Formula electric: Design and integration

Dominic Villa, Mark Allison, Kevin Claggett, Stuart Hopson, Timothy Hight, Monem Beitelmal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A new electric power train design to power an open-wheel, single seat electric race car to compete in the 2014 SAE Formula Electric competition is presented. This research project is part of the clean technology initiative for sustainable energy sources for automotive application proposed by the Santa Clara University Formula Electric (SCUFE) team. In this paper, a new battery pack design and integration is evaluated. This includes analysis of battery cell connectivity, cell enclosure, safety system, and battery control system. The cell connectivity proposed will maximize electrical conduction through surface area contact of the cell tabs while allowing for quick removal of individual cells in the case of cell failure. The structure of the pack enclosure will consist of polycarbonate panels. The connection panels will be mounted between the wall enclosure lid and wall in order to prevent the pack from being opened when the contactors are engaged, preventing the risk of exposure to high voltage. The proposed design allows the pack to be completely removed from the vehicle for easier disassembly and transportation. The exterior connections will consist of one large plug for the power cables as well as a smaller plug assembly for the battery management system (BMS) and other necessary sensors and connections. Cell voltage states will be monitored through the BMS. In addition, maximum voltage capacity and cell storage capacity will be analyzed and discussed. Recommendations on future designs will also be presented in light of preliminary results on the efficiency versus performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnergy
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Print)9780791856284
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
EventASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2013 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 15 Nov 201321 Nov 2013

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)
Volume6 A


OtherASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Villa, D., Allison, M., Claggett, K., Hopson, S., Hight, T., & Beitelmal, M. (2013). Formula electric: Design and integration. In Energy (ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE); Vol. 6 A). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).