Belgian Student Team Building Electric Race Cars with CAE

NUMECA tools help to optimize electric vehicle aerodynamics.

At the end of February, university race car building team Formula Electric Belgium unveiled its latest design that it plans to enter into the prestigious Formula Electric contest.

The new vehicle, dubbed the Umicore Pulse, is the fourth car built by Formula Electric Belgium.

Umicore Pulse rendering.

The Pulse was built by 50 students over nine months and can hit 100km/h in just 2.6 seconds.

The previous design (the team’s third attempt), named the Umicore Nova, was the first four-wheel-driven car the team had built and featured a single-piece monocoque, an adjustable suspension system and four in wheel motors, complete with an in-wheel gearbox surrounded by a 3D-printed aluminum cooling jacket. The power came from a modular battery system containing nine independent modules, and the motors produced 145kW, which accelerated the car to 100km/h in just 2.6 seconds.

The Nova accelerating.

Naturally, the team relies heavily on simulation tools for all of their designs, and the tool that the group opted for in this design was the NUMECA suite of products.

For the aerodynamics, Formula Electric Belgium used NUMECA’s FINE/Open with OpenLabs, which allowed the students to select optimum vehicle geometry to reduce drag (and increase downforce).

“NUMECA offers a powerful suite of tools that every aerodynamic team in racing could use,” said Christophe Jacobs and Seppe Verstraeten, engineers on the team. “The local mesh refinement comes in very handy. We’re using NUMECA for our master’s thesis to optimize the aeropackage on the Formula Student race car for Formula Electric Belgium. May the downforce be with us!”

Numeca offers a range of simulation packages aimed at various industries, including aerospace, power and automotive. Packages include simulation solutions for computational fluid dynamics(CFD) wind tunnels, acoustic problems and turbomachinery applications.

And if you are part of a student race car building team and need some assistance with your CFD problems, you can get a free student license for NUMECA’s FINE/Open with OpenLabs.