Feature: Formula Electric Belgium Umicore LUNA
Now this is a little bit of a throwback post, because the Umicore LUNA built by KU Leuven/Thomas More competed in the 2015 season.
Luckily, as my local team, I get to visit Formula Electric Belgium fairly often. I thought it would be nice to feature some of their older cars here as well, in order to reflect a little on the evolution of the vehicles (and the rules spec they build to). At the moment, Formula Electric Belgium are the only FSAE/Formula Student team here, so they are representing for the entire country… no pressure!
Formula Electric Belgium is a cooperative project between KU Leuven and Thomas More in Flanders. The team members come from a diversity of educational backgrounds and are a really lovely team to chat to in the pits.
Umicore LUNA was the first car ever built by the collaboration and because of this, the team were able to make some great advancements on this car, in particular to overall weight and power.
Umicore LUNA was also the first car to have an aero package to create more downforce and the team designed carbon fiber 10 inch rims that further lowered the total weight of the car.
Let’s take a closer look at what went into the green beast from 2015:
0-100kph 2.7 seconds
Topspeed 120 km/h
Weight 200 kg
Length 2400 mm
Wheelbase 1525 mm
Trackwidth 1200 mm (front) 1200 mm (rear)
Accumulator Lithium polymer cells
Energy 6.66 kWh
Power 120 kW
Motorcontroller Brusa DMC514 controllers
To create the ultimate lightweight chassis, Formula Electric Belgium designed and built their second CFRP (Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer) monocoque. The 2015 monocoque is made out of two prepregs skins (preimpregnated carbon fiber) with a featherweight space grade aluminum honeycomb sandwiched between to increase the stiffness. The bottom and top part were cured in the autoclave under constant temperature and pressure, after which they are glued together, completing the highly torsional stiff monocoque.
In previous designs on the Belgian car, the impact attenuatorwas placed underneath the aesthetical shell. On the Umicore LUNA, the aesthetic shell is also a structural member of the absorbing element.
Custom 10 inch prepeg carbon fiber rims.
The team has used self-designed aluminum molds to get the perfect shape. Eight layers of carbon fiber gives the rim the necessary strength and stiffness and the center of the wheel (also designed by the team) is made of ALU 7075 and is 30% lighter than a purchased heart.
The choice for smaller wheels means smaller inwheel components and by using topological optimisation software to determine the optimal load paths, the team was able to cut out all the excess material and reduce weight by 50%.
STEERING & SUSPENSION
Front and rear anti-roll bar.
3D-printed titanium steering assembly, wishbone connection pieces, and inserts.
MOTORS & GEARBOX
2 self-built electric permanent magnet motors.
Weight: 6.5 Kg per motor
Peak power: 60 kW each
Maximum torque: 40 Nm each
Total Peak Power: 120 kW/160hp
Inbuilt cooling system
Gearbox Proper: 1-stage epicyclic gear reduction in planet configuration.
8 modules of 12 packs of 3 cells in parallel.
Energy capacity: 6.66 kWh.
Keep an eye out for my next Formula Electric Belgium feature, which will focus on their car from 2016, Umicore ISAAC. You can also meet Umicore ISAAC at the Evodays launch presentation on Friday. Sign up here.
This is all ahead of their rollout of the 2017 car design at the end of February, which I am very much looking forward to.
You can find out more about Formula Electric Belgium on their website or by following them on social media:
Author: Beth Lily Georgiou