A good one and a half years ago, a team led by professors Stefan Weiherer and Michael Walter demonstrated how a bioethanol-powered auxiliary heater for the passenger compartment can relieve the load on the vehicle’s own battery and thus increase the range of electric vehicles. To this end, four students drove the university’s own research e-vehicle, a specially converted Renault ZOE, to the partner university in Seinajöki, Finland, 2500 km away, and collected plenty of data and experiences along the way. At the end of the project, it was now time to prepare the research vehicle specially designed by the researchers for the next generation of research work.
The large research hall at Campus Feuchtwangen offers enough space for this and, with its own lifting platform and extensive tooling, ideal technical conditions. In addition to Prof. Weiherer, Prof. Walter and coordinator Dr. Hofmann, three students therefore received occupational safety instruction last week from the Campus Safety Advisor Oliver Abel.
Immediately afterwards, the students set to work and began to dismantle the cover on the car and expose the additional fittings. On this occasion, the electric ZOE was also given summer tyres and is now available again in its original condition for future research projects.
“Next autumn, we want to devote more attention to the topic of electromobility at the Campus Feuchtwangen,” says Vice-President Prof. Weiherer. An intelligent charging station powered by photovoltaics is being considered, which, taking into account information such as the expected duration of sunshine and the planned route of the car, will prefer the charging process or the grid feed.
“Electric mobility as an integral part of future energy systems expands both the Smart Energy Systems Master’s programme and the Energy and Building Technology field of study with another meaningful and exciting subject area at the Campus Feuchtwangen,” says Prof. Walter, head of the Sustainable Engineering Bachelor’s programme.