While the Rennschmiede Pforzheim team was previously represented at the Formula Student competition by a combustion-engine vehicle, it will enter an electric race car for the first time in 2020. This not only means a change in design, but also in support from STOBER. While this support was purely financial in the past, the drive specialists now also provide gear units, motors, drive controllers and plenty of know-how. At the end of November, the students invited sponsors and supporters to the college, where they presented the new concept of the RSP20.
The students of Rennschmiede Pforzheim know it will not be easy for them at the upcoming Formula Student Electric (FSE). They have previously celebrated successes on the big racing tracks of the world with vehicles equipped with a combustion engine. “Developing a purely electric race car is certainly new territory for us. We have to completely rework our concept,” says Michael Schaffranek to the group of gathered sponsors, friends and supporters invited by the college, Hochschule Pforzheim. Schaffranek studies mechanical engineering and has assumed technical leadership of the mechanics for this season. Making it into the top ranks is not even the goal in in 2020, however. “For now, we want to develop a vehicle that we can even get to the starting line. On this basis, we can then improve throughout the year.” The Rennschmiede team relies on familiar technologies and the help of sponsors to build a roadworthy race car. These sponsors include STÖBER Antriebstechnik from Pforzheim. “We have long had an excellent relationship with the college,” says Stephan Scholze, Head of Management Center Electronics at STOBER. “In the past, we provided purely financial support as a platinum sponsor of the team. Now, we supply top-quality drive components, and our engineers help the team out with their extensive expertise,” adds Dr. Florian Dreher, STOBER’s primary contact for matters of geared motors. The drive specialist supplies two high-speed synchronous servo motors, which the aspiring engineers then attach to the rear axle, as well as two compact planetary gear units and two highly dynamic SI6 drive controllers. These units are used in machine tools, for example, or even in pickand-place systems—in other words, wherever movement and positioning have to be extremely fast and precise. And this is a pet project of the Pforzheim specialists. “We actually don’t equip vehicles with our solutions,” explains Dr. Dreher. For this reason, he and his colleagues from the respective development departments modified the gear units slightly, and the motors and drive controllers a little more—”but did not integrate them,” he emphasized. That is ultimately a job to be done by the students. While drive controllers are located in the control cabinet at STOBER customer facilities, in race cars, they must be in a housing that protects them against dirt and moisture. In addition, highefficiency cooling for the geared motors and more power at the controllers are also important.