University Racing Eindhoven (URE) is a student team from Eindhoven University of Technology. The team was founded in 2003. With a group of about 70 students, we participate in the Formula Student competition, which is the biggest design competition for students all over the world. The goal of the team is to educate the engineers of the future and build a fully electric (and autonomous) race vehicle.
This past year, we have been hard at work designing the URE16. The aim for the URE16 was to bring new innovations into the team, in order to bring URE to the next level. The URE16 was the first ‘flip-of-a-switch’ convertible concept for URE. This means that the car can convert from electric (EV) to driverless (DV) within minutes, compared to the 1,5 days it used to take with previous cars.
The URE16 in a Nutshell
The URE16 has gotten many upgrades compared to its predecessors. With the new powertrain consisting of new motors and a new motor controller we have been able to gain a lot of performance compared to our old powertrain. It also included a complete new aerodynamic package which consist of tapered monocoque design with a lifted nose and accompanying undertray. The core of this composition is to guide the air underneath the vehicle so that the air will suck the car to the ground, resulting in improved ground effect as well as a better lift-over-drag ratio. This including the new ‘flip-of-a-switch’ concept makes for an extremely versatile platform for both EV and DV of which we are very proud.
This year, with the help of Eurocircuits, we were able to experiment with new PCB types. For the first time for URE, we have used a few Isolated Metal Substrate (IMS) PCBs instead if FR-4. This has been especially useful for temperature generating electronic components. For example, discharging circuitry for our motor controller DC-Link capacitors can become very hot when discharging consistently for longer periods of time. With an IMS PCB, we are able to attach this PCB directly to the metal casing of the motor controller where the cooling channel is situated. This gives us much better heat transfer and a lot more thermal mass to work with, making sure our circuitry stays nice and cool.
A Challenging Competitive Season
As the URE16 has a convertible concept, it can participate in both Electric- as well as Driverless competitions. The goal this year was to compete in 3 of the major Formula Student competitions, namely Formula Student Netherlands (FSN), Formula Student Germany (FSG), and Formula Student Spain (FSS). Due to a tight planning schedule, we had to make the absolute most of our 6 weeks of summer holiday testing. In this tight schedule we had to make sure the car was reliable in both EV and DV. In these 6 weeks we managed to get the car up and running to be able to compete. In Spain, where we drove driverless, this resulted in an overall 6th place, with an additional 1st place for Cost & Manufacturing.
This year, the team will already look ahead and start the concept research for the next car. With the URE16 as base platform, the new car will get rid of a lot of key problems that came around with this major redesign. The new car will also include many new features to our driverless platform, as well as go on a big diet to decrease weight. URE will be looking forward to this challenge and making sure to show up with a competitive Electric-Autonomous URE17 in 2023.
For more information please visit the University Racing Eindhoven website.