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Mission impossible Formula Student?

Picking the right engine cooling fan for your Formula Student race car entry can be quite a challenge especially if your team is going electric in 2021. For one team it was looking like Mission Impossible as the application appeared increasingly complex.

Maggie Lech, the go-to contact at SPAL who has the technical know-how to guide teams towards the right choice, explains:

“Specifying the right product does take time, effort and patience. I am always very impressed with the students because they know exactly what they want in terms of performance and often the exact model. But sometimes an ambitious spec takes a little fine tuning before the final decision is made.

“Naturally the aim is to select the smallest fan to fit within a limited space that packs the most cooling power. With an electric application, the battery generates a lot of heat which requires a lot of cooling so getting this part right is very important.

Fan image

An exercise in problem-solving to come up with the right fan

“I ended up putting forward a few alternatives and each time the rest of team had consulted to check they were a match for the whole system. It becomes an exercise in problem-solving to come up with the right fan and these skills are the hallmarks of good engineers.

“After a bit of back and forth, we finally agreed on the product which satisfied volumetric targets for airflow versus current draw. The team leader was appreciative and it was rewarding to play my part in getting them one step closer to the Formula Student competition in the summer.

Read more about the Formula Student teams SPAL is supporting in 2021:

>> University of Strathclyde Motoring
>> Oxford Brookes Racing

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