Eco-Runner Team Delft

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Netherlands Eco-Runner Team Delft
2017/18 Eco-Runner Team Logo
Full name Eco-Runner Team Delft
Location Delft, Netherlands
51°59′58.5″N 4°22′35″E / 51.999583°N 4.37639°E / 51.999583; 4.37639Coordinates: 51°59′58.5″N 4°22′35″E / 51.999583°N 4.37639°E / 51.999583; 4.37639
Team Manager Netherlands Joël Croese
Chief Engineer Netherlands Coert de Koning
Technical Manager Netherlands Lotte Stam
Founded 2005

Eco-Runner Team Delft is a student team from the Netherlands, aiming to build extremely fuel-efficient hydrogen powered vehicles. Since its first appearance at the Rockingham Speedway in 2006, the team has participated in multiple editions of the Shell Eco-marathon, in which it achieved a fuel burn equivalent of 3653 km/l in 2015. The office of the team is situated in the D:Dream hall of the University of Delft, where other dream-teams are situated as well.

About the team[edit]

Eco-Runner Team Delft was founded by a handful of technology students in the Netherlands in November 2005. In its first year, the team consisted of eleven second year students of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology. Seven of these students were from Belgium and four were Dutch. The team's goal was to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon on the Rockingham Speedway in the UK in July 2006.

Currently, the team consists of around 25 TU Delft students from various different faculties. The team consists of five full-timers including Team Manager, Chief Engineer, Technical Manager, Chief of Electronics, and Chief of Power train, who stopped their study for a year to work on this project. The rest of the team consists of part-timers, who work a few days per week on this project. The team is divided into various different departments, that are each responsible for a certain aspect of the project, such as body design, suspension, finance, fuel cell and power train, PR and sponsoring.


The Eco-Runner Team Delft is a student run team at the Delft University of Technology. The team was first founded in 2005 and every year the team tries to design the world's most fuel efficient hydrogen powered car. To prove this efficiency every year Eco-Runner Team Delft participates in the annual competition name Shell Eco-Marathon, which is organized by Royal Dutch Shell.

The current team has existed for 11 years. The first Eco-Runner Team originated from 2005, when three students from the aerospace faculty of the TU Delft decided to realize the design project they were performing for their studies, which resulted in the Ecorunner 1. There have since been teams which worked every year for the Ecorunner design. Until now, six different vehicles have been produced. At present the new team is working on the Ecorunner VII which will be the next design car for the Shell Eco-Marathon 2017.

The Ecorunner 1[edit]

Ecorunner 1 (2006)

In its first year the Eco-Runner Team Delft built the Ecorunner 1. This vehicle was built in a limited time and with limited resources, but it nonetheless achieved the team's goal of running 500 kilometers on one liter of petrol. Even with a non-functioning fuel injection system, which was the most important feature of the vehicle, the team was able to achieve 557 kilometers per liter. This achievement encouraged the team to build a new Ecorunner and participate again with a goal of 2000 kilometers per liter and a top-5 place in the Shell Eco-marathon at the Rockingham speedway.

The Ecorunner H2[edit]

Ecorunner H2

The second Ecorunner is called the Ecorunner H2. Its main improvement with respect to the first version is its completely integrated design. This results in an extremely aerodynamic shape and a light weight of the vehicle. On top of that the team is developing two propulsion methods for this new Ecorunner H2, actually resulting in two Ecorunners H2.

The first propulsion method comprises a fuel cell driving an electric motor.

The other method is a six-stroke petrol combustion engine. The basic principle of this engine is the same to that of a four-stroke engine but for the injection of a drop of water after the fourth stroke. Due to the extreme heat remaining in the cylinder head, the water will expand rapidly, resulting in a "free" working stroke. The team is aware of this engine's downside, which is the combination of water, high temperature and high pressure, inevitably resulting in a high level of corrosion.

The Ecorunner H2 participated in the 2007 edition of the Shell Eco-Marathon, where it achieved the Dutch fuel efficiency record of 2282 km/l of petrol using the fuel cell set-up (The hydrogen consumption of the fuel cell is monitored carefully by race officials and then converted to the equivalent of a liter of Shell 95 standard fuel using specific combustion heat of both substances). This was despite a hastily repaired and therefore very poorly working cruise control - a feature essential for keeping all of the components at their point of maximum efficiency. The Ecorunner H2 holds the Dutch fuel efficiency record to this day.[citation needed]

The Ecorunner 3[edit]

Ecorunner 3

The third generation of the Ecorunner participated in the Eco-Marathon of 2011. Major improvements over the old vehicle include the aerodynamics and fuel cell efficiency, while the weight of the vehicle has dropped significantly. Almost no parts of the Ecorunner 3 were off-the-shelf: 95% of all components are of an in-house design or at the very least modified to suit the team's specific needs.

The Ecorunner 4[edit]

Ecorunner 4

The fourth generation of the Ecorunner participated in the Shell Eco-marathon of 2014 held in Rotterdam. The prototype is named as a hydrogen class vehicle. The major specification changes in the prototype were done over the energy in hydrogen converted to energy in gasoline (litres), which allowed the vehicle to achieve a significant result of 3524 km/l. Also the weight of the vehicle was around 38 kg and driver weight was 50 kg, which led to a drop in significant results from the previous version of the Ecorunner to the current version. During the race the average force generated was around 4 newtons, and a nominal power of 35 watts was also achieved.

The Ecorunner V[edit]

Ecorunner 5

The fifth generation of the Ecorunner participated in the Shell Eco-marathon of 2015 held in Rotterdam. The archetype was named as a one-man vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cell, becoming a category in the hydrogen class vehicle. The major specifications of the Ecorunner V were carried over by the promising result of the aerodynamic shape. This led to being optimized for a variety of wind directions combined with flow patterns. Having the energy in hydrogen converted to energy in gasoline (liters), this allowed the vehicle to achieve a significant result of 3653 km/L. Furthermore, new aspect was taken into consideration by the team first is the use of front wheel steering mechanism enables the vehicle to achieve a turning radius of just 8 meters.

The Ecorunner VI[edit]

Ecorunner 6

The newest design vehicle of the Ecorunner VI was considered to be the most fuel efficient hydrogen-powered vehicle in the world. The Ecorunner participated in the Shell Eco-Marathon of 2016 held in London. The major innovations were carried over in the aerodynamic properties to make it best among the world, as the shape was designed in such a way that the extensive aerodynamic CFD analysis could be fully optimised for racing conditions. The application of zigzag strips was used for the delay of the separation point of flow which ultimately led to a better performance in the race. The amalgamation of supercapacitors which are used to serve as a buffer between the fuel cell and the motor and also for inclination as required for London tracks which made it easier to quickly distribute a lot of power to the motor and so the fuel cell could constantly run to its optimal efficiency.

The Ecorunner VII[edit]

Ecorunner VII is the latest addition to the Ecorunner family. It has been build in a time frame of 9 months to participate at the Shell Eco-marathon 2017 in London. The track in London is compared to the previous editions of the Shell Eco-marathon very dynamic, consisting of a hill and sharp corners. This makes it very challenging to drive very efficiently.

The Ecorunner VII is specially made for the track in London, for which a new concept for the entire powertrain system had to be designed. This was necessary in order to make sure that the Ecorunner VII performs at its most efficient point throughout the race. The powertrain system had been altered by implementing an external electric motor which is connected to the wheel with a chain transmission. In addition, the fuel cell has been improved by reducing its weight and increasing its efficiency.

Besides modifying the powertrain system new ways were discovered to reduce the weight of the Ecorunner. Since every gramme counts it is of utmost importance to make the vehicle as light as possible.


The results are obtained by measuring the amount of hydrogen used per km and converting it to petrol.

Sr.No Team Name Year Location Consumption/distance (km/l) Position/rank
1. Ecorunner 1 2005 Rockingham, England 557 km/L Top 5
2. Ecorunner H2 2007 Nogaro, France 2282 km/L
3. Ecorunner 3 2011 Rotterdam, Netherlands 2914 km/L 2nd
4. Ecorunner 4 2014 Rotterdam, Netherlands 3524 km/L 2nd
5. Ecorunner V 2015 Rotterdam, Netherlands 3653 km/L 1st
6. Ecorunner VI 2016 London, United Kingdom 1992 km/L 3rd
7. Ecorunner VII 2017 London, United Kingdom - DNF

External links[edit]