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A Formula Student Drag Reduction System

This weeks newsletter features a summary of Morgan Hulme, a member of SHU Racing, third year project. Morgan has spent the year developing a drag reduction system to use on a rear wing.



Designing and optimising the rear-wing for the SHU Formula Student team is an important aerodynamic factor to enhance the performance of the car. Finding a multi-element configuration (of E423 aerofoils) with the most effective balance between generating high amounts of lift whilst minimising the effect of drag is the topmost priority. The initial goal of this project was to improve upon the results achieved for last year’s car.

A Drag Reduction System (DRS) although not essential, can offer much higher acceleration and top speeds due to the smaller drag forces. The Formula Student competition puts the car through a variety of courses. These courses have tight meandering corners which limits the top speed of the car, but the DRS can be utilised coming off a corner onto a small straight which will reduce the lap time and improve the position in which the SHU car comes. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software was used to analyse the fluid flow around the rear-wing aerofoils. A 2D analysis was used to reduce computational times whilst giving accurate and valid results. The resulting data demonstrated 20.8% less drag force, however the lift force fell shorter by 30%. Moreover, when the DRS is activated on the car there is a 39.3% decrease in drag force, providing assured increase of acceleration.

The wing in its open and closed position and some velocity contours of different configurations are shown below.

DRS system closed (top) and open (bottom)

Velocity contours of wing in different position


Meet the Team

Meet the Team is an opportunity for us to give you a chance to learn a little more about the people who make up SHU Racing. This week, we welcome a member of SHU Racing development, Alistair Johnson.

Name: Alistair Johnson

Age: 19

Course: MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Role: Member of SHU Racing Development – Electric Car

Number of years with the Team: 1

Hobbies and Interests: Skiing, wakeboarding and mountain biking

Favourite Car: Tesla Model X

Dream Job: Working for Tesla in the EV industry would be a dream

Reasons for Joining SHU Racing: I heard they were doing an EV car for the first time and it got me really interested. I also happened to be building an e-bike at the time, so I thought I’d get some useful knowledge to help with that, but mainly to meet new people and have some fun building an EV car.


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