From racing car to bus

Future engineers have built an electrically driven racing car for Formula Student:

For the "Speeding Scientists Siegen"-Racing Team (S3) KEB Automation is supporting the vehicle drive of the future – e-mobility in the endurance test. But how does this relate to auxiliary power drives for buses?

"At the Hannover Fair 2012 we sealed our cooperation with a handshake," says Kuno Winkelheide, KEB Applications Engineer in the field of e-mobility. At that time, the young engineers of the University of Siegen came to the KEB booth in search of suitable inverters for their electric racing car. "Of course, we were happy to help out with the products and technical advice." Now, a few weeks ago, the 2019 Formula Student car was unveiled by the students – christened "Molly".

Initially, F5 drives were used, now the team uses COMBIVERT H6 drives. Their advantage: their modular design – which also makes the H6 a pioneer for KEB’s T6 e-mobility solution. "This allows the S3 team to adapt the size of the inverters to the requirements of an electric racing car," adds Winkelheide.
Therefore, the components can be installed where there is space. "To place four times 75 kilowatts in a 'small shoe box' is already an exciting accomplishment by the students," reports Winkelheide, enthusiastic about the performance of the young engineers.

Entering the economy

KEB gladly supports the racing car team wholeheartedly. "Of course racing cars fascinate many people," says the experienced engineer, "but for us, it’s also an important connection to science." In addition to the transfer of knowledge, several of the engineers of the first S3 team now work at KEB in the area of control and automation.

And it is precisely this that the new e-mobility solution for auxiliary power drives in commercial vehicles benefits from. The former racing engineers are part of the development team of the COMBIVERT T6. In this way, fully electric or hybrid buses, excavators and transporters are already being operated with racing know-how.

In addition, the close cooperation with the S3 team is also exciting for the KEB students and apprentices. At the latest presentation, the roll-out of the new "e-Racer", they got a glimpse behind the scenes. This meant they had the chance – apart from their daily work – to see what science projects can involve: the creation of a new racing car in 12 months.

The Formula Student races will take place in various categories from 5th to 11th August 2019 at the Hockenheimring in southern Germany.

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