Student engineers from Kingston University have turned to Newbury Electronics for both design advice and the manufacture of a series of bespoke PCBs for use in their latest Formula Student Electric car. Engineering departments from universities from across the country compete every year in a race where conventional combustion engines compete head-to-head with alternative fuelled vehicles.
Christopher Hockuba is the student team member at Kingston University responsible for Suspension & Telemetry in the 2015 vehicle, and he explains more about his work with Newbury Electronics; ” Designing the telemetry system for the Formula Student car is part of my final year project. One of the measurements that we need to take from the vehicle is suspension travel and there are several ways to record this data. However the most efficient one, in terms of cost/performance, is to use a rotary hall effect sensor. The sensors needed to be I2C compatible because this standard gives a very good performance and only uses two wires for communication.” He continued; “Measuring suspension travel is important in a Formula Student Car as you want to have exactly the right amount of mechanical grip and this can be achieved by fine tuning dampers, anti-roll bar and the suspension geometry.” In addition the boards, of which the Newbury Electronics’ PCBs are an integral part, will also be used to monitor the throttle position sensors.
In previous years the students have used simple strip proto boards but this has not proved very successful. By placing all the necessary components on as few boards as possible the space used is kept to a minimum. Christopher already has some ideas about how the PCBs can be further enhanced for use in future vehicles.
“We are delighted to be able to support the team from Kingston University and share with them our knowledge and expertise. British engineering is some of the best in the world and by supporting the next generation of engineers we are helping to ensure that this key sector continues to grow and flourish; ” said Philip King, managing director at Newbury Electronics.
Kingston University’s e-Racing team has held the title as the highest ranking UK electric team for two consecutive years and is hoping to make it a hat trick in the 2015 season. This year they are looking to raise the benchmark for UK electric teams by using an independent drive with an electronic differential. The team is hoping to compete in not only the UK Silverstone Event, held on 9-12th July, but also the European Formula Student events later in the summer.