Vandal Hybrid Racing

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Formula Hybrid Vehicle picture from 2014
Sponsors
Team Name Celeritas
Duration Summer 2014 - Spring 2015
Faculty Advisers
Mentor
Students
  • Corbin Basler
  • Zane Jesser
  • Darren Mabe
  • Gary Wang
  • David Zavala
  • Gillette Zenner


The Vandal Hybrid Racing Team is a University organization that competes annually at the Formula Hybrid competition hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers. This team gives students the opportunity to demonstrate and further develop their engineering skills by challenging them to build a hybrid formula car. Because of the complexity of a hybrid vehicle, building it involves interdisciplinary collaboration between students. For the 2015 competition, the team will be using the same frame that was used in the 2014 competition.


Problem Statement

Because the 2014 frame will be used in the 2015 competition, it is required that significant improvements must be made to the car. The team will strive to improve the car by redesigning problem components, reducing weight where possible, improving car handling, and increasing vehicle efficiency. This will produce a responsive, reliable, lightweight, high performance hybrid car.

Sub-System Problems and Improvements

Brake Rotors

ISSUES: Front and rear brake rotors are larger than needed; only a fraction of the available friction surface is being used. Also, rear brake rotors are susceptible to cracking due to insufficient heat dissipation of the thin slotted design SOLUTION:

  • Redesign front and rear rotors, optimizing friction surface areas
  • Float both the front and rear rotors to reduce weight
  • Rear rotors will no longer be used for wheel speed sensor

Progress: design done, material needs to be attained or designs need to be ordered.

Rear Wheel Toe

ISSUE: The toe in the rear wheels has slop in it due to flexing and component bending. This causes significant toe movement on the track.

SOLUTION: Original solution was to shorten tie rods and add a holding bracket attached to the A-frame. Upon further investigation, we need to redesign/repackage the upright assembly so a new solution will be implemented according to the new upright design.

Uprights

ISSUE:

  • upright assembly limits workable space for other assemblies

SOLUTION:

  • Redesign upright assembly
  • optimize for minimal weight and suspension assembly compatibility

Brake Master Cylinders

ISSUE:

  • Brakes lock up after brakes get hot because built up pressure can not be properly alleviated from the high pressure line. Piston doesn't allow fluid to return to reservoir.
  • Pedal assembly is heavier than we would like it

SOLUTION:

  • Redesign piston mechanism
  • Add a "catch clip" that will return the piston to an open position when no pressure is applied to the brakes
  • Repackage pedal assembly to shed weight wherever possible

Progress: New Pistons are being manufactured, should be on the car before the end of summer term.

Aerodynamics

ISSUE: There are no components to optimize car aerodynamics

SOLUTION:

  • Use CFD knowledge to design a functional underbelly diffuser
  • Test model in wind tunnel

Progress: 2-D CFD simulations are being conducted. 3-D modelling for the diffuser will be started after 2-D simulations are analyzed.


Suspension

ISSUE:

  • Suspension components could be made lighter
  • Suspension system isn't operating as required by competition guidlines
  • Suspension system needs to be tuned to improve handling

SOLUTION:

  • Redesign or fix limited suspension travel
  • Replace current components with lightweight carbon fiber components
  • Tune suspension components on the track


Engine Tuning

ISSUES:

  • Engine needs to be tuned and maintained at an optimal level
  • Last engine lost compression and damaged crank
  • Crankshaft had excessive endplay
  • Crankshaft showed wear marks behind flywheel, consistent with excessive lateral movement.
  • Connecting rod had excessive lateral endplay

The engine was dismantled to inspect components and replace any damaged components. While the engine was off of the car, we noticed the crankshaft had a shaft endplay of 0.0475". The stock engine case allows for 0.016" of endplay. To reduce the amount of endplay in our case, 0.020" shims were placed under the main bearings. This reduced measured endplay to about 0.009" and kept the connecting rod well centered in the cylinder. These shims should stop the crankshaft wearing behind the flywheel and should keep the connecting rod from developing excessive lateral endplay.

SOLUTIONS:

  • fix crankshaft endplay with under-bearing shims
  • Run tests on the dyno engine and use that data to tune the race engine.
  • Maintain engine during driving/testing days.

Steering Angle Sensor

ISSUE:

  • We currently have no way of logging steering angle data

SOLUTION:

  • Design a sensor that can be used to log real time steering angle on the track

Progress: Design made, needs to be prototyped and tested.

Wheel Speed Sensors

ISSUE:Current wheel speed sensor system requires brake rotors for timing. Moving the sensor elsewhere will allow more freedom in rotor design.

SOLUTION:

  • Use a thin slotted wheel mounted somewhere along driveline

Progress: NA

Battery Pack

ISSUE:

  • Battery box could be redesigned and rebuilt with more flame resistant material
  • Battery cell expansion is unknown

SOLUTION:

  • Test battery cells for maximum expected expansion
  • Analyze and redesign box according to test results

Finalized Sub-Systems

SUB-SYSTEM DESIGN SUMMARY FINAL DESIGN
BRAKE ROTORS
WHEEL SPEED SENSOR
REAR WHEEL TOE
BRAKE SYSTEM
SUSPENSION
AERODYNAMICS
BATTERY PACK
STEERING ANGLE SENSOR

Team Biographies

To be populated soon


Appendices

Documents

TBA

WIP.jpg This article is under construction.
  WE NEED MEMBER PICTURES AND BIOS