HyTech Racing, Georgia Tech’s student-led electric racing team, recently won the second-place trophy at the annual Formula SAE Nevada Competition. Formula SAE Electric challenges students from around the world to engineer the best performing electric formula-style racecar. HyTech’s 380-pound vehicle bested 18 cars presented by other world-renowned engineering universities including MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Cornell University. The team persevered through a tough week under a 117°F Nevada heat wave and impressed the competition with a 73-second average endurance lap-time pace.
Students on the team major in all disciplines, from mechanical engineering to business, and work together year-round to design, build, and race their fully electric racecars. During this COVID season, designing and building the car with members contributing both virtually and in-person posed a new challenge the team had never encountered. In order to make the best car possible, they developed novel in-house solutions for project management and sub- system integration. This resulted in a significantly improved battery cooling system to tackle the Nevada heat, a lighter powertrain system, and HyTech’s first ever aerodynamics package.
Testing component failure was an integral part of HyTech’s success, and they did so right in the Georgia Tech student center parking lot. By rigorously testing this year’s prized car, HT05, the team was able to collect data that helped them identify faulty components, fully optimize the vehicle’s subsystems, and eliminate performance bottlenecks.
Next year, with vehicle performance targets set based on this year’s data, the team “will focus on completely redesigning the battery pack, further reducing composite part weight, and inventing an optimized steering geometry,” said Anson Tsang, the incoming president for the 2021-2022 school year. By carefully setting realistic goals and achieving them, he believes, “we will always make sure we are one step ahead of the competition.”
HT05 at the Nevada Motor Speedway
Last revised September 14, 2021