Check out the 2012 WEGACar at wegacar12.wordpress.com !
Thank you to Tim Heinz for a new set of pictures!
On April 16th, 2011 the Westside Engineering and Geosciences Academy successfully competed in their first Shell Eco Marathon, and was the only Houston high school to participate in the event. The WEGA Eco team spent hundreds of hours over the past few months building a fuel efficient car for this international competition from just donations and spare parts. We are very proud to announce that not only did we pass the rigorous safety and technical inspections, but we were also one of only 33 teams of the 60 teams that entered our group to have qualifying runs. Driver Amy McDonnell drove two six mile runs, the first at 15 mph and 111 mpg, and the second at 18 mph and 122 mpg.
Shell chose our team to feature on its website in a short video segment. To see the WEGA Eco Team in action, go to http://www.shell.com/home/content/ecomarathon/social_media_hub/ and on the right side of the page click on “America Competition Highlights Day 1 April 16th.” WEGA will also be featured on KHOU’s news this evening.
Ms. Myers and the WEGA Eco Team would like to sincerely thank Westside teachers Felipe Resendez and Dan Morgan for the many hours they spent working late with the students to get the car done on time. This project would not have been possible without their expertise and willingess to donate their time. We would also like to thank Travis Clifton at Performance Aluminum Fabrication for volunteering his time to weld our roll bar.
Keep checking back for pictures!
Even though our blog has been neglected of late, it only reflects how much time we’ve been putting into the actual car. We’ve put in hundreds of hours, and although there are many decisions we would change if we could go back, we’ve learned from our mistakes and are in a much better position for next year.
Our main mistake was that we bought our engine kit from Canada. This was our primary blunder that set us back time-wise. Because the engine was made for Canada’s buyers, it was equipped with metric sprockets and chain. The metric parts were not compatible with the American gearbox and tire sprockets we already had in place, and we could not find any compatible sprockets or parts in Houston. This led to our ultimately bolting the large metric sprocket that came with the engine kit to our existing wheel. We wanted a smaller sprocket on the wheel for greater efficiency, but with time running short we resorted to a less efficient yet workable solution.
We’ve also had amazing help from Travis at Performance Aluminum Fabrication. He volunteered his time to weld our aluminum roll bar, which looks amazing. He was also able to bring his equipment to us, which was a huge help logistically, and it also allowed our students to learn about welding from a pro.
With our competition three days away, we are focusing on connecting the front disc brakes and rear clamp brake to the steering column. We are working on a light weight cardboard body to display the required Shell stickers and sponsor logos. We are painting the car a uniform satin black to camouflage the Frankenstein nature of our vehicle. And finally we are rigging the horn and making final touches on the electrical system.
We’ve been too busy to blog lately! We switched the mounting plates for the engine to the top beams in the back of the chassis to better orient the engine to how it was designed to operate.
and…we got the engine working!!!!
After a few tweaks we got it fired up and it works great!
We are well on our way. We’ve had many kids work on the car, and the top 8 logging the most hours are going to the competition. Out official team is:
Alex Barbieri – Team Manager
Natalie Castro – Team Member
Bryan Corzo – Team Member
Devon Francis – Team Member
Amy McDonnel – Driver
Alejandro Palafox – Reserve Driver
Nadim Rabbani – Team Member
Meelad Ranaiefar – Team Member