University race team on track to improve performance
The University of Wolverhampton’s Racing Team (UWR) trialled a new battery at an engineering test day recently - and students and staff found that they’re on the right track to improving its Formula Renault car’s performance.
Students studying Motorsport Engineering and Automotive Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Mechatronics Engineering degrees at the University of Wolverhampton’s Telford Innovation Campus spent a trial day at Curborough Sprint Circuit in Lichfield, working together as a team to fit parts and then testing the car including driving it round the track. They were trialling a selection of newly designed and prototype parts, including a new lightweight, lithium battery which is being produced by local Black Country manufacturer, Powerlite, based in Brierley Hill.
Rob Manger, Sales and Marketing Manager at Powerlite, said: “We are the only manufacturer in the UK that makes this particular lightweight lithium battery which is 6 kilogrammes lighter than the equivalent conventional lead acid race batteries on the market. As a technical partner for the University of Wolverhampton it was great to see first-hand how something made in the Black Country can improve a vehicle’s performance - and what better way to test this out than by using a contemporary racing car. It further enhances our working relationship with UWR which began this year with the supply of a lightweight high performance alternator. The feedback the students give us is invaluable for product development.”
David Tucker, Principal Lecturer for Mechanical Engineering (Automotive and Motorsport) at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Students were given the task of running the race car as a simulation exercise for the coming race season. Alongside this a number of prototype parts were tested, primarily a new lightweight battery, the goal being to determine long term effects, performance levels and data traces of the battery performance under high load – we’re pleased to confirm the performance data looks impressive, and further benefits such as power-to-weight will also increase. It’s great to work directly with our technical partners on trialling the products they are manufacturing locally, whilst at the same time students get the added benefit of hands-on experience of fitting and testing the parts.”
The event at Curborough Sprint Circuit saw local college students visiting to view the Formula Renault Race Car and team at work on the vehicle in the paddock area, along with the 2016 Formula Student team who were also testing some ideas. Sandwell College Lecturer in Motor Sport Engineering, Nigel Briscoe, accompanied students who were completing their Level 3 qualifications and looking at Motorsport university courses. He said: “My students were really impressed with the kit and I think they were surprised by the range of careers on offer through the Motorsport and Engineering pathway. Lots of students looking for universities are making their choices for degree courses now and I’m sure the engineering courses at the University of Wolverhampton are going to be really popular with the added bonus of having an F3 Racing Team and car to practise on in 2016.”
Anyone interested in studying Aerospace, Automotive, Chemical, Electrical, Electronics and Telecommunications, Mechanical, Mechatronics or Motorsport Engineering should check out the range of courses on the website: www.wlv.ac.uk or visit the Telford Innovation Campus Open Event on 6th February 2016. Follow the UWR team’s progress on;
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/UWRacing/
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Date Issued: Tuesday 22nd December 2015.