Third year in the row KU Leuven Ecochallenge Team was taking part in the Ecorace Challenge Competition, organized by "Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV" and "nv De Scheepvaart". Our task was not easy - we had to present innovative and sustainable solutions at the Ecorace Challenge in 2016. A team of six engineering students and one project manager started ambitiously in September to work hard for their common goal, winning the price for allround cargo and most innovative vessel.
This Ecorace Challenge Competition is organized to promote inland waterway transport as a safe, reliable, durable, multi-functional and environmental friendly transportation mode. It provides the opportunity to both the educational institutions and students to demonstrate their knowledge and to draw the attention on potential innovations in the inland waterway sector. The competition aims at getting students acquainted with their career opportunities in the inland waterways sector, and the collaboration between research institutions and various industrial sectors.
This year KU Leuven Ecochallenge Team had a very ambitious goal - we wanted to present an autonomous sailing solution, which required not only installation of the equipment and development of the software focused on the autonomous sailing, but also re-design of the drive train and bow propulsion systems of the boat.
It was impossible to reach this goal without any extra support. Thanks to the Galena project and their partners (in particular Helileo and Septentrio for providing us a GNSS receiver, TRIVIZOR as match maker). we were able to get in touch with the right people and they provided us with the proper hardware. To thank Galena for this opportunity our boat was called after the project.
During the Ecorace in Damme we had some technical challenges to overcome but nevertheless we succeeded and went home with the two prices we had in mind. First we won the price for “most innovative vessel” and after this success we also managed to win the “allround cargo” price.
To conclude this fantastic adventure we once again want to thank Galena and their partners for helping and supporting us. They gave us an opportunity to gain an enormous amount of expirience during this year. Without them we should not have been able to reach our common goal.
KU Leuven Ecochallenge Team