Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Formula-hybrid competition at Dartmouth, New Hampshire, US. April 28 - May 1, 2014.

When our son Easaw George, at NMIT Bangalore doing his final year Electrical Engineering, www.nmit.ac.in, came to me last July, 2013, asking that he and his friends were looking around to do a project on developing a simple version of a Hybrid formula I car which could do some of the functions of a professional one,  and would in the process enable them to learn some of the basics of automobile engineering and mechanics, I thought it was a great idea., though I was skeptical whether it would be completed on time.   I said, why not ? practical fabrication projects help one to learn basic concepts which will be great learning.  So was born www.dhwaniracing.com ..

Easaw George ..
By the way, NMIT also happens to the first Engg college in the country to send a micro-satellite to space and the only Engg college to have sent two micro-satellites to space.  Incidentally it also happens to be having the only amateur satellite tracking station (AMSTRAC) in the country.

Now it is almost getting over, my son is finishing his engineering course. Contrary to all expectations, the students have done exceedingly well. After spending thousands of hours, and gruelling 20 hr days, their efforts are finally bearing fruit.
The students had already registered for a college level competition in the US, Theyer School of Engineering in Laudon, New Hampshire sponsored by IEEE and SAE. From April 28 to May 1, 2014, the hybrid formula I competition will be held there.

On this project, his mates have already put in thousands of hours of work, at least ten times what they would have otherwise done in a normal final year project in an engineering college. The team leader Rushikiran, also had a blackout / sunburn out of hard work and exertion in the middle of a busy road in North Bangalore where he just dropped unconscious from his bike onto the road while riding it alone to meet one of the vendors. The kind public, lifted him from the road and reached him to a hospital where he stayed for two days to regain his energy.

These youngsters are very committed to get this car run on New Hampshire race tracks. I also appreciate the kind of rudimentary project management they carry out and the sharing of responsibilities and legwork, all working together against a tough and strict deadline for shipping the car to US in three weeks time. In between they also attend classes at College, about 10 kms from the workshop, so that they do not become ineligible to sit in the exams coming by end April- beg May.

A prototype of the chassis ..
About the competition -  http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/events/2014-formula-hybrid-competition/ 

The present running week ending 23 March 2014, is the timelimit for submitting the electrical engineering integration design, the boys are presently eating fire and passing through some tense moments because of some last minute glitches at the electrical product integration of the car with batteries, starter etc..  I am helping them to get connected with MRF, Schneider, Tata Motors, Toyota and Mahindra hybrid or conventional car electrical designers. (pic courtesy Theyer School of Eng.)

Hopefully the problems should get sorted out soon and the team will be off to US on April 25 and back by May 7. Doing this project with RVCE Bangalore friends, a team of about 12 members are flying to US. Another team from India taking part is from Delhi College of Engineering.

The financials are being borne by NMIT and RVCE (possibly with some help from Bharat Ratna Prof C N R Rao) for transportation of the vehicle to US and back, coming to app 12 lacs INR. The cost of fabrication is being borne by the students as also the travel to US and back with local expenses ..

New hampshire Motor Speedway, the crowds ..
Have been telling Easaw and their team, that taking part in such prestigious competitions is a big learning by itself. Great confidence boosting measure !! I hope all the youngsters take part in such global competitions and prove their mettle. Initially itself one may not come out successful.

Go there, see how other teams are prepared and look at their designs / technology and learn from the process. At times, learning is much important than winning in life, preparing oneself for greater successes in life ..

New Hampshire Motor Speedway, top view ..

Toyota Camry cars in a NASCAR rally competition ..

www.formula-hybrid.org is an IEEE and SAE sponsored respected competition in US.


Theyer school of Engineering is not looking only at the speed of the car, they are looking at the time and fuel consumption for 44 kms of race track running of the car on the New Hampshire highspeed motorway, its versatility, time to accelerate from 1 to 60mph or so, and gradient riding performance, overall fuel and energy consumption,  market presentation on introducing a successful product line etc.

Innovations matter more than winning, as here would evolve some of the better designs that auto giants would integrate into their product lines for the vehicles of the future. It guides the path the global automobile industry would pursue in the coming twenty years.

Hope the experience becomes a great learning for the students. Finally nothing would have been possible but for divine guidance and providence. We thank the almighty for being by our side always and giving us the directions.

(Images courtesy respective organisations..)

George and Anila

PS : As per latest information, Easaw also happens to be one of the four race drivers on the New Hampshire racetracks for his college car..

Out of 24 teams the NMIT-RVCE team from India gets the 9 th position ..

Car finally getting shipped to run on the New Hampshire speedway ....
with Michelin Zonda tyres..

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