University of Auckland Formula SAE

The University of Auckland Formula SAE Team Inc is New Zealand’s oldest Formula SAE Team having been founded in 2003 and producing the first car in 2004. Formula SAE combines the engineering knowledge gained in class with a passion for motorsports and design brilliance. We compete annually in the FSAE-Australasia competition, which attracts entrants from across Asia-Pacific, Europe and America, and have also competed in the prestigious Formula Student Germany competition. By supporting our team, you will be helping to develop young kiwi talent, providing passionate students with the opportunity to push themselves and use what they are learning in their degree to innovate and compete in a demanding real-life project. Below is the launch video of the M023 car that set the fastest acceleration time ever achieved by an Australian team:

 


 

Among the successes the team has had since its inception, the M022 won the FSAE Australasia event in 2022, taking the win from a 10x competition winning team. In 2023, FSAE:47 won three out of five dynamic events and came first place in design, an enormous milestone for the team. The team is constantly pushing to have a fast, reliable car to compete for the win at the Australasian competition and that can be competitive on the world stage.

 

Every year FSAE:47 designs, builds, tests and races a brand new 4WD electric race car. This involves a collaboration of engineering design and manufacture across different subgroups such as composites, mechanical, electrical and most recently autonomous. The business team supports the subgroups by assisting with sponsorship outreach, marketing, media and much more.

 

The electrical subgroup is responsible for the entirety of the electrical systems on the car from data acquisition to the tractive system including the inverters and motors. Throughout the year, members undertake the design of multiple different PCBs for both safety critical systems and data acquisition purposes. A brief overview of some of the projects is provided below.

 

Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor (APPS)

In charge of increasing the definition of our accelerator, allowing us to smoothly and accurately read driver inputs. This takes the input of two potentiometers for redundancy, and outputs the pedal position to the ECU which is interpreted as a torque request. Potentiometers on the APPS allow device level tuning of the gain of the amplification of the input.

 

Brake Sensor Plausibility Device (BSPD)

A board that exists for the safety of the car. This board will detect if the accelerator and throttle are pressed at the same time. It does this by interpreting the signal of a current sensor that measures the current flowing out of the accumulator (HV battery) into the inverter. This signal is compared to the brake pressure readings, and if they are both above a tunable threshold at the same time, a latch will shut down the car. This requires a power cycle of the GLV system to reset.

 

Dashboard

The dashboard has been a big project over the last year. The team has developed an STM based FSAE dashboard with a range of custom displays. This is useful for informing the driver of the car’s status and to display any error codes that have occurred. It is also crucial for debugging on the bench, the LEDs surrounding the screen provide instant feedback about the status of the electrical system and is backed up by a debugging screen that has more information. An image of the 2023 dashboard is provided below:


Fuse Box

A joint data acquisition and power distribution system, the fuse box is responsible for providing power to the low voltage systems, monitoring their power usage and protecting them from unforeseen current spikes. The fuse box also provides data on the current draw of each output which is essential data when designing other parts of the car such as the GLV battery.


Accumulator Control

The accumulator (battery) control system is responsible for many of the features needed to safely operate a 500V LiPo battery pack. It gives us vital indications about the system’s health, turns power-flow on and off and allows us to interface with our battery charger to balance and monitor the cells during a charge cycle. In 2024, the team is looking to significantly reduce the size, weight and complexity of this system by combining PCBs, and looking into custom solutions to replace the off the shelf components such as the battery monitoring system (BMS).



These are only a few of the boards the team produces. Sponsors are an essential part in allowing the team to operate, with PCBway’s support we would be able to continually develop both the high voltage and low voltage systems that make the car as competitive as it is. The team is continually trying to operate at peak performance and having quality electrical components allows the car to do so. Support from PCBway would allow this continual development.


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Mar 01,2024
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