About Dartmouth Formula Racing - Hybrid Team
The task of the hybrid team has been to design, implement and test a platform for high performance hybrid technologies. The hybrid team consists of two groups that work in conjunction with Dartmouth Formula Racing.
The motivation for the project was that hybrid cars could excel in a competition like Formula SAE. The main restriction in a competition like the latter is the diameter of the air-intake. In addition, the tracks are intentionally designed to limit the top speed by only having short straights.
Hybrid cars have two advantages in such a setting. Electric motors can provide incredible amounts of torque, thus allowing the car to accelerate faster. They can also be used for regenerative braking and thereby recover a fraction of the energy excerted during acceleration. However, one of the biggest advantages is that the gas engine can continuously recharge the energy storage units, and thereby dramatically reduce the effect of the air-intake restriction.
Three groups have been working on the hybrid as part of their ENGS 190/290 sequence at Thayer School of Engineering. The project was initiated in 2003 by Curt Monaco and R. John Ring, who completed a feasibility study for designing a hybrid drivetrain for a Formula SAE car. Their work included a computer model and a scaled down benchtest of such a system.
In the following year Kip Benson, Sarah Hatridge and Philip Taber implemented a complete car named eSTAB. The main focus of this group was to demonstrate the acceleration that can be achieved by a hybrid design. The car's overall performance was limited by its weak regenerative capability and high weight.
The reports and pictures of these two groups can be found on the previous website.
The 2005/06 hybrid team was made up of a mechanical group (Abigail Davidson, Dana Haffner, Reed Sibley and Sally Smith) and an electrical group (Jacob Goodman, Naota Nakayama, Arne Kepp). Their common goal was to build a vehicle that could perform well in all Formula SAE events. The hybrid team became officially part of Dartmouth Formula Racing in 2006.
The car, el-Myra, was completed in May 2006 and displayed at the first annual Formula Hybrid competition. It also made a guest appearance at the Formula SAE competition in Detroit.