Four teams of students studying the MSc Advanced Motorsport Engineering at Cranfield are designing a hydrogen-powered sports racing car as part of their course.
The students have been tasked with designing a 2-seat, low-cost hydrogen-powered sports-racing prototype and will use the brand new Radical RXC as an example of best current practice.
The project has been designed in anticipation of a hydrogen economy and with the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) Technology Road Map in mind. The work is supported by Radical Sportscars, Aerocom Metals and several other organisations.
Phil Abbott, Managing Director of Radical Sportscars, said: “We are very pleased to be able to support a project such as this, both to progress the development of future engineers and to investigate new forms of technology, particularly in the field that addresses environmental concerns. We will be watching their progress with interest.”
The project requires close integration between powertrain modelling and new chassis design – linking real data from Radical and Ford Ecoboost engines with new materials and structural improvements. Students are designing and undertaking their own physical tests of materials and current car components to validate their simulations. On top of this the solutions must consider cost and safety and still perform well.
The students will use a Radical RXC during the three month project and benefit from the key facilities at Cranfield such as FIA accredited Cranfield Impact Centre. Throughout the group design project phase the Cranfield students will have access to a number of motorsport practitioners who will run sessions for the students. At the conclusion of the project the four prototypes will run simulated laps of Silverstone National Circuit and the Cadwell Park full circuit with support from Cranfield Motorsport Simulation.
Jack Chilvers, a current student on the course, said: “The conversion of Radical’s RXC sports car to hydrogen fuel provides an incredibly interesting and challenging task. The nature of the RXCs bodywork, which provides the best aerodynamic performance, makes the inclusion of on-board hydrogen stores less than straightforward. Over the coming weeks, I have no doubt that out-of-the-box thinking will have to be employed to provide a successful solution to this project!”
It seems that FORZE from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has some competition in the field of ‘H2 racing’ this summer.
Source: Cranfield University