December 2, 2023

Ein Fahrzeug, das durch Gegenwind angetrieben wird? Ja, beim  Projekt Inventus des Instituts für Windenergie wird das getestet. Foto: Lichtgut - Ferdinando Iannone/Ferdinando Iannone

Science Day on the Vaihinger Campus: An insight into the forms of leadership for the future – Stuttgart

A vehicle driven by a crosswind? Yes, this is being tested at the Wind Energy Institute’s Inventus Project. Photo: Lichtgut – Ferdinando Iannone / Ferdinando Iannone

Exciting insights about the Vaihingen Campus. On Science Day, the university gave an insight into future leadership systems, among other things.

Families with children, classrooms, young and old flocked to Vaihingen’s campus on Saturday to celebrate Science Day. There, the faculties of the university made an entertaining presentation of the future questions they were dealing with. So it’s important to protect the climate if cars and planes move away from fossil fuels.

For years, students on the Wind Energy Institute’s Inventus Project have been working on a crosswind vehicle that resembles a 10-foot wingless glider on four skinny wheels from a recumbent bike. There are wind turbines on the mast. “The car is not for everyone because it is powered by the wind, which is rare in some regions of the world. The project is about exploring the frontiers of technology.

Hybrid car is also possible

“This allows us to drive faster than the wind,” said Andreas Bender, an employee at the Aircraft Design Institute who was previously a member of the Inventus team for many years. The drive is built like a traditional wind turbine. “We are driving upwind, the rotor is spinning and the motion is transmitted to the rear axle via a spindle,” he says. In theory, the vehicle could travel at hurricane speed, but it is built for the annual Aeolos event in Den Helder, the Netherlands, and must not exceed 60 kilometers per hour. If you install a second rotor that feeds an electric motor, you can build a hybrid car that only partially depends on the wind.

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Development of an electric-only aircraft

Stefan Zester of the Manned Aircraft Projects team deals with the question of how aviation can get away from kerosene. He participated in the development of an electric-only aircraft. A model of her was shown at the campus science fair. “It could fly two people, it could stay in the air for four hours, and it was the most powerful battery-powered plane,” he said. She set the world speed record of 95 kilometers per hour.

The aircraft is now powered by a hybrid engine, with the combustion engine driving a generator. This allows us to increase the speed to 200 kilometers per hour. With 35 liters of diesel you can fly 1,000 kilometers. This technique is suitable for flying short distances in the feeding area. Business aviation will also develop even regional flights in a sector of 75 seats in this direction. Hydrogen is also being worked on, which can be burned in a gas turbine. At the moment, there is no substitute for kerosene for large aircraft.