When the pandemic stopped play for the 2020 Formula Student competition that didn’t mean University of Strathclyde Motorsport shelved its race car.
Instead despite the challenges of last year and tackling a new format, the team is set to enter both the ICE category as well as the EV in #FS2021 as Michael Kurtyka, Aerodynamics and Cooling Chief Engineer USM, explained.
“After more than twenty years, designing and building a combustion-powered race car, University of Strathclyde Motorsport, is currently developing our first electric vehicle for competition this summer. Alongside our EV race car, we will be having one last competition outing in our combustion vehicle which we were unfortunately unable to race with last year. Making the transition to EV has been an immensely engaging experience, allowing the team to build on our knowledge and lay the groundwork for the future of the team.
“While many aspects of the vehicle remain the same, one of the most significant areas of change (other than the drivetrain!) is in the cooling systems, where we are now needing to cool more components with various performance requirements. The biggest of these is the motor and motor controller, which are water-cooled in a similar way to internal combustion engines, allowing us to use our past experience to design the new system. Despite the similarities, the electric drivetrain has tighter operating temperatures for optimum efficiency and safety forcing us to improve our design. In a break from previous vehicles, we are positioning our radiators and fans at the rear of the vehicle, instead of the sides, lessening the aerodynamic impact that they pose.
“To achieve our targets, we are excited to partner with SPAL automotive to use their high-performance automotive cooling fans. Using SPAL’s VA31-A101-46A fans enable us to cool our vehicle effectively, their small size also gives us the ability to improve the cooling systems packaging and integration with the rest of the vehicle.”
Go team USM, we can’t wait to see the results on the track!
Read more about USM Formula Student here.