Bankhead Academy and Norco blaze to victory

The Scottish heats of the IMechE Greenpower Formula 24 race, sponsored by Shell UK, saw the Bankhead Academy team, Norco supported Bankhead Blazers, successfully finish in third place and win the Fastest Lap award.

Greenpower and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers are promoting engineering and technology within UK schools through electric car building challenges and races. The Formula 24 challenge requires teams to build an endurance ready electric car from a 240 watt, 24 volt DC electric motor. Each team is also supplied with four 12 volt lead acid batteries (2 on the car and 2 spares). Cars are to be designed and built within the school with the help of teachers, co-opted outside engineers, parents and sponsoring companies. The school then have to compete in a number of 4 hour endurance races against regional and national schools. By coming in third, Bankhead Academy have qualified to race in the National Finals at Goodwood Motor Circuit on the 19th October 2008.

Norco Group, the Aberdeen based industrial battery and UPS specialists, have been working with the Bankhead Blazers providing support, parts and transportation. Amy Davidson, Marketing Manager said, It is fantastic to be involved in a project where we can give practical advice and on-hand assistance. This project is not only designed to captivate young peoples interest in engineering, but also demonstrates the importance of electric power and how it can be used to help improve energy issues. The team have displayed an exemplary attitude throughout the competition and their hard work and dedication to the task proves there is an exciting group of young engineers about the join the workforce.

Blair Paton, Teacher of Design and Technology and Project Co-ordinator said, Coming in third place is a fantastic achievement and the whole school are celebrating this success. The result is a testament to the hard work, positive attitudes, and team spirit displayed by the team. In preparation for the National Final, the team have already put a plan together to modify the drive system, gears, brakes and the overall weight and appearance of the car. One of the problems we, and many of the other teams faced, was getting maximum power from the batteries as we cannot charge them during the race, however with the help of Norco, this should be an easy problem for us to overcome. We are confident that with the lessons we have learned we can once again finish the four hour race, but hopefully next time we can come in first!

Norco Group Limited is an independent, Aberdeen based company specialising in the rental, maintenance and management of traction batteries; and the procurement, installation and maintenance of standby batteries and UPS systems. Norco is the UK market leader in the rental of traction batteries.