Among the guests at the Intrepid Tech Day last February 8th, we met the Dynamis PRC team from the Politecnico di Milano, which took second place in the driverless category at the German and Hungarian 2022 editions of the Formula Student, one of the largest competitions among prototype racing cars in the world, designed and built by university teams, competing in three main categories: combustion , electric and driverless vehicles. The team shared with us their experience on the effective use of Intrepid tools during vehicle design, testing and in-race activities.
We delved into the topic with Giorgio Agnelli, technical director of the team’s electric division.
What has been the team’s path in Formula Student?
Our Dynamis PRC team, the racing team of the Milan Polytechnic University, has been participating in the electric category since 2020, after reaching fourth place in the world ranking of the combustion category in 2019. In the 2022 season, we also debuted in the driverless category.
What are the challenges you face in designing and building an electric race car?
One of the key components of an electric car is the battery pack: it has to provide the energy needed for the entire Endurance test, provide peak power to the motors to achieve good lap times, and be as light as possible. Since the first year in the electric category, we have designed and built the battery pack in-house with very limited resources, which implies very little margin for error. The development process has three main stages: design, production and testing. All phases are very important, and the use of custom batteries required a very thorough testing phase for safety purposes.
How did you overcome the challenges in the testing phase and what role did the Intrepid tools play?
To conduct the tests, we needed a high-voltage bidirectional power supply and a tool to monitor all cell temperatures and voltages in real time. Intrepid Control Systems’ ValueCAN4 device, the special award sponsored by Teoresi for the best car electronics development process, we won during Formula SAE Italy 2021, played a crucial role in our testing phase.
Thanks to Teoresi’s training in the use of the device, we were able to build a high-voltage battery test bench using only a monitor and the ValueCAN4, reducing development time and allowing us to focus on the actual testing part.
How the support of Teoresi and Intrepid helped you position yourself so well in the competition?
Teoresi’s support and the features of the ValueCAN4 device were instrumental in our success last season. In particular, because the Battery Management System has a CAN interface and sends all battery cell data over this communication channel, we were able to use the BMS software without the need to develop specific test software. The ability to record the data received and display it in real time allowed us to monitor tests and perform subsequent analysis with ease, using a single, simple interface.
The ValueCAN4 was also useful during the initial testing phase of the entire prototype and during competition events, where it would have been too impractical and time-consuming to set up remote telemetry. The device allowed us to monitor the temperatures and voltages of all cells in real time, helping us to identify any problems and improve the safety and overall performance of the battery pack.
If you would like to learn more about the range of Intrepid technologies designed for the automotive sector, visit the dedicated area of our website or contact the Teoresi Products team.