Designed Car Race Simulation and Modelling


The PDF below provides much of the theory you need to understand how a solar car can be modelled. An excellent reference for anyone interested in applied mathematics.

Simulation in Excel

This Simulator below is a mathematical model of a student designed car on the 100m figure of 8 track. It is not a 100% accurate simulation as it approximates a generic car configuration. It is, however, a safe space to experiment with the parameters of your car before you begin construction. This simulator will demonstrate the differences of different gear ratios, of wheel sizes, of a three wheeled vs four wheeled car, the impact of an electronics unit, and the savings gained from weight reduction, aerodynamics and drag, and improvements to rolling resistance.

If you supply the model with accurate input data the resulting predictions are typically within 5% of results obtained from track testing.

Modelling in Mathematica

If you are looking for examples of applied mathematics and how Mathematica can be used, then take a look at the notebook below. It not only shows how you can simulate a car, but students are able to modify the code to improve their skills. There are also a few areas where students are encouraged to enhance the notebook. Note that there is no preview and you will need to download it to inspect it.

Doing more with applied mathematics in your class

If you want to talk more about how you can use MSVC to show students how mathematics can be applied, then contact us. We can help you with any questions you have about the documents below. We can also help you develop any ideas you might have.


We have also collected data on the performance of Faulhabour motors with a standard panel under different light conditions summarised in a word document

Simulator and Modelling theory

Model Solar Car Simulator Instructions

Excel Simulator

Fig 8 Track Simulation.xls

Mathematica Modelling Notebook

Car Simulator.nb

Motor performance for different light levels

SM 403 Faulhaber 2232 Comparison Performance Data low res.docx