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Relec supports Team Bath Racing Electric with cockpit display

29 November 2019

Specialist distributor, Relec, is celebrating the success of Team Bath Racing Electric (TBRe) in the recent Formula Student UK.

Formula Student is the world’s largest engineering design competition. Undergraduate teams from universities in the USA, Australia, India, the Far East and Europe compete to design, build and race a Formula style, single-seater racing car.

Relec was proud to be one of the sponsors for TBRe and supplied an eight-inch letterbox LVDS TFT display which was integrated into vehicle. The colour active matrix display consists of a TFT panel, a driving circuit, and a backlight system. It features an active area of 194.4 x 58.32mm (8.0-inch), a resolution of 1600 RGB x 480 pixels and 2000cd/m2 brightness, contrast of 900:1 and a wide viewing angle.

To help the team and driver in the harsh race conditions, the display had an anti-glare treatment and was fitted with a PMMA (polycarbonate) cover lens, replacing the conventional glass version which cannot be used in automotive applications.

Critical for electric vehicles, the addition of the eight-inch TFT display has a low power consumption. It operates from a 3.3Vdc supply and the LED backlight operates from a 28Vdc 200mA 5.6W supply.

The display was vital for the team’s challenge, displaying details of speed and the distance travelled. It also provided valuable information on battery and performance, with illustrations of the battery cell voltages, power output, battery charge and temperature to help the vehicle team and driver develop the automotive system for the race. As well as helping the team, the display was used by officials at the scrutineering phase of the competition, where judges assess each team’s project.

Relec also supplied TBRe with an HDMI AD board for use with a Raspberry Pi development board.

TBRe has taken part in the event for the last four years, refining the car design each time. This year, artificial intelligence (AI) was introduced as the University’s AI team worked on the 2018 car, with some radical changes to the design to convert the University’s entry to a fully autonomous vehicle.

Relec is committed to support the next generation of engineers. Members of its technical team visit schools, colleges and universities to discuss interfacing power conversion and display technologies, the company offers practical advice and samples for projects and can offer its expertise in power or display technology as well as clothing and banners as part of sponsorship packages for educational projects in national and international challenges.

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