Developing a luxury electric vehicle (EV) from scratch with a short deadline demands organization and access to the right technology to get the job done. Lucid Motors of Menlo Park, California, met the first challenge by putting all the engineers in one room so the structural and aerodynamics engineers would know what the battery, motor and power electronics engineers were doing, right from the start. This collaborative environment has helped them to design a unique automobile with more passenger space by reshaping the battery stack, while optimizing the electric motor, the cooling system, the aerodynamics and the battery life.
Each year the University of Canterbury Motorsport (UCM) team in New Zealand pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved in racing; in 2016 they overcame their greatest challenge to date. After three years (2013-2015) of competing in the Australasian Formula SAE competition with an internal combustion engine vehicle , the team decided in 2016 to design and build New Zealand’s very first four-wheel drive (4WD) electric vehicle for the competition. The results were remarkable: UCM made history by becoming the first team with an electric vehicle to win a dynamic event at the Australasian Formula SAE competition.
The German inventor and flight pioneer Otto Lilienthal made over 2,000 flights as long as 820 feet in gliders he designed and flew in the 1890s. He died in 1896 from injuries sustained in a glider crash, but his well-documented accounts of theories and experiences with flight influenced many of the early aviation pioneers, including the Wright Brothers. Continue reading
As the winners of the Formula SAE competition Australia last year, MUR Motorsports is looking to repeat our success by designing a more aggressive aerodynamics package and optimizing the weight of the vehicle. These targets were deemed by our in-house lap simulator to be two of the driving factors for winning the F-SAE Australasian competition in December. To effectively manage our workload and streamline the design process, we used ANSYS simulation software in almost all of our subteam’s design processes. Continue reading
The former Belgian top cyclist Johan Museeuw once stated: “Crashing is part of cycling as crying is part of love.” Indeed, probably every elite cyclist has experienced in-race crashes that put him or her in the hospital. But recently, things seem to have become much worse. In the past two years, many prestigious elite races have been stained by serious crashes between riders and in-race motorcycles. The tragic culmination so far of these crashes was reached on 27 March 2016, when Belgian rider Antoine Demoitié got hit by a motorcycle in the race Gent-Wevelgem and died later in hospital due to his injuries. Later, on 28 May 2016, 19 cyclists were involved in a major crash with two motorcycles, which put Belgian rider Stig Broeckx in hospital in a coma. Continue reading
CalSol Solar Vehicle Team, UC Berkeley, is a student-run organization that designs, builds, tests, and races solar vehicles capable of traveling at highway speeds. Through participation in solar races and alternative energy as well as community outreach events, the team also aims to raise awareness of solar energy while focusing on the engineering challenges inherent in solar vehicle technology.
In order to be a competitive vehicle team, an aerodynamic vehicle design and good battery cooling systems are very important. Continue reading
Flows around aerodynamic bodies, like aircraft wings, helicopter blades, wind turbines and turbomachinery components develop boundary layers that, to a large extent, define their performance. The boundary layers can either be laminar or turbulent depending on numerous factors, like Reynolds number, freestream turbulence levels and surface roughness, to name a few. Understanding which type of boundary layer is present, and the location of the laminar-to-turbulent transition point under varying operating conditions, is essential for accurate predictions of the performance of aerodynamic devices. Continue reading
This Sunday one of the most popular sporting events for tens of million people around the world begins. The Tour de France starts in Utrecht, the Netherlands. We will again see the world’s best top athletes fighting for the stage victory every day. We’ll admire them as they climb the steepest slope at an amazing speed and be impressed to see them completing a time trial at an average speed above 50 km/h. Throughout the past years, the regulations have continuously improved to guarantee a clean and fair race. As an example, during time trials, neither cars nor motorbikes are allowed in front of the cyclists as this would obviously reduce air resistance. Similarly, if a cyclist is catching up to the one ahead, they must stay on different sides of the road. However, there is no regulation to prevent a vehicle from following the athlete as it is commonly believed that a car riding behind a cyclist cannot influence him.
But is this really true?
Looking back at my blogs this year, in February I talked about the ANSYS’ acquisition of the assets of NTI, Inc, which now enables us to offer the most comprehensive solution for integrated aerodynamic and icing simulations. The picture I shared was of a typical winter scene at a New Hampshire airport — the view of the de-icing process from inside an aircraft. Then in April, with Spring very much upon us, I talked about the upcoming event in Italy in partnership with CIRA. I am very pleased to report that this event went very well with over one hundred delegates and speakers from leading companies such as GE, Safran and Airbus. Thanks to all our speakers and to all who attended. So why do I think I may have missed the summer and the fall? Continue reading
Hyperloop – Elon Musk’s project, now venture-capital-backed, to shuttle passengers between cities via tubes at the speed of sound — is shaping up to be to the 21st century what the railroad was to the 19th century.
Both are visionary: one connected the coasts and permitted safe travel across the continent and the other could provide super-fast, efficient commuter passage between major cities. Both were rejected initially as the stuff of fiction: too theoretical to work, too expensive to build. Both were aided by the technology of their day, railways by the might of the industrial revolution, Hyperloop by the computer and simulation technology. And both, when the history of the 21st century finally is written, will be seen as revolutionary turning points in modes of transportation. Continue reading