AVT Chemcar on the small podiumCopyright: AVT
Chemical wheels are turning again. This year's Chemcar competition took place at the ProcessNet annual conference of the "Process, Apparatus and Plant Engineering" Association at the beginning of November in Dortmund. In addition to the exciting conference program, the student ChemCar competition is known as the absolute highlight of the event. Despite a somewhat reduced starting field of only four teams from the TU Berlin, the TU Dortmund, the Amirkabir University (Iran) and the RWTH Aachen, there was an extremely tight and exciting competition with quite a few surprises.
The goal is to develop a chemically driven vehicle (ChemCar) and to cover a distance of 5 to 20 meters as exactly as possible. The teams develop innovative drive, reactor and brake concepts which are evaluated in the three categories creativity, safety and the result of the race.
The AVT team called "ExzentriCar" impressed this year with a creative concept to convert thermal energy into rotational energy. Therefore, they used about 100 springs with shape memory alloy, which shrink when warm and relax when cold. Similar to bicycle spokes, the springs connect two eccentrically mounted wheels. When heated in a water bath below the axis of rotation and cooled by air above the axis of rotation, they generate a torque which drives the vehicle forward. The water basin is heated with the heat of an acid-base reaction and the process stops after the dissolution of a commercial effervescent tablet.
In the race itself the ExzentriCar rolled constantly, however somewhat slowly, so that after overtime penalty points the 3rd place on the podium was reached. Congratulations to the trophy to the team CrystALizAIR of