CONCORD, US – A Canadian designer used SolidWorks and COSMOS software to develop and optimize a human-powered vehicle that will attempt the 24-hour distance record in July. Capable of more than 60 miles per hour, the machine is essentially a recumbent bicycle – encapsulated in an aerodynamic carbon fiber fairing.
The "Critical Power" resembles an eight-foot long bullet and will be the pilot’s mobile home for at least 22 hours during the record attempt. Greg Kolodziejzyk, a top 10 age-group finisher in several Ironman triathlons, will assail the 11-year-old record of 1,021.36 km (634.6 miles) sometime between July 19 and 24, depending on weather. The retired computer imaging entrepreneur chose the Redwood Acres Motor Speedway in Eureka, Calif., as his venue after evaluating 19 other tracks in North America for climate, surface, and layout.
Eadie optimized the vehicle’s aerodynamics by creating a "virtual wind tunnel" with COSMOSFloWorks(TM) computational fluid dynamics analysis software. He accomplished this by calibrating COSMOSFloWorks settings for turbulence, relative density, percentage error, and interactive elements with the solid body. After testing a series of established human-powered vehicle designs, he settled on an entirely new design that tapers to a thin vertical wedge in the stern. This shape serves to part the air and gently reassemble it with minimal turbulence.
The vehicle’s shape resembles that of a fish. "We didn’t start out thinking ‘fish,’ but when my designs follow nature, I always feel like I’m headed in the right direction," said Eadie. "Natural selection is probably the best design optimization process you can hope for." The virtual wind tunnel’s findings correlated by more than 98% with calculations experienced on the track.