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F1 in Schools spotlight - Team Hydron racing into 2021 National Finals

Hydron is an F1 in Schools team from Trinity Grammar School, Kew. We are comprised of 5 students across years 10 and 11, who have been participating in the competition for three years. Whilst we share a common passion for the program, each member of our team has their own area of interest and expertise that we offer the group.

Andrew for instance, loves the engineering challenges presented, whilst Ben is more interested in the marketing side of things. We came together in early 2019 to participate in the Victorian State Finals later that year. There we were awarded 11 out of 15 category awards and placed first overall, allowing us to compete at the National Finals the following March. After months of hard work and preparation, we placed third in Australia, winning awards for graphic design and innovation.

More recently, we placed first at the 2020 Victorian State Finals, winning 11 of the 13 available category awards. Compared to the other teams across Australia, we were awarded the most points overall and the most category awards, an achievement we are very proud of.

Why is aerodynamics so important?

Aerodynamics play a key role in the engineering of an F1 in Schools car, as drag is a significant variable in determining a car’s performance on the track. For this reason, a great deal of time is spent streamlining and refining components through the use of CFD software. Without an accurate and consistent program, this process isn't reliable, as results are not definitive. This led us to Ansys and LEAP Australia, who provided the team with extremely precise and consistent CFD software to help refine the aerodynamics of our car. With better solvers and more control than any other program we have used, Ansys Discovery AIM has allowed us to drastically improve our engineering and aerodynamic testing processes. For instance, Ansys Discovery AIM allows us to view multiple analysis techniques simultaneously, which leads to a greater understanding of specific aerodynamic areas.

The experience of using Ansys Discovery AIM for our team was enjoyable; highlighted by the simple and intuitive workflow and the plethora of analysis tools available. Beginning with setup, Ansys Spaceclaim offered precise control of surface creation and wind tunnel dimensions. Within Ansys Discovery AIM, the ability to select exact faces allowed for simple but precise control of airflow, symmetry and rotating wheels. We also found the mesh fidelity slider control useful, allowing us to pick between a fast or an in-depth simulation. Analysis tools such as Isosurfaces, Contours and vector planes were used extensively by our team to analyse airflow, along with specific selections of calculated values to determine drag and lift on specific areas of the car.

How have we used Ansys to refine our car across the past year?

There are a number of key differences and improvements between our Nationals 2020 and States 2020 car models. Each of these came as a result of testing and refinement through the use of Ansys software provided by Leap Australia. The most noteworthy of these was a complete redesign of the car body. Pressure contour analysis inspired this change, as our Nationals car suffered from uneven pressure distribution. Our States car however, was able to achieve a much more even distribution, through gradual adjustment of the body's geometry. This improvement is evident when pressure contour analysis results from both models are compared side-by-side:

Hydron 2020 Nationals car pressure contour in Ansys Discovery AIM

Hydron 2020 States car pressure contour in Ansys Discovery AIM

We began our partnership with LEAP Australia and Ansys for the 2020 Virtual Victorian State Finals. After months of hard work from home, we placed first overall and were awarded 11 of the 13 available category awards. Our team is extremely proud of this achievement, especially the addition of Best Engineered and the Innovation Award to our trophy cabinet. Both of these awards are attributed to our engineering team, whose hours of testing and design, made possible by LEAP Australia and Ansys, allowed us to present a well-conducted engineering process and a well-designed car.

Our ambitions are high for the 2021 National Finals and we're already hard at work in preparation for the competition. We have started testing an innovative body type, which we will continue to develop over the coming months. Experimentation with new rear wing silhouettes has also begun, as we look to improve this component. Through the use of Ansys Discovery AIM and its suite of analysis techniques, we are also aiming to improve areas contributing to poorer aerodynamic performance. We're looking forward to racing our car at the event, and can’t wait to showcase our design on the track in 2021!

hydron car render

You can follow Hydron's journey to the National Finals through their social media accounts at:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teamhydron/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/teamhydron

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@teamhydron_

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/teamhydron

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoPeHV6E8MsOC8cos6tinww

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