Car Design Nearing Completion

Rendering of Suspension Arm

The team had been working hard to achieve the lowest possible aerodynamic drag. To do so, most components are optimized to be as thin as possible. This includes the suspension which is seen above. Currently we have been able to design everything to fit within a body with a maximum thickness of 6.9 inches and a frontal area of less than 0.9 square meters. We have reached the final stages of design where we are using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to optimize the weight of component while still keeping them within an acceptable range of stress and deflection.

Simulation Results of Bottom of Vehicle Body with Various wind conditions

With this near final design we have been running Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The results of these simulations tell us that at 65mph 1.3kW of power will be used to overcome aerodynamic drag with no crosswind and 2.7kW will be used with a 10mph wind directly across. The goal is to reduce these values to 900W and 1.5 kW respectively so that the vehicle can drive on 1.2 kW total power on average. To do so the shape of the angle of wheel fairings' are being manipulated.

Voltage Monitor

The electrical team has been working on hardware and software design for the vehicle. On the hardware development side, the first revision dashboard, steering wheel, lights boards, relay drivers, and temperature monitors, as well as the second revision battery monitoring system and maximum power point trackers, are being assembled and tested right now. On the software development side, the telemetry team has successfully used ham radios to send data that can be received over long distances. Our goal is an "on-the-bench" working electrical system by early May. Below is a comparison of the size of our electrical boards last fall and now. The green board is from last September and the blue board from January.

September 2015 to January 2016

The Aerodynamics team has been hard at work optimizing the shape of the car.  Previous runs have allowed us to visualize the pressure and velocity fields on and around the car.  Using information generated from these runs, we have changed the shape of the fairings and the driver compartment to optimize aerodynamic performance.  Additionally, the team is now ready to run meshes generated with Pointwise. We hope this will increase the accuracy of our results while decreasing the amount of time it takes to run the case.

The first mesh simulation of our car body design

As always Thank You to all of our sponsors who make this team possible! Be sure to visit our check out our Sponsors page. If you or your company are interested in donating or becoming a sponsor, be sure to visit the Donate page.