An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is regarded as an elite centre for technical education. Hence, it comes as no surprise that students of IIT Bombay have been making Formula racecars since the past eight years.
After developing the Agni, Prithvi and all-electric Evo series racecars, the IIT Bombay Racing team’s fifth and latest edition of all-electric racecar is called the Orca. IIT Bombay Racing will take part in the Formula Student competition in the UK with the Orca, this July.
Designed to reach a maximum speed of 145kph and a theoretical acceleration of 0-100kph in just 3.47 seconds, the Orca is faster than various models of Lamborghini, Porsche and other renowned sports cars! Some of the incorporations made this year are in-house-manufactured carbon fibre bodyworks, a steel tube spaceframe chassis and a battery pack voltage of 389 volts.
The key design goals of the Orca include:
Weight reduction: Target weight of 242kg (2015 vehicle EVo 4.0 – 302kg) has been achieved through an optimised steel spaceframe, wheel assemblies, carbon fibre suspension linkages and carbon fibre bodyworks. 40% decrease in drivetrain weight and 12% decrease in accumulator weight, even with 18% higher energy.
Vehicle handling: Steering and suspension geometry have been designed based on lap time simulations run on an improved full car vehicle model developed. Blade-type anti-roll bars with adjustable stiffness and torque vectoring using feedback provide vehicle stability and tenability.
Testing and validation: Event-wise driver training and tuning to completely utilise the car’s capability. Increased in-house material testing (IA, Carbon-fibre panels) to optimise parts for weight and reliability. Experimental validation of design and analysis to ensure reliability.
In-house carbon fibre manufacturing: Carbon-fibre lay-up using vacuum bagging has been successfully completed in-house for manufacturing of bodyworks using medium-density fibreboard moulds. Various layups manufactured and tested for manufacturing a carbon fibre monocoque next year.
The whole Orca project is believed to cost around Rs 45 lakh. A number of companies from the automotive industry including NRB Bearings, Ceat Tyres, and Tata Motors have supported the project.