Orion Racing India is a Formula Student team from K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering in India. Having won Formula Bharat for the third time, Orion is celebrating their victory and preparing themselves for all their upcoming endeavors. The team was founded in 2006 and has made eleven combustion vehicles since. They’re a group of more than seventy intensely driven students who spend more time in their workshop than not.
Over the last twelve years, they’ve overcome a lot of challenges, made a lot of changes, and chugged a lot of coffee. Last year, in December, Orion Racing India decided to run their simulations on SimScale. It proved to be a fantastic choice and really helped boost their performance at Formula Bharat.
Orion Racing India’s Story with SimScale
It all started when Parth Mehta, the team captain, found out about the “Applications of CFD in Formula Student and Formula SAE” webinar, which covered all the features covered by SimScale. He ensured that all the team members responsible for aerodynamics and air intake systems (basically, all those members who used simulations concerning fluid mechanics) attended the webinar. A lot of previously fuzzy concepts were cleared up, and the review of all the concepts from the beginning strengthened their core and enabled them to work more efficiently later on. Any remaining queries and doubts were cleared up by the Customer Support team at SimScale, which had competent, well-informed members.
After the webinar, the members responsible for both systems had a lot of discussions, following which they decided to make the change. It was a risky choice, especially because the team was comfortable with the previous software and had been using it for a few years. Nevertheless, they decided to take the leap.
As they continued using SimScale, Orion realized it was reliable and impressively accurate. “The simulations are performed on their servers, which is very convenient and saves a lot of time because their servers are considerably more powerful,” says Jeet Trivedi, a member of their Powertrain system. A huge added benefit is the provision to run multiple simulations at the same time, in parallel. The unlimited core hours were very appealing to this bunch of workaholic students. A month later, the efficiency of the team was already much higher.
The team sped through their design phase and completed designing their parts a lot soon than they had planned. Consequently, they had a lot more time to test their vehicle, allowing them to weigh their options carefully before they picked the ones that benefitted their car the most. For example, in FSG 2017, their vehicle had the radiator at an angle of 45 degrees from the ground. After running multiple simulations and studying the pressure distribution on the face of the radiator, they found its optimum positioning, and the team changed the orientation of the radiator to 90 degrees. This is just one of the many little things that have made a huge difference.
Participating in the Formula Bharat 2018
Formula Bharat 2018 took place in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, this January. Orion’s presentation for an electric vehicle won them the first place for the Electric Vehicle Concept Challenge, with a second place in the Cost event, and a third place in the Design event. All of this, despite having no experience in actually making an electric vehicle for any other national or international competitions.
As for their Combustion Vehicle events, they crushed the Endurance event, bagging the first prize, along with Acceleration and Autocross in which they took third, and the Business report which won them the fourth place. After an extremely eventful year and a grueling four days of competition, they have been declared the national champions for the third time!
“It was a long journey, involving many sleepless nights and a lot of help from so many people! We’re overjoyed and so thankful to all of those who contributed to our success. SimScale played a huge role in our victory, and we’re very grateful”, said Varun Kotian as they signed off.
Orion Racing India at Formula Student East 2018
Later this year, the team also participated in Formula Student East (FS East), which was held on automotive proving ground (Zalaegerszeg, Hungary). The team is the first formula student team in India which successfully replicated the technology used in Formula One by making a carbon fibre monocoque chassis.
Their latest prototype, Bellatrix, was lightweight and had a full aerodynamic package. The analysis of the aerodynamic package with SimScale helped the students maximize the car’s performance and minimize the design time.
For the first time ever, the team members made it to the Final 6 for the Business Plan Presentation event and also secured the all-time high score of 110/150 points in Engineering Design at an international event, a feat untouched by any other Indian team. They secured an overall 4th position for the Static Events and 21st at the competition in the Combustion Class.
“What’s better than looking into the future? Shaping it! “ Keeping the above ideology in mind, the upcoming team is thoroughly motivated to research, develop and test an electric vehicle.
Next year, the team will be making its shift from a combustion one to an electric vehicle and they hope to reach the next milestone of creating a cleaner future for the wellbeing of humanity.
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