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Mapúa Team Cardinals unveils Hiraya for Shell Eco-Marathon 2020

Nicholle Kim T. Fontanilla and Marianne Lois M. Boncolmo

After a two-year hiatus from Shell Eco-Marathon, Mapúa University’s Team Cardinals unveiled their newly designed eco-car named Hiraya in preparation for next year’s competition.

Despite the unfortunate withdrawal from this year’s tournament due to lack of funding, the Mapúa representatives managed to raise enough funds to improve Hiraya’s weight, transfer of power output, and fuel consumption.

In accordance to that, Team Leader Brianne Aclan stressed that the main reasons for improving the newly built eco-car is to increase the vehicle’s efficiency and to develop its engine and transmission. “The engine is very important in the vehicle. It portrays the heart of the car that you are driving,” chief mechanic Aclan explained.

According to Chief Fabricator Vience De Taza, the team used aerodynamic principles and improved drag coefficient simulations by using carbon fiber for the car’s framework. This material is strong and lightweight which is why it is used in Formula One race cars.

The team also redesigned the eco-car to consume less fuel for better mileage. Aiming to beat their previous record of 81.9 km/L, the team is hoping to reach 300 to 500km/L for the 2020 competition.

Hiraya also uses diesel as its fuel given its higher thermodynamic efficiency. This translates to more thermal energy converted into other useful forms that the vehicle can utilize. Aclan, however, mentioned that not 100% of thermal energy is converted into the needed energy forms. Reducing energy losses to increase Hiraya’s efficiency serves as a challenge for the team.

Furthermore, De Taza emphasized that the team aims to raise funds for the logistics costs incurred in the shipment of the eco-cars to and from Malaysia, with the hope to join the upcoming competition abroad.

“Since our withdrawal from the 2019 competition is very unfortunate, we took this opportunity to make a comeback and fully prepare and perform a series of reliability tests with the remaining months towards the 2020 competition,” team manager De Taza concluded.

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