Analog Devices & wob-racing: Pioneering Formula Student EVs

23-08-2023 | By Jack Pollard

In the exhilarating world of motorsports, Formula Student racing stands out as a beacon of innovation and engineering prowess. It's not just about the thrill of speed; it's a platform where young engineers showcase their talent, pushing the boundaries of automotive technology. As the industry witnesses a paradigm shift towards electric vehicles, the challenges and opportunities in this arena have magnified. 

Enter Team wob-racing, a stalwart in this domain, and Analog Devices, Inc., a titan of technological innovation. Together, alongside significant contributions from automotive ecosystem players like Vector and Bertrandt, they promise to redefine the landscape of Formula Student racing, blending legacy with cutting-edge advancements. This article delves into their journey, the marvel that is the WR17, and the profound impact of their partnership on the future of automotive engineering.

Team wob-racing proudly presented the WR17, its new race car for the Formula Student 2023 Season, during an event at Hammerstein Park in Wesendorf, Germany

On Friday, May 5, 2023, Team wob-racing proudly presented the WR17, its new race car for the Formula Student 2023 Season, during an event at Hammerstein Park in Wesendorf, Germany.

The Evolution of Formula Student Racing

The world of motorsports has always been a hotbed for innovation, but Formula Student racing holds a unique position. It's a crucible where the brightest young minds come together, not just to compete but to innovate, learn, and set new standards for the automotive industry.

In recent years, a significant transformation has been the shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) in racing. This transition is not merely about swapping fuel for batteries; it's a complete overhaul of traditional racing paradigms. Electric vehicles bring with them a slew of advantages, from instant torque to environmental benefits. However, they also present a set of challenges. The need for efficient battery management systems, the quest for extended range without compromising on performance, and the intricacies of electric powertrains are just a few of the hurdles teams face.

Amidst this evolving backdrop, Team wob-racing has carved a niche for itself. Founded two decades ago by students of the Faculty of Automotive Engineering at the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, the team has consistently showcased its engineering acumen. Their collaborations with industry leaders like Vector and Bertrandt have further elevated their stature. From their initial forays into the world of Formula Student racing to their pivotal decision in 2011 to focus on electric vehicle designs, their journey has been one of continuous growth and innovation. Their latest creation, the WR17, stands as a testament to their dedication, expertise, and the spirit of collaboration. It encapsulates 20 years of learning, experimentation, and a relentless drive to push the boundaries of what's possible in Formula Student racing.

The Power of Collaboration: Analog Devices and WR17

In the realm of technological innovation, few names resonate as powerfully as Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI). With a storied history spanning decades, ADI has been at the forefront of shaping the electronic landscape, particularly in the automotive sector. Their commitment to research, development, and pushing the boundaries of what's possible has made them a sought-after partner for many ambitious projects, including collaborations with industry giants like Vector and Bertrandt.

The WR17, Team wob-racing's latest marvel, is a shining example of electric vehicle engineering. At its heart lies a sophisticated electric powertrain, designed to deliver unparalleled performance on the racetrack. Every component, every system, has been meticulously crafted to ensure optimal efficiency, power, and reliability. From its aerodynamic design to its advanced telemetry systems, the WR17 is a masterclass in automotive engineering.

However, what truly sets the WR17 apart is the infusion of ADI's cutting-edge technology. The collaboration between Team wob-racing, ADI, Vector, and Bertrandt has birthed a vehicle that stands head and shoulders above its peers. A pivotal component of this collaboration is ADI's contributions to the inverter assembly and battery management system of the WR17. Inverters play a crucial role in converting the direct current (DC) from the batteries into alternating current (AC) for the electric motors, and ADI's technology ensures this process is seamless, efficient, and robust. Simultaneously, the battery management system, another area graced by ADI's expertise, ensures that the vehicle's batteries operate within their optimal parameters, guaranteeing longevity, safety, and peak performance.

In essence, the synergy between Analog Devices, Team wob-racing, Vector, and Bertrandt is not just about creating a race car; it's about crafting a vision for the future of automotive technology, where collaboration is the key to unlocking unprecedented achievements.

Shaping the Future: Insights from Industry Leaders

The trajectory of any industry is often defined by the visionaries who lead it. In the world of Formula Student racing and automotive engineering, voices like Felix Veltmaat and Shalini Palmer offer invaluable insights that illuminate the path forward.

Felix Veltmaat, the Technical Leader at Team wob-racing, has been instrumental in the team's journey. Reflecting on the development of the WR17, he emphasizes, "In the high-stakes, fast-paced environment of Formula Student racing, the reliability of electronic components is paramount. A single malfunction can spell the difference between victory and defeat. Our collaboration with ADI, alongside the support from Vector and Bertrandt, ensured that we had access to top-tier electronic components, seamlessly integrating into our WR17 and setting new benchmarks in race car development."

On the other hand, Shalini Palmer, Corporate Vice President of Sales, EMEA at ADI, offers a broader perspective on the industry. "The automotive world is on the cusp of a revolution, and the next generation of engineers is at its forefront," she remarks. "It's heartening to see young talents like Team wob-racing bring fresh ideas and perspectives. At ADI, we believe in the power of collaboration. By nurturing these young minds and fostering a spirit of co-creation, we're not just building faster race cars; we're shaping the future of automotive technology."

Looking ahead, the partnership between Analog Devices and Team wob-racing, bolstered by the contributions of Vector and Bertrandt, is more than a mere sponsorship; it's a beacon for the industry. As Formula Student racing continues to evolve, collaborations like these will pave the way for breakthroughs in electric vehicle technology, battery management systems, and more. The WR17 might be a race car of today, but it embodies the vision and promise of tomorrow's automotive world.

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By Jack Pollard

Jack has spent over a decade in media within the electronics industry and is extremely passionate about working with companies to create interesting and educational content, from podcasts and video to written articles for engineers and buyers.