Greenpower is a leading contender

Passivent is meeting the drive to promote eco-friendly solutions by becoming a major force in the Greenpower movement- a programme supported by Siemens and the IET (Institution of Engineering & Technology), that aims at encouraging students aged between 9 and 21 to apply eco-friendly solutions to engineering and technology, primarily through the design, development and physical endurance racing of electrically-powered cars.

Passivent is again continuing its involvement by working with secondary school, St Pauls in Burgess Hill, West Sussex on the design, development and racing of the students’ cars, and putting together its own team for the 2011 Corporate Challenge.

The season Corporate Challenge opening event, held at the Silverstone Circuit, saw the Passivent/NuVinci corporate team finish fourth covering 103 miles, in its Stealth Aero car completed only three days before the race, and untried, beating international competition from marques such as Jaguar Land Rover. The Passivent-backed students in St Pauls Racers Zytec Aero completed just 10 miles less during the four hour race. This was against the background of Greenpower this year changing the batteries, which have some 20% less power available.

Innovative solutions

Neil Rideout, Passivent joint Managing Director, comments: “Greenpower and all that it stands for aligns very closely with Passivent’s own ethos of applying innovative engineering principles to develop solutions that reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. There is a natural synergy to work together, and encourage the youngsters of today, who will be the power behind industry tomorrow, to embrace the integration of eco-friendly solutions into engineering and manufacturing, and learn vital life skills such as working as a team and developing strategies. To prove it works we have just employed a new member of staff into our design team at Nottingham, who is a product of the Greenpower initiative.

“This year there is a new specification for the batteries, so the first race has revealed some considerations on balancing speed with battery life and gearing of the engine. There were some surprises so it promises to be a close and interesting championship this year.”

Under the Greenpower scheme, pupils at primary schools build and race their own car from kits, with secondary schools designing the car too. Power is supplied via one standard 24volt electric motor and six 12volt car batteries (two on the car and four in reserve). Cars then compete in a series of four-hour endurance races culminating in a national final held at the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit.

The scheme can involve work in various subjects including Design & Technology, media (sponsorship and marketing of the car), textiles (team clothing), ICT (data logging, car electronics and monitoring of lap times) and Food Technology (feeding the crew!). Details of the 2011 race season are available on greenpower’s website (

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