World Acceleration Record: By Electric Car
The Grimsel electric racing car has beaten the world acceleration record for a car travelling from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour. It broke the record with a time of only 1.513 seconds to reach 100kph (62 miles per hour). This timing cut around a quarter of a second off the previous acceleration record time.
The Grimsel car has been designed by Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ) and the Formula Student team at ETH Zurich and Lucerne University. It has a total weight of only 168kg and combines proven concepts with radical, new technologies. Amazingly the car has been developed and built in less than a year by a team of 30 students. It sets new standards in lightweight construction and electric drive technology including use of use of carbon fibre materials in its construction. Each four wheels drive the car and have specially developed wheel hub motors that are capable of generating 200 horse power and 1700 Newton metre (Nm) of torque. A sophisticated traction control system allows even greater acceleration. Electric traction power has allowed such incredible acceleration; no large-scale production car or car with an internal combustion engine, powered by fossils fuels, has achieved this incredible acceleration level.
To read about details of the record see this ETH Zurich and Lucerne University news report. The Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ) was founded in 2006 by students at ETH Zurich and develops prototype cars for the Formula Student European competitions every year. Details of their cars can be reviewed on their AMZ web site. These innovative vehicles are showing the way for future clean technologies. Switzerland seems to be a pioneer of clean technologies as highlighted by the Solar Impulse project that has previously been reported on.
New Tidal Power: World First
Off the Shetland Islands, in Scotland, there is a change of power that has seen the world’s first fully operational tidal generation array system linked into the national grid electricity system. The second 100kW turbine, out of a series of three 100 kW turbines, has been deployed alongside the first turbine in August 2016. The first turbine was installed in Bluemull Sound, Shetland during March 2016. It had been generating up to full power and across a range of tidal conditions. Nova Innovation, the company behind the project, has undertaken this work as part of a pan-European partnership. This partnership enabled the delivery of a successful project that showcases European co-operation. Details can be found on their web site.
The turbines are driven by a dual rotating blade that is very similar to a wind turbine with the exception that this one is driven by the tidal forces rather than the wind. The project has delivered a fully operational offshore tidal array which is a world first. Technologies such as this offer some important developments for sustainable future energy generation that is needed to generate innovative, clean, zero emission power that is consistently reliable. Scotland also has the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
The European Marine Energy Centre was founded in 2003 and is pioneering. It is the only centre of its kind in the world to provide developers of both wave and tidal energy converters accredited open-sea testing facilities. The facilities are used to test technologies that generate electricity by harnessing the power of waves and tidal streams. The centre is an innovative way to ensure that sustainable technologies get developed. It is based on the Orkney Islands and aims to commercialise the new technologies.