Published on February 13th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez




Shell engages students in Asia to think lubrication when creating fuel efficient vehicles

Over 2 billion vehicles are expected to be on the roads by 2050, double of what we have today. Most of these new vehicles will be on the roads in Asia, a region where 44 million people are being added to the urban population every year. As a result, the demand for efficient fuels and lubricants is clearly on the rise. Shell has been engaging students and the public on fuel efficiency for almost 30 years through the Shell Eco-marathon student competitions held across three continents. Other than vehicle design and driving methods, Shell now emphasises the role of lubricants in improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles at these events.

Selda Gunsel, Vice President of Lubricants Technology at Shell, said, “Shell has been striving to improve fuel efficiency gains of engine oils for years and is now encouraging students, our scientists and engineers of tomorrow, to do the same. The latest lubricant technology can start improving the fuel efficiency of every vehicle on the road today right now, without the need to buy a new car. Through the Shell Helix Tribology Award at Shell Eco-marathon Asia, we want to inspire students to apply innovative lubrication ideas as part of vehicle design, and we were delighted to see diverse entries from the region this year.”

The Shell Helix Tribology Award is an off-track award that recognises student teams that have understood and demonstrated the application of lubrication principles in their vehicles at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia in Manila, Philippines. It is an award that students can apply for in addition to the core competition. The Shell Helix Tribology Award rewards teams for taking lubricants into account in their vehicle design. This includes exploring lubricant choices, consulting engine manufacturers for the recommended lubricant, studying the friction points in the entire car and modifying designs based on lubrication to improve their fuel economy result on-track.

Several strong entries from Malaysia, China, Philippines and Lebanon were submitted for the award. Team Monash 2 from the Monash University in Malaysia was declared the winners of the Shell Helix Tribology Award Asia 2014. They designed and constructed a Prototype car that ran on gas-to-liquid (GTL) diesel.

“Team Monash 2 recognised the importance of keeping the machine components clean and lubricated. They demonstrated an understanding of choosing the right lubricant viscosity, identifying the correct friction points thus maximising fuel efficiency where possible. Lubricants are often still an afterthought in vehicle design for some student teams in the Shell Eco-marathon. While there is a basic understanding of lubrication principles, a deeper appreciation of tribology is needed. The Shell Helix Tribology Award is a good platform to raise the profile of lubrication sciences among students in this region,” said JP Requejo, co-judge of the Shell Helix Tribology Award and Technical Manager for Shell Lubricants in Southeast Asia North.

Lubricants should be considered as another design parameter. This is what Shell did when it collaborated with Gordon Murray Design, co-engineering a concept lubricant achieving a 6.5% improvement in fuel economy in the T.25 city car. Additionally, Shell’s premium lubricants such as Shell Helix (available in all markets except North America) and Pennzoil (available only in the Americas), now offer up to 2.2% fuel efficiency alongside improved cleansing technology and extended oil change capability. Shell continues to invest in research and development to improve the fuel efficiency contribution its lubricants.

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