UGRacing University of Glasgow – Formula Student
Read about a University of Glasgow automotive project we supplied with Solenoid Valves:
UGRacing are a team of students from the University of Glasgow who compete in Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, Formula Student run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and backed by industry and high profile engineers. Universities from across the globe are challenged to design and build a single-seat racing car in order to compete in static (design, cost and business) and dynamic (racing) events. As a high-performance engineering project it is extremely valued by universities and usually forms part of a degree-level project. Ross, the powertrain team leader, has been part of the team for four years. He got in touch with Zoedale looking for a solution to some issues they were experiencing with their newly designed oil pan.
In a motorsport application, it is advantageous to lower the centre of gravity as far as possible. It was for this reason that UGRacing uses a custom-designed oil pan, allowing the engine to be mounted lower in the car. However, this design leaves the engine liable to oil starvation, despite containing a similar volume of oil to the original oil pan. A solution for this is to use the Accusump. This component is an oil accumulator, which uses an air spring to release oil to the engine’s lubrication system when there is too little or to accumulate it when there is an excess. Another attractive feature of the Accusump is the ability to offer pre-oiling prior to the engine being started. However, in order to offer this feature, it is required that the idle oil pressure is stored in the Accusump, known as pre-charging. To achieve this, a valve is required to isolate the Accusump from the rest of the oil system. Previously, a manually-actuated ball valve was used. However, this produced packaging issues as well as the added problem of remembering to close the valve prior to killing the engine. It was therefore decided that a solenoid valve would be the optimal solution to this problem.
A Sirai L133 solenoid valve from Zoedale was seen to be optimal for this application, allowing the system to be isolated automatically when power is cut due to the normally-closed nature of the valve. Specific challenges in selecting a valve were in handling the large pressure differential experienced across the valve before pre-oiling. Should starvation occur at high revs, it was necessary that the valve was capable of allowing this substantial flow rate. The Sirai L133 valve offered a functional, easy to use solution, whilst being comparative in weight to the previously used ball valve.
At Zoedale we hold a large stock of various Solenoid Valves. If you have any questions or need a quote call 01234 832832 and we'll be happy to help.