Design Excellence Award

FS Improved Air Intake System

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Design Excellence Award, Group Design Project
Variable length runners in a CFD optimised manifold for a Formula Student race car application
Group Members
Benjamin Bryant, Dan Castro, Shanujan Chandrarajah, Tarun Kodavatiganti, Tomas Pekarskas, Michael Young

Professor Andrew Cruden, Dr. Ranga Dinesh Kahanda Koralage

HoPe SUFST, Schaeffler GmbH, Dunkermotoren GmbH, Ametek Inc

This project is about the design, manufacture and testing of a variable geometry air intake system to be used on and increase the performance of a Formula Student race car. The design challenge concerns trying to optimise the engine torque-speed curve, to allow the Formula Student race car to compete at a higher level.

This design followed on from a previous Group Design Project (GDP). An initial analysis of what had been done before highlighted some major flaws in that design which prevented it working and as a group we identified a number of key design improvements.

The Variable Runner System (VRS) was part of the design of An Improved Formula Student Air Intake System. As such, the functionality of the system was the main overarching design criteria meaning that we were able to test the system on Stag III (the 2016 iteration of the Southampton University Formula Student Team race car).

The final design has been created using comprehensive modelling and simulation development using Ricardo Wave and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) programmes to study engine response and air flow as well as using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and modelling of physical components.

Manufacture was mostly completed by the team to keep costs low, utilising: 3D printing of both different polymers and metal, milling, turning, composite lay up, hand finishing, polishing, and assembly. Some components were bought or needed external processes.

Testing produced empirical evidence of the performance increase compared to a non-variable intake system.

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