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TU Delft Wins First HYdrogen Race In The World


ROTTERDAM - August 24, 2008 - On Saturday the 23rd of August the first race of the Formula Zero championship was held at the foot of the Erasmus-bridge in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Student teams from America, Spain, England, Belgium and the Netherlands are competing in the world's first hydrogen racing championship. The championship is unique since it produces no harmful emission. The races of last weekend were dominated by the Greenchoice Forze team that represents Delft University of Technology from the Netherlands. The students from Delft won the main race which lead them to the highest place on the Formula Zero podium: zero. The team also performed well in the sprint races as first runner up behind the Spanish team. With these results the team from Delft is the winner of the event, and leader of the championship. Furthermore the team was awarded the people's choice award for best design, and the team set the track record on the temporary track with a laptime of 36.369 seconds.

Historic event

The victory is special since it concerns the world's first hydrogen race in history. The vehicles in the competition are driving on hydrogen. Using fuel cell technology hydrogen reacts with oxygen, creating electric energy. Pure water is the only waste product. Hydrogen can be generated in a sustainable manner using green power sources and gives the possibility of racing without harmful emission. This zero emission technology explains the name of the competition: Formula Zero. By competing in this competition the Greenchoice Forze team of Delft University of Technology (named after main-sponsor and green energy supplier Greenchoice) aims to promote and develop fuel cell technology. Universities from Detroit, California, Leuven (Belgium), London (UK), Zaragoza (Spain) and Delft (Netherlands) compete in the competition

The winning vehicle

The Greenchoice Forze kart has a top speed of 100 km/h and the acceleration from standing start to 100 km/h takes 5 seconds. The continuous power of 8 kW (11hp) to drive the two electric motor comes from a fuel cell. The only waste product is water, even more pure than tap-water. Another innovation is the possibility to regenerate and store braking energy. With this feature the kart has a temporary boostpower of 45 hp. The kart has more innovations such as two separate electric motors driving the left- and right wheel independently. This allows the kart to corner faster than conventional karts. The vehicle uses advanced electronics to control all systems and to guarantee safety. The kart is built with innovative and lightweight materials such as carbon fibre reinforced resin and Dyneema® polyethylene fiber from DSM to ensure a lightweight, strong and safe kart.

Main race

Before the main race the teams were given opportunity to test their hydrogen powered vehicles. This opportunity to test was fully utilized by many teams since the test session on the day before was cancelled due to heavy rain. During these test sessions Greenchoice Forze set the fastest lap time.

The main race consists of a qualifying round, followed by the semi finals and finals. During each of these sessions the teams drive 6 laps with a flying start, against the clock and each other. At 2:00 pm the qualifying started, in which Greenchoice Forze successfully advanced to the semi finals despite some cooling problems. In the semi-finals the team competed against the Spanish team, which had a lot of technical difficulties. After winning the semi-finals the Belgian team was defeated in the exciting finals. During the competition it showed that the innovative fuel cell technology is still undergoing development, and also that reliability is important next to speed. The team from Delft was best on both speed and reliability despite having some cooling problems.

Sprint race

During the sprint races the teams drive one lap from a flying start. Again, the race consists of a qualifying, followed by semi finals and finals. During qualifying Greenchoice Forze set the track record with a laptime of 36.369 seconds. In the semi-finals that followed the Belgian team was beaten. With a time of 1 minute and 54.77 seconds due to technical problems the Belgian team was easily beaten by Delft with a laptime of 38.41 seconds. In the finals the team from Delft had to let the Spanish in front with a difference of 0.17 seconds.

Leader of the championship

With the results Greenchoice Forze is the winner of the event in Rotterdam and leader in the championship. Furthermore the team was given the people's choice award for best design. In the future Greenchoice Forze will compete in the next races that are planned in America and Europe.

Greenchoice, the only supplier of 100% sustainable energy in the Netherlands, says the project contains the two necessary steps towards a sustainable world. "The willingness of people to change without sacrificing comfort, and the technologies that enable a sustainable world. Both aspects can be found in this project and we aim to showcase the possibilities of driving on hydrogen" says Rob van Rees, executive director of Greenchoice.

Delft University of Technology. A fascination for science, design and engineering is the common denominator driving the 13,000 bachelor and master students and the 5000 employees of TU Delft. Delft University of Technology is not only the oldest, but also the largest university of technology of the Netherlands>

Royal DSM N.V. creates innovative products and services in the field of Life Sciences and Material Sciences that contribute to the quality of life. DSM's products and services are used worldwide in a wide variety of markets and applications that make life healthier, more sustainable and pleasant. A key element is DSM's corporate strategy is the development of innovative products that contribute to the theme of climate change. The combination of this social theme and the use of high-end materials makes for the Greenchoice Forze project of the TU Delft to fit perfectly with DSM's strategy of innovation and corporate social responsibility. ,> Note to editor For more information please contact Edgar van Os, Team manager of Formula Zero team Delft or by phone +31(0)6-13 880 811 Website Greenchoice Forze:> Publication of image material is allowed only when image credits are mentioned in the publication