Eltham College Greenpower F24 Racing Project 

To celebrate National Engineering Day (Wednesday 4 November) we spoke to the Greenpower Formula 24 racing team at Eltham College for an update on the progress of the development of their electric cars.

The Greenpower Club is open to students from Year 7 through to the Upper Sixth and is a co-curricular activity with students meeting several times a week to build and develop new cars. Students work collaboratively in different teams to develop various aspects of the car: the powertrain team, the chassis team and the marketing team. Each team works to bring the various elements of the project together and ensure the cars comply with technical and sporting regulations set out by Greenpower Racing.

The challenge uses the excitement of motorsport to inspire young people to take part in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and over 200 schools from across the UK take part in the project. Once they have completed their cars each team need to compete in at least one regional heat and those that finish in the top three from the heats automatically qualify for the international final held annually in October at Rockingham Motor Speedway. Racing this year has unfortunately been cancelled due to ongoing restrictions.

The Eltham College Greenpower team consists of 6 members which include Miles and Benan (Upper Sixth), who have been stalwarts of the club over the last six years. Both students have been involved with the initial concept, through to design and build of the current car. Members of staff oversee the build to help guide students on the tasks they must undertake – but the work on the car is undertaken solely by the students.

The teams are currently working on two cars. A ‘Goblin’ kit car which is currently being built by the Year 7 team, and Year 8 to Upper Sixth are working on a bespoke car that is built from an aluminium honeycomb composite structure – a monocoque, with wheels made from machined aluminium and are currently focusing on building a telemetry board into the car to gather data whilst racing. There are strict regulations provided with each kit car pack in order to ensure the safety of the drivers and to give young people an insight into real world engineering.

We spoke to Miles and he said, “Going forward into next season the team is thinking about a carbon fibre monocoque. It is lighter and will have higher torsional rigidity, which will allow for an improvement in aerodynamic efficiency and terminal velocity for the car.”

Greenpower Racing Club is run by Maxim Gennari, Head of Design and Technology and he commented, “This is an exciting opportunity for students, inspiring engineers and racing drivers of the future. It will support students in learning valuable engineering and workforce skills. Past students involved in the build of our current car are now studying Aeronautical and Aerospace engineering at Cambridge, Bristol and Imperial. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic we have been unable to take the car on the circuit in 2020. The students are continuing to work on the cars and hope to return next year for a good season.”

For more information see the Greenpower website: https://www.greenpower.co.uk/