Penny marked DFR’s first-ever parallel hybrid racecar. Carrying over the well-designed chassis and suspension from 2009 the team set out to design a hybrid that looked, sounded, and drove like an FSAE car. Penny was to be the most reliable and robust DFR hybrid to date. The engineering and design team for Penny consisted of two captains, three 190/290 teams (Modular Front Motors, Vehicle Controls, and Engine/Generator), and a handful of new and old volunteers.
Penny sported a 250cc Honda CRF-X internal combustion engine along with a 43 hp AC15 electric motor. With this parallel drivetrain the team successfully implemented regeneration and “boost” with driver-operated paddles on the steering wheel. Along with the rear drivetrain, in-hub front motors were designed and fabricated. Each front wheel sported 15 kW Predator motors with 6 to 1 gear reductions. Ultimately these were not on the car for the dynamic events of competition but they received a lot of attention throughout the static events.
In 2009, DFR was the only hybrid team with inboard accumulators and in 2010 the team went even further. 40 ultra-capacitors were more efficiently packaged and lowered to provide the driver with more cockpit room as well as lower the car’s c.g. Other unique design features and improvements include a carbon fiber steering wheel complete with paddles and driver display, a carbon fiber seat modeled after Candi’s, redesigned aluminum uprights, and total weight savings of almost 100 pounds from 2009.
Penny performed very well at the Formula-Hybrid Competition earning a 6th (really 4th) place finish overall. Several obstacles and difficulties presented themselves at competition but due to the team’s desire and work to make this car truly reliable Penny was able to continue to compete and finish out the competition.