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Hey folks, Cody here. It's July. We're over a month into the new season and things have really been moving and shaking. Here's what you need to know to stay up to summer design speed.


Ravi, Roenigk, and myself visibly psyched to see the aero package make 2 million Newtons of suction at 30 mph

By the Subsystem


Aerodynamics: ANSYS in action

After decades of using Solidworks Flow Simulation, the aero team has made the switch to ANSYS for computational analysis. The switch was long overdue and allows much higher fidelity simulation. The design cycle has begun with validation of the 2024 package in pitch and roll. These impacts on the aero will be used by the VD team to keep the vehicle platform within a kinematic range where the aero components, specifically the front wing, are effective. From there, the aero team is planning to experiment with a more aggressive floor design and more complex with endplates.


Chassis: Urkelnomically correct design

Like aero, the chassis team is also making the switch to ANSYS for FEA analysis of this year's chassis. The focus so far has been more accurately modeling the points of application of loads for torsional rigidity simulations. Likely changes to the chassis include relocating suspension points to nodes and reconfiguring the rear of the chassis to accommodate a (spoiler alert) naturally aspirated powertrain. Additionally, development on an ergonomics rig has begun! The wooden frame will permit adjustable seat, steering wheel, and pedal positions. Construction will be finished early in the semester so driver feedback can be gained and necessary chassis changes can be made before tubes are ordered.


Electrics: An E95 love story

The electrics folks have begun the summer working on a compiling all of the components for the 2025 car. Darya and Humza are also both in Durham this summer! They have been working on E95 to get it back up and running to facilitate summer testing. Unfortunately, a fuel leak has plagued the E95 rehab and will likely require the fuel tank to be opened. Nonetheless, the electrics team is prepared for another efficient harness build and have generated solutions for the grounding issues we experienced at comp.


Operations: New sponsor handbook dropped!

The Ops team has put together a fresh sponsor handbook that details what our team is all about and how funding supports the effort. As usual, Duke funding is unpredictable this year (or less euphemistically: declining) so a new handbook to attract potential sponsors is critical. The operations team will be reaching out to companies throughout the summer to form new relationships as well as bolster existing ones. In addition to financial aid, technical manufacturing support is also on our radar. We hope to find machining partners as well to help with our parts that are complex to manufacture.


Powertrain: Breathing easy in the naturally aspirated era

The powertrain folks have decided to ditch the turbo system for 2025. While that sweet stututu sound will be missed, forced induction caused a fair amount of issues for us last year. The oiling and cooling demands added weight and complexity. The boost was also a likely culprit for our blown head gaskets. A simpler naturally aspirated configuration will hopefully allow the powertrain folks to spend more time tuning for performance instead of reliability.


Vehicle Dynamics: Killing it as usual

There is something about summer and tire selection that feels so right. And after some thorough TTC data analysis, the VD folks have confirmed the Hoosier R20 will be back in action this year. The analysis centered around comparing various compounds' response to slip angle, normal load, camber, and pressure. Next on the list will be designing track width and wheelbase followed by some preliminary suspension point estimates to give the chassis folks something to play with. Additionally, a lot of research has been completed on brake system plumbing this summer. While E95 generally performed well under braking, hard line and fitting leaks was a constant issue. A better understanding of that system, along with buying a hard line cutter instead of using a dremel :(, should solve those issues.


Some Summer Snapshots

New sponsor handbook cover!

A velocity trace generated using a lap simulator developed by Clemson. Thank you Clemson




New restrictor design effortlessly and realistically going supersonic

That's all for now. Thanks for reading and stay cool out there.


-Cody

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