also helped." said Miklós Máté Miklós, who also commented that during the race the team members constantly discussed what needed to be done and always made decisions together on the next step.

To put the result in historical context, this victory in Assen is the biggest ever for the SZEnergy Team. It is worth remembering that back in 2010, using a solar-powered design at the Eurospeedway in Lausitz, the team produced more energy during the race than it consumed, with the most astonishing energy balance of the series,. Since then, the solar category has been discontinued, and since 2013, the Széchenyi István University team has been competing in the small city car category, culminating in the Dutch victory.

Szenergy win1.jpg

On the way to victory, Széchenyi István University’s vehicle on the track in the Netherlands

"This tremendous success was only possible because our students worked together with perseverance, faith and unity under the mentorship of our Automotive Research Centre staff. The result confirms our ambition to build a University that is a major knowledge centre in Central Europe, a driving force for the region's development, a top international university ranking, a strong attraction for young people and a close link with industry," said Dr Erzsébet Knáb, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Széchenyi István University Foundation.

"Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, a member of the Board of Trustees of our Foundation, asked our University at the inauguration of our Centre for Higher Education and Industrial Cooperation to strive to be the best in certain areas.

We are proud of this fantastic result, which demonstrates both the international quality of our practice-oriented training and the quality of our talent management, and in a key sector such as the automotive industry. The framework and conditions that our institution is able to provide, thanks to the change of model, including for education and student teams, in a more efficient and flexible way than before, have played an important role in achieving this success. For this opportunity, we owe a debt of gratitude to Minister László Palkovics", emphasised Dr Bálint Filep, President of Széchenyi István University.

The SZEnergy Team is mentored by Péter Kőrös, Dr Ernő Horváth, Péter Gulyás and Zoltán Pusztai from the University's Automotive Industry Research Centre. Dr Ferenc Szauter, Head of the Centre, explained that the team's activities and success are also useful for companies.

"Our students have solved mass optimisation problems and developed world-class energy optimisation algorithms that can be applied elsewhere in industry. Mass reduction improves the energy efficiency of the vehicle, but it saves not only energy but also expensive raw materials," said Dr Szauter.

Dániel Pup, head of the Ányos Jedlik Specialist Hall of Residence, pointed out that young people working in student teams at Széchenyi University are highly sought after on the labour market, as they are able to perform excellently in a live and cooperative environment. He added that SZEnergy will soon be travelling to France for the Shell Eco-marathon autonomous race, where it came fourth in the online competition in May.

"This means that our talent management and training is also outstanding in two areas related to the automotive industry - electromobility and autonomous transport - which are currently the most topical in the world," said Dr Ferenc Szauter. He noted that they were also congratulated on their success by Minister of Technology and Industry, László Palkovics, who said that the international competitions help to involve young talents and university teams in the industrial transition, the dissemination of green solutions and technological developments. According to the Minister, the outstanding performance was also due to the fact that the Győr researchers were able to rely on the unique capabilities of the ZalaZONE automotive test track, one of the most outstanding research infrastructures in Hungary, also rare in the world.

 

Shell Eco-marathon final results

  1. SZEnergy Team (Széchenyi István University)
  2. TUfast Eco Team (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
  3. TIM UPS INSA (Technical University of Toulouse, France)
  4. Cukorova Electromobile Team (Cukorova University, Adana, Turkey)
  5. TEAM MECC E (Technical University of Milan, Italy)
  6. Energy Technologies Team (Karadeniz University of Technology, Trabzon, Turkey)
  7. ENSIL-Team (ENSIL-ESCI University, Limoges, France)
  8. team Niepce (Lycee Polyvalent Niepce-Balleure, Chalon-sur-Saône, France)
  9. Team EVA (Hogeschool Van Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  10. CentraleSupelec Racing Team (CentraleSupelec University, Gif-sur-Yvette, France)

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