Friday, July 19, 2013

Human powered vehicles, the pursuit of efficency and sustainability




We live in times where there is a calling for better use of our resources and better management of consumption.  As prices for fuel sours to its inevitable heights we desire lighter and more fuel efficient cars.  But there are bright and innovative groups of people out there that are creating human powered vehicles that aren’t just efficient, but really fast ones. 


Welcome to the world of streamline bicycle racing.  Take a bicycle, but a curvy body on top of it and paddle your way to a top speed of 133 Kph (current record). Every year Teams from around the World come to locations like Battle Mountain, Nevada to attend the World Human Powered Speed Challenge, an event where teams put their design and riders to the test to push boundaries of physics and aim to set the world record for fastest human powered vehicle.





Aerovelo in association with University of Toronto Human Powered Vehicle Design Team are one of the Competing Teams, consisting of Mechanical and Aerospace engineers. They strive to Build Lighter and more aerodynamic bikes and hopes to one day brake 140Kph. ACE was the inaugural streamliner designed and built by the U of T HPVDT. The primary design objectives were 1) ease-of-handling for rider training and 2) robustness and resilience. The team was very focused on CAD-based design right out of the gate, with the mechanical design and aerodynamic design both being done exclusively in Solidworks









Using Solidworks CFD capability they were able to determine laminar-flow performance, and the design of custom drivetrain components for improved efficiency and compactness.  The body shell structure is made using Carbon composites while the drivetrain is made of aluminum tubes.



Source http://www.aerovelo.com/projects/speedbikes/introduction/