Pressure to take action to improve fuel economy in transport is widespread. Shell’s fuel economy student competition, called the Shell Eco-marathon, is a visible demonstration of Shell’s interest in tackling this collaboratively with students, partners and the public. This year, Shell, in particular, highlighted the unsung role of engine oils in improving the fuel efficiency of a vehicle. Many are aware of the role of cleaner fuels and advanced engines but fewer people are aware of the contribution made by engine oils in the efficiency equation. In fact, engine oils can make a difference of up to 2%.
Pilipinas Shell Lubricants Country Manager Dennis Javier, said “Our technologists have been investing significant resources to create innovative lubricants, including engine oils, to unlock greater fuel efficiency in a vehicle. Lubricants are in contact with almost all parts of the engine and can significantly contribute to fuel economy gains today. The lower the viscosity of the oil, the less fuel an engine needs to use to overcome its resistance. The challenge is to determine the lowest viscosity which still provides the right level of engine protection and durability.”
This year, at the Shell Eco-marathon 2013 series, Shell engaged students on the topic of engine oils and vehicle efficiency through tribology – the science behind lubrication, friction and wear. In Asia (Kuala Lumpur) and Europe (Rotterdam), a new off-track award was introduced to encourage students to think about engine oils as an important component of their vehicle’s efficiency: The Shell Helix Tribology Award. Students used lubrication principles, friction equations and tribology concepts to explain how they took full advantage of the fuel efficiency gains provided by engine oils in their vehicles. The winners were judged by lubrication technology experts from within and outside Shell.
ITS Team 2 from Indonesia’s Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember won the inaugural Shell Helix Tribology Award valued at USD 3,300, under the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2013 Off-Track Awards. The team stood out for their understanding of how lubricant selection impacts vehicle performance, quantifying this with computer aided simulations to determine friction and fuel economy and adjusting design elements to consider tribology impacts.
Norman Koch, Global Technical Director for Shell Eco-marathon, said, “Tribology is here to stay at the Shell Eco-marathon events and we are excited by the innovative ideas we have already seen and those that are yet to come.”
The choice of engine oil can make a real difference to the fuel economy of a vehicle. Shell’s premium products are formulated to have benefits such as helping to increase fuel efficiency, improved cleansing technology and extended oil change capability. Shell’s premium engine oils include Shell Helix All student teams were provided with these products for use at the 2013 Shell Eco-marathon events. For more information on how Shell Helix passed the ultimate test in some of the world’s toughest conditions, check out www.youtube.com/shellhelix
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