Cam Phasing System for the Formula SAE Racecar

Photo of Kevin DeGarmo, Jakub Jodlowski, Samuel Kutscha Students: Kevin DeGarmo, Jakub Jodlowski, Samuel Kutscha

Sponsor: The University of Texas Society of Automotive Engineers

Date: Spring 2010

Requirements:
The introduction of a VCT system to the Formula SAE racecar should provide an increase in torque developed by the engine. According to the analysis conducted by the senior design team 20 degrees of camshaft phase authority yielded the optimum engine performance. The system must respond quickly. It is anticipated that the implemented design will provide a variation of 150 crankshaft degrees per second. A lightweight and compact design is required. The price of manufacturing should also be within the SAE budget. The system is expected to function properly if valve train friction does not exceed 6 Nm.

Problem:
The current UT Formula SAE racecar's engine suffers from a lack of torque in parts of the engine speed operating range due in part to the current set cam phase. Our team endeavored to optimize the power output through the research and implementation of variable cam phase technology (VCT).

Solution:
The design team chose a hydraulically actuated vane system, which is the standard method used in the automobile industry. Modeling with Ricardo WAVE indicates there is potential for considerable improvement in the performance of the engine with this design. When implemented, this will be the first system on an FSAE racecar and motorcycle engine.

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