Venue: Technology Department
We are very excited to have a team of ten pupils going to take part in the Greenpower Educational Trust’s electric kitcar competition.
So what does the competition entail?
The team were given three months to design and build an electric vehicle that would go as far as possible in ninety minutes. All teams have the same motor and one pair of 12 volt batteries per race. During the race at least three team members must drive the car, and up to six further members act as pit crew. Other than the motor and batteries you are free to design a car from your own imagination, or as we have done, build one of the fantastic Greenpower kit cars. All cars must follow a set of strict regulations.
Ballyclare Secondary School is extremely proud of the performance of the Kit Car Team but it must be noted that without the support of local business it would not have been possible to compete at such a high level. We are very thankful to our business sponsors who made this project a huge success.
Woodside Logistics Group, W.J. Scarlett & Son Builders Merchant DIY and Aalco Metals Ltd.
Forget Fossil Team 2019
Reece Harvey, Zara Jones, Kieren Ferguson, Victoria Jebb, Mackenzie Williams, Abby Turbitt, Andrew Turner, Eva Campbell, Andrew Keys and Jasmine Shields.
Ballyclare Secondary School have been competing in the Greenpower Educational Trust F24 Kitcar competition for the past five years. On Saturday 18th May at Kirkistown Race Track they became the All Ireland Champions for the third year in a row. The team of pupils, made up of five boys and five girls, raced two cars (one a Kitcar and the other a self build) on the day and managed 1st and 2nd in both races against a competitive field of 11 other kitcars from as far away as Dublin University. The aim of the Greenpower competition is to “inspire young people around the world to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths through a unique challenge: to design, build and race an electric car”. Over 500 schools from around the world take part with the pinnacle event being the International Final, held this year at Silverstone Race Track in October.
To take part schools must design and build an electric powered kitcar, then drive it as far as possible in 90 minutes. To maintain a level playing field all schools must use the same batteries and motor. This year Ballyclare’s two cars drove incredible distances of 32.77 miles and 31.46 miles.
Teacher Mr D Beckington said “It is hard to explain how rewarding being involved in the F24 Kitcar project can be. There are so many valuable experiences our pupils have had in the past year. The majority of the current team study GCSE Technology and Design, Resistant Materials. Although Electronics is part of the core it is not the main focus of the course, rather students study Materials, Tools and Processes as well as an emphasis on good Design. The 2019 team, using their course knowledge set about trying to improve the existing 2018 car without having to dive too deep into the electronics. The team recognized that the 2018 chassis material, aluminium, was a good choice with its strength to weight ratio, but after carrying out material density calculations they soon realised that thin Plywood was actually lighter yet still gave the structural strength needed. By reading through all the rules carefully, the team managed to design and manufacture a lighter kitcar but they also improved the overall shape to be more aerodynamic than the previous car”.
Eva Campbell said “it is one of the best things I’ve ever been involved in. To design something from scratch, build it and then actually drive it was so much fun. We really have grown close as a team over the last few months and we all worked well together on the day to become the All Ireland champions for the third successive time. I would highly recommend all schools to get involved”.
The school wish to thank their very supportive local sponsors Woodside Logistics Group, W.J. Scarlett & Son Builders Merchant DIY and Aalco Metals Ltd for their support over the past year.
Ballyclare Secondary School now go to the International Final in October along with Campbell College Belfast to represent the island of Ireland and hopefully bring home some more silverware.
Forget Fossil Mk2 -2016 Team
Members of the team:
Jordan Drummond Michael Hamilton Robyn McConnell Jay Mckenna Brandon McQuitty
Megan Reid Lois Sellars Wallace Shanks
Greenpower International Final 2016
It has been another very successful year for Ballyclare Secondary School’s, Formula 24 Kitcar team. On Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October,eight pupils competed in the Greenpower International Final at Rockingham Speedway circuit in England. The eight pupils; Jay McKenna, Robyn McConnell, Wallace Shanks, Lois Sellar, Brandon McQuitty, Megan Reid, Michael Hamilton and Jordan Drummond were selected for the team after presenting individual power point presentations and engaging in a question/answer session on what they would do to improve the performance of the previous year’s car, Forget Fossil MK1. In order to get to the final, the pupils had to design and manufacture an Electric Kitcar to go as far as possible in ninety minutes using only two 12v batteries. All teams use the same batteries and motor to ensure fairness. At the Kirkistown Regional Final Forget Fossil MK2 the teams racing name, finished third overall travelling a distance of 29.1miles. This qualified the team for the International Final at Rockingham race circuit. A point that must be made is that Forget Fossil Mk2 was racing a completely self-built Kitcar. The aluminium material for the chassis was generously supplied by Aalco Mallusk. The team measured, cut and shaped the aluminium pieces for the frame of the chassis. Under the supervision of Alistair Moore Welding, the new chassis was TIG welded for the kitcar. A big thank-you to both Alistair Gibson and Paul Sellar, from Alistair Moore Welding, for all their help and assistance. The wheels, tyres and rims, for the new car were also kindly sponsored and provided by Chain Reaction Cycles.
To raise money for the trip to England the pupils organised a Chinese Banquet at the Bambou in Templepatrick. Over one hundred and thirty people attended. After the meal the pupils had a large number of donated items to raffle, including four items for auction. A special mention must be given to the generosity of Chain Reaction Cycles for donating a BMX bike, Hilton Hotels, for donating a voucher for one night’s Bed and Breakfast at the Hilton Hotel Belfast and Mr J Harkness for organising a range of items including a £50 Marks and Spencer voucher as well as a £50 Knags voucher for the Glengormley restaurant. The event raised a total of £2285 which was outstanding.
The next challenge for the team to overcome was how to get both themselves and the kitcar over to England to compete at Rockingham. A member of the schools Board of Governors, also a parent of one of the team members, Mr A McConnell offered his services, to drive a minibus with trailer to get the car and spare chassis and associated tools and equipment over in order for the team to compete. A huge thanks to Woodsides Haulage, who kindly sponsored both the minibus and trailer onto the Liverpool/Belfast ferry. The pupils and staff, flew over to Birmingham airport
Kirkistown Regional Final
Following on from last year’s success, eight pupils competed in the Greenpower Educational Trust’s electric kit car Northern Ireland F24 Regional Final at Kirkistown on Saturday 11th June.
The team were given seven months to design and build an electric vehicle that would go as far as possible in ninety minutes. All teams had the same motor and one pair of 12 volt batteries per race. During the race at least three team members had to drive the car, and the remaining members act as a pit crew. Other than the motor and batteries the design of the car is very much up to the teams taking part, although there were a lot of very strict and complicated rules to follow for obvious safety reasons.
To be part of the F24 team all potential team members had to do a presentation in front of a panel of Teachers. The presentation was to be on the improvements they would make to the first Ballyclare Secondary Kitcar ‘Forget Fossil’. The presentations were all very impressive but from it eight pupils were selected. They were Jay McKenna, Brandon McQuitty, Jordan Drummond, Michael Hamilton, Wallace Shanks, Robyn McConnell, Lois Sellars and Megan Reid.
This year’s team decided to keep the very appropriate name ‘Forget Fossil’ with the addition of ‘Mk 2’. They set about making some of the changes to Forget Fossil Mk1 that had been discussed in their earlier presentations. Some of the changes made to the car were: a lighter chassis made from aluminium; a motor speed controller; heat dissipating fins on the motor; and a set of thinner tyres. Over the next few months the team set about making the changes, the chassis by far taking the most time. A big thanks must be given to Aalco for kindly sponsoring all the Aluminium required and Alistair Moore Welding for helping the pupils to weld the frame together. By doing this the chassis frame was much lighter thereby not using as much energy from the batteries. The Motor Speed Controller was quite hard to find and in the end the pupils selected a ‘Soft Start’ controller which meant the chain and motor weren’t put under the same pressure when starting off. Adding the fins to the motor to dissipate the heat was in an attempt to save more energy, a hot motor is losing energy through heat. The thinner wheels were for aerodynamics and friction. The less contact the wheels had with the road the better. All in all when Forget Fossil Mk2 was finished we were very pleased with the outcome and looked forward to the Kirkistown Regional Final.
There were twelve teams competing at Kirkistown. Two teams had come up from Dublin University to compete and also Stranmillis College Belfast so it was a very competitive field. The car was put through a very stringent MOT at 8:30am and thankfully passed with a few tweaks here and there. After a very successful practise session the team were raring to go in Race 1. In the first few laps of the race Forget Fossil Mk2 was performing very well and was fluctuating between second and third. It was on the hour mark however that the battery power dropped dramatically and as a result the team fell into seventh place. It was disappointing after all the hard work but the team thought there may have been a technical issue that had caused the battery power to drop and sure enough at the start of Race 2 a loose wire was spotted on the Isolator switch. A quick fix and Race 2 was underway. For eighty of the ninety minutes Forget Fossil Mk2 was in first place and then as the power started to drop. In the last few laps we were passed by St Ceciallas College. Forget Fossil Mk 2 managed to drive 29.5 miles in the ninety minutes and averaged 20.5mph. This was a great achievement given last year’s car travelled 23.5 miles on a single set of batteries. The team were much happier with the performance in the second race and with the very comfortable second place.
At the prize distribution Ballyclare Secondary School Forget Fossil Mk2 won:
Best Portfolio. This was a diary documenting their design and manufacturing process, the decisions they made along the way and the justification for their final design.
Best engineered Car. This was one the Team really wanted to win as they had spent the year building a whole new chassis from Aluminium, the Motor Speed Controller and the new wheel setup.
Second in Race 2. Narrowly beaten by St Cecellias but a very good performance by the car.
Third overall for the whole event. By adding together the distance travelled over the two races and also the awards won, Forget Fossil was placed third overall. Given the calibre of teams competing this was a great achievement. This also gave us an automatic entry into the Rockingham National Final in England in October.
So where do Forget Fossil Mk2 go from here? Well, they are hopefully going to fit a belt drive system to replace the current chain drive. That will increase efficiency and hopefully get us the last few laps we need to finish first. A new set of wheels will be needed as the alignment wasn’t perfect at Kirkistown and so the current tyres have got very badly worn. The Team are hoping to run a Fundraising event at the Bamboo in Templepatrick in September to get funds for the upcoming trip to Rockingham.
Rockingham here we come!
Forget Fossil – Team 2015
Members of the team.
Kyle Barr Crawford Ewing Jack Keery Adam Elliott Amy Baxter
Andrew Morrison Ellie Cooke David McConkey Joshua Bell Jack Patterson
The first thing the team had to do was get a strong name. They have gone for FORGET FOSSIL. The name was a reminder to go electric and leave fossil fuels such as petroleum behind, therefore being better for the environment.
Most Recent Events
Rockingham International Final 2015
On Friday 9th Oct eight pupils from Forget Fossil, Ballyclare Secondary School’s Formula 24 team, set off to compete in the Greenpower International Final. Forget Fossil are the first ever Ballyclare Secondary School Kitcar team and after an excellent performance at the regional final in May were very excited to have qualified for the International Final at Rockingham Speedway in Northamptonshire, England.
On arrival at Rockingham Speedway on Saturday morning at 7:45am there was already a real buzz and atmosphere around the circuit, even though it was very early in the morning! Forget Fossil immediately went to garage 11 to get their Kitcar. The kitcar had been kindly crated up by WS Denison the previous week and taken to Rockingham by Woodside Haulage. Without their help the team would have had no kitcar to race. After reassembling parts of the car the team went to register and find their paddock/pitt area for the two day competition. Forget Fossil were in paddock 29. They were to share the paddock with two other teams from the USA, one from Huntsville Alabama and one from Boston Massachusetts. The moment they entered the paddock they realised this was a huge step up in standard from the regional final! Beside them in paddock 28 was two teams from Poland, and to our other side was a team from Berkamstead School, Hertfordshire. When the Huntsville Alabama team tell you that NASA help develop their car you know you might be slightly out of your league.
At 8:30am the car had to go through its MOT, just like a normal car would. The scrutiniser was very thorough, checking that Forget Fossil had manufactured everything on the car to the correct tolerances and within the regulations of the competition. After a nervous ten minutes the car was given a pink sticker to signify its passing of the test. The team then had an opportunity to have a look at some of the other cars they would be competing against over the two days. We were one of the very few first time teams at the event and it was obvious the majority had been there before. The standard of shell and chassis design was phenomenal. The scope of electronics within the other cars was way beyond what Forget Fossil had expected. Nevertheless the first practise session was beginning at 9:30am and the pupils were raring to go.
The first practise session brought back some bad memories of our initial tests of the car. The back axle moved slightly and therefore the chain had come off the sprockets. In the build-up to the final the team had drilled holes for locating the axle grub screws to stop this problem but they quickly realised, at Rockingham, it was the grub screw vibrating loose that was the problem. So the team pitted and brought the car back into the paddock were they removed the grub screws from the back axle and put them back on with Thread Lock in an attempt to keep them in place. Just in case they didn’t stay in place the team decided they would Pitt every four laps. This was going to reduce the number of laps we would be able to complete but it meant not having to waste time putting the chain back on which would be more time consuming.
As the cars lined up for the start the difference between the regional and now was very clear, with 12 cars competing in NI and 38 racing in Rockingham. The Forget Fossil team were apprehensive and excited for the first race. Crawford Ewing drove the car during the first few laps and Kyle Barr took over after four. The Pitt crew checked all grub screws were tight and the chain was still in line during each Pitt stop as well as assiting in the driver changeover, it’s not easy to get in and out of a small kitcar. At the regional the car averaged 21kph but here it was only reaching 15.6kph. The drivers put this down to the slight but very long incline on the last half of the track which was 1.47 miles long. In the end the car drove for 73 minutes and managed a distance of 19.1km. This put us in 34th place. Although we weren’t near achieving a podium position the pupils all enjoyed the racing experience.
The afternoon was the F24+ race. The cars in this race were very impressive hitting speeds of up to 40kph, using the same motor and batteries as we had. It definitely inspired Forget Fossil and showed them what was possible with the right engineering. Getting to see the engineering Graduates from Land Rover Jaguar and Cummings compete was fantastic. Some of the F24+ teams had live transponders to feed information back to the Pitt crews to analyse their cars performance. Our pupils were so impressed by the technology these teams had in their cars.
Before the team left for the evening there was another practise session when we gave the whole team the opportunity to have a drive round the track in the kitcar. For some of the team this was their first time behind the wheel.
Sunday International Race.
There were 78 competitors in the F24 International Final on the Sunday. It really was a magnificent sight. The paddock area was a hive of activity as teams from across the whole of the Uk got ready for the race. The team were much better prepared for this race, having charged up the batteries from the night before, pumped the wheels to their max PSI and worked out a quicker Pitt stop routine. Thankfully our kitcar managed an extra lap around the track. We finished 72nd.
WHAT AN EXPERIENCE
Although Forget Fossil didn’t finish high up in the field, none of the group will forget the experience of going and competing at Rockingham. The sight of all 78 teams lining up on the race track, the shapes and sizes of the other cars, the camaraderie they had with their own teammates and other teams will stay with them for a very long time. Getting to see the quality and standard of the other schools and what is capable when time, effort and expertise are all utilised to the maximum. Can Forget Fossil Mk2 improve on Forget Fossil Mk1? Of course, now that they have witnessed the standard at the very highest level it will be much easier to know the next step: a lighter chassis, thinner and smaller wheels, a belt drive to replace the existing chain one, a motor speed control unit, a throttle rather than a switch. The possibilities for Forget Fossil MK2 are endless and we at Ballyclare Secondary School are looking forward to the next year and the challenge that it will bring for the next group of students.
Nutts Corner Race Track
On 23rd May a team of ten Year 11 Technology pupils went to Nutts Corner Race Track to take part in the Greenpower Educational Trust’s Electric Kit Car competition.
How did we do?
There were twelve kit cars competing on the day, nine designed and built by schools, one from Newtownabbey Regional College, one from University of Ulster and one from Stranmillis College Belfast.
FORGET FOSSIL won three of the seven awards:
We won the award for the best newcomer and given that there were six new teams taking part, this was a great achievement.
All teams had to submit a portfolio documenting how they designed and built their car. Our portfolio, which exceeded thirty A3 pages, was a detailed insight into the engineering of our kit car.
THE SEIMENS DIGTAL AWARD
This was for the team who made the best use of CAD, Computer Aided Design. We used CAD to design the body of our car but also to analyse the aerodynamics.
Results from the track:
THIRD IN HEAT 1
Our kit car did 31 laps of the track, traveling 24.5km.
FASTEST LAP TIME
We set the fastest lap from both heats in the competition in a time of 2m16s, averaging a speed of 20.8mph.
This was an exceptional performance for a first attempt at the competition. The teams who finished 1st and 2nd had both competed in the competition before and had taken part in the UK final last year at Goodwood. A huge congratulations to all the pupils involved.