The Human Power Team is a student team co-operative between the Delft University of Technology and the VU University of Amsterdam, with the objective to design and build an aerodynamic recumbent that is meant to break the world speed record.
The team was founded in September 2010, and in September 2011 it obtained a European and student record with a speed of 129 km/h, and in September 2013 that new world record was placed at 133.78 km/h, both by the cyclist Sebastiaan Bowier. This happened at the yearly World Human Powered Speed Challenge event in Battle Mountain, Nevada, United States of America.
At this moment, the fourth team of students is preparing for the new world record attempt with a new high-tech recumbent: the VeloX4. The technical part of the project is in the hands of the students from the TU. Just as important, is the guidance and training of the cyclists, which is in the hands of the VU students. This co-operation makes the Human Power Team a unique student team.
Saturday, 07 December 2013 17:46
After a series of testing, in which all the candidates have been able to display their qualities, the students of the faculty of Human Movement Sciences of the VU Amsterdam have made their choice. One of the two drivers is finally known!
The choice was primarily based on a model in which a simulates the record attempt, in order to determine how fast everyone could go in Battle Mountain. The chosen driver, whom's name we will keep secret for an other while, managed to reach a speed of 134 km/h in this simulation. Faster than the world record!
In the simulation, the following physical values are considered, as a consequence of the wingate test and the VO2max test on an ergo-meter belonging to our partner Lode:
The average output that one can produce during thirty seconds of peddling. The higher this value, the fastest one can sprint, which is very important in the last 200 meters in Battle Mountain, when the top speed is to be reached!
Output at the end of a thirty second sprint. This value says something about how long the sprint can be maintained. If this value is high, the driver will reach a higher speed since he can start increasing his output has he approaches the final sprint!
The turning point, this is the point at which one begins to "acidify". This means that the body cannot deliver the required output with the aid of oxygen. Thus, one starts to produce lactic acid. This parameter is important in the approach-phase towards the sprint in Battle Mountain. The higher the turning point, the faster one will be going in the moment the sprint-phase starts.
The last parameter is the drivers height. This is important, since the smaller the driver, the shorter the bike can be made hence resulting in less aerodynamic drag. The selected driver has a length of 180 cm and a gigantic "engine" as a matter of speech. He is thought to have what it takes to improve the world record. As of January 2014, the driver will be trained by our coaches towards the record attempts.
Monday, 25 November 2013 22:22
Last week started with a good talk with the drivers of the past year, they have been able to tell us a lot, giving us feedback with regards to what is good and has to be kept up, and what absolutely has to be improved with the new drivers. Through this session, we hope to learn from past mistakes, and will improve our project with regard to very important aspect, our drivers.
On Tuesday afternoon, three members of both the old and the new team were present at the National Constructors Day to instruct the audience about our project and what could be done with it. We really enjoyed this event, and would really want to thank the organisation for it.
Immediately afterwards, we had to run to Amsterdam in order to attend an assembly which discussed the Top Level Concept of the VeloX 4. It became a long session, but in the end we managed to come to a conclusion for all of our bike components. This (current) top level concept was presented to old HPT members on Wednesday night. They gave us very good feedback and a lot of tips which we are currently processing. According to the planning, we will have a definite top level concept by Friday, which will allow us to continue the design in a more detailed manner.
On Wednesday the new streamlined shape was tested in the windtunnel. The shape was tested for drag at different speeds and at different angles of attack. Moreover an oil-test and surface microphones were applied to examine the air stream. With these tests we could literally see and listen to the airflow, and determine where it was laminar, transitional or separated. With a great hurry, the results from the tests were immediately analysed on Wednesday and Thursday. With pride we announce that our new shape has a slight lesser drag when compared to its predecessor, the Velox 3. With this, we are very enthused.
On Thursday the sponsor thank-you-drink held place, for last years sponsors. All the sponsors and team members received a very nice miniature of the VeloX 3, which was made by Doeko.
Friday, in conclusion, was the sponsor night at Wil Baselmans' cycling club, het Snelle Wiel (the fast wheel). Wil has been able to tell his club members what it is like to work with our project, which has done for the past two years. Of course, the VeloX 3 was present.
This past week was a very busy, but definitely also a fun week for us and luckily a less intesive week is coming up. On Monday we will decide who will race the VeloX 4 through the desert, and other then that, we will continue with our daily business as opposed to all the events of this past week.
Monday, 18 November 2013 16:35
This week is going to be a busy one since the research and conceptual design phases are nearly finished. The guys from the Delft University of Technology have been developing concepts for each department. During a meeting, the best concepts will be selected and checked whether they will be compatible within a preliminary VeloX 4 top level concept. We will present our findings to former Human Power Team members in order to receive feedback and take their opions and experteese into account for the final concept decision.
For our aerodynamics research, wind tunnel tests will be performed on Wednesday the 20th and Thursday the 21st of November in the Low Turbulence Tunnel (LTT) of Delft University of Technology.
The aim of these tests is to validate the aerodynamic shape that was designed with software. If all goes well, we will have the new (concept) shape of the VeloX 4 at the end of the week.
Meanwhile, the students from the VU University Amsterdam have been testing our potential drivers. In total, data from twelve persons has been gathered which can now be analysed. The results will be compared and through a trade-off process the best suited driver for the team can be selected. Hopefully we will know within a few weeks who is going to be our primary driver!
Besides all these team moments, tonight, we will discuss all the things that were good last year, but also the things that were not that good with our riders of last year. Tomorrow we will speak on the 'Nationale Constructeursdag 2013' in Maarssen starting from quarter to four in the afternoon. As final event this week, we will attend a sponsor evening of cycling club 't Snelle Wiel' in Bladel on friday.
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