A team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology will race its Formula One-style racecars while proving the viability of electric power at Formula SAE-Lincoln, an international student design competition.
The event will be held June 20-23 at the Lincoln Airpark in Lincoln, Nebraska. The competition challenges students to design, build and operate Formula One-style racecars.
As part of the competition, students must present a budget report and discuss the engineering principles behind each car’s design to a panel of industry experts. Each school’s team must also pass a rigorous electronics inspection to ensure the car’s safety. Teams will then compete in four dynamic events.
A skid-pad event tests the car’s turning and cornering on a figure-8-shaped course. An acceleration test measures the car’s speed over a short distance. A one-lap autocross event tests the car’s maneuverability on a tight course and determines the starting order for the final event – an endurance race to prove durability. In the endurance race, the car must withstand the stress of long-term driving at elevated speeds over a long course. Each race is timed to rank the teams; none of the events are head-to-head races.
The Missouri S&T Formula SAE Electric Team’s car has a student-designed and -made steel chassis, fiberglass protective shell and custom suspension system. The car’s battery pack features approximately 50 lithium battery cells. The pack can produce a maximum voltage of nearly 300 volts and a current of roughly 200 amps.
The Formula SAE Electric Design Team is one of 20 student-run teams in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center (SDELC). The SDELC, housed in the Kummer Student Design Center, provides teams with computer design laboratories, a manufacturing shop, office space and logistical support. Design teams mirror small start-up companies that plan large-scale projects, organize into departments, raise funds, communicate their ideas and solve open-ended design challenges. Almost every team competes annually at an event against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world. For more information about the teams, visit design.mst.edu.