Sump System to Reduce Oil Pressure Loss in a Formula SAE Vehicle

Photo of Jaime Medrano, Chelsey Purvis, Justin Trainor Students: Jaime Medrano, Chelsey Purvis, Justin Trainor

Sponsor: The University of Texas Society of Automotive Engineers

Date: Spring 2010

The sponsor does not have any explicit requirements other than reducing, if not eliminating, the oil starvation. In addition, the design team is responsible for reducing the size of the accumulator system for the 2010 racecar prior to competition in mid May. An issue with the current AccusumpTM system is its weight, because size and weight go hand in hand, dropping the system weight will lead to size reduction.. Size and weight of the system ware constrained based on the Accusump for packaging and performance reasons. In addition, the new accumulator system should be placed within the car's chassis.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has a car that is completely developed by the team to race in the Formula SAE competition. This car experiences loss of oil pressure in the engine during high lateral acceleration; the oil in the oil pan moves away from the pick-up tube when the car experiences lateral acceleration forces. To prevent this oil pressure loss, the FSAE team has installed an accumulator system that drives the oil into the engine block when an oil pressure loss occurs. The current accumulator system is sized for a passenger vehicle, making it larger and heavier than necessary. The design team is tasked with designing a smaller model of the accumulator that is specific to the formula car and aids in the oil pressure loss issue.

A working prototype of the new accumulator was manufactured in the machine shop by the design team. In order to finalize the design and dimensions, 3D CAD models were created. With these models, stress analysis was performed on different parts to determine the performance of the new accumulator. The new accumulator has been installed on the racecar for testing.

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