Racing against the wind

    Every year in August, international student teams race against the wind in Den Helder, The Netherlands, using vehicles they’ve built themselves. This year, the Danish team from the Technical University of Denmark proved to be the best in the fight against Aeolus (the Greek God of the winds) - in an LM Wind Power sponsored race car.

    The Racing Aeolus Den Helder is one of the largest sustainability races in the world.  For the team of students from the Technical University of Denmark DTU Wind Energy, the event was the culmination of several months of preparations, working with aerodynamics and fiber composites manufacturing to build what would turn out to be the winning car.

    Strategic student outreach
    The wind car’s aerodynamic and slender design was based on LM Wind Power sponsored material, underlining the close relationship to the Danish wind energy research community and student base. LM also sponsored a mold to build a downsized version of the car which the students will now use to focus more on infusion and structural aspects.

    Test runs in Denmark earlier this year revealed that with a head wind of 20 km/h the student car was able to achieve an amazing car speed of 12 km/h against the wind. This corresponds to an efficiency of approximately 75% of the theoretical maximum. The car didn’t make it to quite that yield in The Netherlands, but it was enough to beat local competition as well as the teams from Germany, Canada and Turkey.

    DTU team coach Robert Mikkelsen said: “This year’s wind conditions was on the low side, for which DTU’s cars are not usually the strongest. However, when the final score was summed up, DTU’s mechanically driven car ended up at an amazing first place, in front of a very impressive group of competitors. The Canadian and the German team from Stuttgart came in second and third in the total score of the event. It has been a super event for the DTU team and we look forward to racing and defending the Aeolus cup in next year’s race.”

    Measuring racing time
    To calculate the ratio, the speed of the vehicle (Vcar) and the average wind speed and direction during the race over 500 meters dyke, is being measured (Vws). The ratio of Vcar / Vws shows how efficient the vehicle races against the wind.

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    The winning team

    The winning team from DTU and their wind cars

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