Students’ drive for green power

MSP applications engineers Amanda Tait and Stefan Hafner with the students who worked on the greenpower car project.
MSP applications engineers Amanda Tait and Stefan Hafner with the students who worked on the greenpower car project.

Move over Ferrari and Mercedes, there’s a new race team in town.

Students at the Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick made their own car to compete in the Greenpower IET Formula 24 at Croft Circuit, near Darlington.

The car on the circuit at Croft.

The car on the circuit at Croft.

Over the past year, they have been working on creating a greenpower car, with sponsorship and technical help from Alnwick firm metrology software products ltd (MSP).

The project is organised by the Greenpower Education Trust to inspire students to get involved with engineering and MSP has been sponsoring the team.

On race day, the team got off to a tricky start when the car needed a new motor and was unable to complete many laps in the first race.

They managed to fit a new motor for the second race, although unfortunately they didn’t win.

Year 9 student Fiona Robson said: “Greenpower was a huge learning curve for our team and the girls especially. We all enjoyed looking at the other teams’ cars and taking ideas for our own next year.

“Being able to work under a time pressure also added to the experience as it was a new challenge for us to repair the car during the race. “We are fully committed and looking forward to the 2015-16 season.”

The students used last year’s car for the race, while focusing their attention on developing a complex carbon fibre car for 2016 using MSP’s sponsorship.

The car has a new, improved streamlined design.

This has given the students valuable experience of working with an innovative, contemporary material, one which is used in Formula 1 and the aerospace industry.

MSP has been able to utilise its engineering expertise with the new car.

Engineers created model and machining drawings and used their composite knowledge within the build and moulding of the vehicle. It is on course to be finished in early 2016.

MSP applications engineer Stefan Hafner, who has been heavily involved in the project, said: “It has been a really rewarding experience and something I’m glad to have been a part of.

“The Greenpower car concept is a great way to get young people into engineering and science, while also helping them think about some of the challenges faced in real-life design situations.”