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The BRCA Electric Board (EB) was formed at the end of 2000. Within the Association, there are different Sections that use the same Electric items, which prior to the forming of the (EB) had to comply with varying rules within the Sections. The prime objective of the (EB) is to formulate a common set of rules, specifications and fix maximum prices for the BRCA Electric Sections to use. Officers of the (EB) also liaise with the major International organisations for our sport, in an effort to achieve common rules and specifications that apply to International events.
Changes, clarifications or updates.
There have been various suggestions that the new dimension ruling is to combat recent safety issues with certain types of cells. This is not correct, as the intention to change the rule was agreed long before the exploding cells became apparent.
The reason for the new dimension ruling is simply to have some control on manufacturers. Previously, cells only had to meet the dimensions when supplied as samples for approval and before any charging/matching processes. This procedure did not control the cells after approval. The result being, that some manufacturers have effectively been ‘cheating’ by changing the cells after approval and during the homologation year. We are aware of cells increasing in size, weight, (and presumably performance) during the year, often at the expense of reliability. Some of the cells have increased in length to the extent that they will not fit correctly into the cars. Even the ‘matching’ companies are having problems with cells being too long for their equipment.
In recent years, some cells have effectively been illegal, even though they were detailed on the homologation list, because they were not the same specification as the samples approved. In an effort to control this situation, it has been decided that cells have to conform to the IEC Spec. dimensions even after charging/cycling. It is hoped that this will limit the development by the manufacturers during the homologation year and result in more consistent cells being produced.
The intention to adopt this ruling has been published for more than one year. However, the BRCA are well aware that this could result in some cells already purchased being outside the new dimension limits, so the ruling has been restricted to National events for 2008.
The new ruling states: - "It is known that fast charging may result in cell distortion. However from 1st April 2008, cells used at BRCA National events may never exceed 43.0 mm length and 23.0 mm diameter. This ruling will apply to all BRCA sanctioned events from 1st April 2009."
The (EB) committee comprises of members from each of the Electric Sections that support (EB) procedures. This way, any proposed changes to rules are evaluated to ensure that such changes will not have a detrimental affect on any particular Electric Section. To ensure that any changes or additions to the (EB) rules have wide support and understanding, the (EB) will only accept proposals from the Electric Sections and not from any single BRCA member.
The (EB) committee have regular contact with distributors and manufacturers to research any changes to products and also to investigate the possible impact of new technology. To this end, our contact base spreads worldwide to gain the knowledge we require.
Currently, the (EB) controls the specifications and homologation of Batteries and Motors, but future products may require adding to our remit as new technology develops. The Control of Batteries and Motors. This works quite simply, with homologation lists produced to inform members what Batteries and Motors are legal to use (and when) at BRCA sanctioned events. The lists for approved motors are constantly changing, so the BRCA website is used as the point of reference. If a particular make of Battery or Motor is not listed as approved for use, on the homologation lists detailed on this website, it cannot be used at BRCA sanctioned events.
Batteries: - The approval of batteries is limited to once each year. New batteries (cells) have to be submitted to the (EB) by the end of Dec. latest. The (EB) then requires verification from the manufacturer or distributor, that any new cell will be available in the UK in sufficient quantities. Providing a cell complies with the technical specifications and the (EB) are satisfied with the availability criteria, it will be added to the approved list.
The approved list is updated each Jan., but any new cell that has been added does not become legal for use at BRCA sanctioned events until 1st.April following. No new cells will be added to the list during the year. This process informs members of what new cells are allowed before the racing season starts and ensures that any cells purchased are not out-dated during the racing season. Motors: - manufacturers on a regular basis release new motors. Because of the spread of events within the various Electric Sections, it would not be practical to limit the homologation of motors to specific dates in the year. New motors can be submitted to the (EB) for approval at any time in the year. Before a new motor can be added to the relevant homologation list, the (EB) check with the distributor that a significant number have been received in the UK. Providing the new motor submitted complies with technical specifications and the required numbers have been received in the UK, the motor will be added to the homologation list on the website. To make it simple to follow any updates, the (EB) will only add new motors to the homologation lists on Mondays of any particular week.
Queries. Any queries, that cannot be answered by the Technical officers in the Electric Sections, relating to specifications, rules or homologation procedures that the (EB) control should be addressed to the (EB) Secretary.
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