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January 2024 - What we've been up to and what's next?

A happy New Year to all our followers! We hope everyone has had a superb holiday and some well-deserved rest – we sure have enjoyed our short time off😉 

It’s been a while since we updated you on our progress. Since our management handover in early September, we have made significant progress on the SR13 and our new contender, the SR14. With the Christmas break being over, we have now started shifting our workload into the design of our new chassis for the SR14 and more!


Silverstone 2023:

Our journey at Silverstone did not end the way we would have hoped. After a rough scrutineering process, we were not able to complete the noise test due to an electrical fault. This meant that our journey at Silverstone ended pre-maturely and we could not participate in the dynamic events. Finishing 30th in the Formula Student competition, we are determined to fight back and prove that our efforts from the year were not wasted.


Following Silverstone:

On the way, we learnt many things and applied our newly founded knowledge into strengthening the team as well as resolving any issues on the SR13. We want to thank all our new members and staff at Sheffield Hallam University for their amazing work and contributions, without you this would not have been possible.


Current Progress:

As the Christmas break comes to an end, we have been busy preparing our chassis mould as well as various wing elements. With the help of DJ Racecars, our development of carbon fibre components has been greatly improved.


Aerodynamics:

Our Aerodynamics team has been busy working on our new concept for the 2024 year. To validate our Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations, the aerodynamics department has worked hard to prepare validation experiments such as wind tunnel tests as well as on track experiments. Our Aerodynamics lead has said that “Validation is crucial for greater success; it is not just all about downforce and drag as some say. You need to prove that your aero packages work as expected, with real life experiments instead of a computer simulation. This will also help us justify our design choices and massively aid us in our static events.”


Systems:

One of our newer departments is the systems integration departments. For any car to work, its individual systems and hardware must be connected in a specific way, the engine control unit, ECU, is designed to handle all operations and requires careful thought when wiring so that nothing breaks in the process. Our issues with our electronics have finally been fully resolved and well revised. The department is now well ahead in developing the new loom for the SR14, with many new exciting features and capabilities that are being added!

 

Validations and Simulation Lead: 

Working closely with the systems and aerodynamics departments, the responsibility of this department is to compile and provide validation cases, whether that be wind tunnel testing, or system design this team makes sure everything is justified and checked.

Our validation and simulation team has been hard at work at creating our first ever CarMaker simulation. By inputting real life data from tests, we can simulate any race car in a virtual world! It is a fantastic way of providing an insight into how vehicle parameters, such as aero loads or suspension setup, can affect the performance of the car. 

We’ll be posting more about this in the upcoming weeks so keep an eye out!

 

Suspension: 

Our suspension team have also made significant progress with new design ideas! As added weight is something all teams try to avoid, we have taken an extra step to achieve this through re-designing our suspension system to include carbon fibre wishbones! 

For now, procurement of parts has begun, and the team is patiently waiting for the new chassis to be manufactured to start installing the suspension system.

 

WHUBs: 

Similar to the suspension department’s aim, our goal is to develop carbon fibre rims for our wheel. We expect this design change to give a significant weight decrease on each corner.

 

Chassis: 

To satisfy the rules, a new chassis must be manufactured each year with a significant design change. From our first carbon fibre monocoque manufactured in 2022 the team has made amazing progress with re-designing stronger and lighter chassis’ every year, and it’s going to be even better this year! 

Team principal Fin says that “we estimate the new monocoque to be at least 3-4kg lighter than last years. We’re using much lighter carbon fibre alongside a stiffer and lighter aluminium hex core.” 

We are very excited to start on this new chassis. As we finalise our tests, preparation for layup will start very soon. We will post more about this in the upcoming weeks!

 

Powertrain: 

Recent visits at RDT Dyno in Doncaster have given us insight in how well and efficiently our engine works. Our cars run a standard KTM 500x engine, with a 4-stroke cycle 1 cylinder capable of up to 55 horsepower, our lightweight engine packs a punch. “We are confident with our progress, it is the first time the car has ran since 2021, I think. So it is about time we get it on track and put some miles on it.” Says Dan our Powertrain lead. From our recent upsets, we are stronger than ever and are pushing for a comeback. Our second round of on track testing is just around the corner where we hope to gain some more insight in how the car performs. Stay tuned to see how we do!

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