8 September 2011
Bristol's entry in the Racing Aeolus competition
Image by Dr Dave Drury
Racing Aeolus is a unique competition bringing together teams from across the globe to race their custom-designed wind-powered vehicles. It aims to inspire interest in wind energy technology, amongst both engineers and the general public.
Dr Paul Harper, a lecturer in Engineering Design who has helped co-ordinate the project, believes participation in the event has a positive impact on the students’ learning. “The Aeolus Project enables students to transfer knowledge gained from their degree courses to a novel practical application”, he says. “It really makes them appreciate the challenges in bringing together expertise from several areas of engineering on a single multidisciplinary project. But developing the vehicle and sending a team to the annual Aeolus race, which acts as a real source of motivation for the students involved, just wouldn't be possible without the funding support provided by donors."
This year’s race was held in late August in Den Helder, Holland. Unfortunately, the vehicle suffered from last-minute technical problems. Despite the best efforts of the Bristol team (and some very late nights in the workshop!) they couldn’t get enough power from the turbines to drive the vehicle forward during the race. Although frustrated, the team are proud of their achievements and are confident that this year’s modifications are an improvement on the 2010 vehicle.
The Bristol team are already looking forward to preparing the vehicle for the 2012 race. Undergraduate students will be able to get involved in the project through their research assignments, under the guidance and supervision of key academic leads from across the Faculty. However, the project is heavily dependent on resources, and further funding will be needed to support the development work and to enable the team to travel to the 2012 race.
More information on the Aeolus project and the Racing Aeolus event can be found on the main University news pages, or on the Team Br1stol website. To make a donation to support the project, please telephone +44 (0)117 928 7938 or email email@example.com.