The 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship — the world’s most prestigious electric car racing event — will soon gear up for the second half of its sixth season, which was suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The next six races kick off on August 5 in Berlin and the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team has the championship in its sights.
As the team’s official partner, Ansys helped pioneer the design of the Porsche 99X Electric, Porsche Motorsport’s first fully-electric race car. Porsche Motorsport engineers used Ansys’ suite of physics-based simulation software solutions and embedded software development tools to create the advanced Porsche E-Performance Powertrain, which helps the 99X Electric significantly increase peak power and energy efficiency, giving it a critical edge on the competition.
Porsche’s innovation will soon expand from the racetrack to roads as the 99X Electric’s powertrain will help perfect e-mobility features and usher in a new era of passenger electric vehicles that will be more energy efficient than ever.
Pedal to the Metal
Imagine racing at extreme speeds through challenging urban courses, around tight corners and up steep inclines within the world’s biggest cities. Your car needs to be as energy efficient as possible to gain all the energy it can, providing you with a bit more speed that gets you over the finish line faster than your rivals. What will give your car the edge it needs?
Formula E regulations require each vehicle use an identical chassis and battery, but the powertrain can be customized, making it a true game-changing capability.
Driven by this creative freedom, Porsche engineers used Ansys technologies to develop and integrate next-generation powertrain components — including the motor, gear box, power electronics and the control software — ensuring the 99X Electric delivers maximum energy efficiency and world-class performance throughout each race.
This critical competitive advantage empowers the driver with many tactical options as he surges for the lead or defends his leader position on the racetrack, enabling him to push the car’s performance to its absolute limits.
Engineering Next-Generation E-mobility
To design the winning formula for the 99X Electric’s powertrain, Porsche engineers leveraged Ansys’ system-level multiphysics solutions. For example, performance and efficiency of the 99X Electric’s traction motor was optimized using Ansys’ field simulation solvers – for the best trade-off between aspects like inverter induced losses and cooling effort, torque, weight, etc. Ansys’ unique approach to optimize the powertrain behavior by including highly accurate models of batteries, inverters, motors, gearboxes and such in combination with best-in-class robust design optimization strategies allowed for achieving optimum electric powertrain system performance.
By leveraging these technologies, Porsche engineers reduced the need for physical prototypes, enabling virtual testing of design ideas to rapidly arrive at an optimum design. This delivered tremendous energy efficiency for vital subsystems and components, enabling the 99X Electric to sustain extreme speeds over long distances across the track.
From the Racetrack to the Tech Lab
Formula E racing accelerates the development of environmentally friendly, efficient, affordable and sustainable vehicles. With the 99X Electric’s factory entry into the Formula E 2019/2020 championship race, Porsche writes a new chapter its impressive motorsport history and will leverage key 99X Electric technologies for designing future commercial e-mobility models. The experiences derived from the Formula E Project will be applied to future series production cars.
The move from the track to the road continues a long tradition at Porsche where the company’s hybrids, fully electric vehicles, race cars and series production vehicles have fueled each other’s development for nearly a decade. For example, 2010’s Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid — the first hybrid race car — helped develop the Porsche 918 Spyder.
Watch this video for a deeper dive on how Ansys and Porsche Motorsport are leading the field in the race to next-generation e-mobility.