Sunday, September 22, 2013

Trike is here!

We got our trike from Bicycleman this week!

Our Mechanical team has rapidly started working on mounting a Lynch drive train on the existing trike. Lots of cardboard engineering being done!

cardboard models of the motor and mounting panels

We are currently studying different mounting strategies as well as different style of Lynch motors to use.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mt. Washington!

EVT took a trip to Mt Washington this past weekend!

We attended the Mt Washington Alternative Energy Summit with the Porsche, the eBike and jamcycle! We got to meet lots of different people and also interact with some awesome vehicles people brought over to the summit!
J-rod and Lauren pushing the car up the ramp! SO STRONG!

Fuel stop in New Hampshire (our u-Haul had an "amazing" gas mileage of 11 MPG)

We made it!
The summit was a two day event for us, we drove over on Saturday and set up a booth with all our vehicles and a poster to showcase EVT.

john smiling
rango talking about electrons

We had lots of interest in the stuff we brought! We also got to see some AMAZING stuff other people brought over! My favorite being Howie's Stanley Steamer circa. 1900.

STEAM CAR!!!!! (howie is in the blue)

Howie gave us an awesome tour of the insides of the car itself! My favorite part of the car was the open differential with the (lubricated) band brake on the rear axle.
i don't think this would pass Charles' 2.00gokart inspection
So apparently I was so excited about this car that with my excitement I convinced Howie to give me a test ride of the vehicle! (i think i might have been the only one apart from Howie and his wife to ride the car that day)
I also had the joy to try out Adam's lipo motorycle! I had heard so much about it but I hadn't seen it or had the chance to ride it yet. Riding the li-po bike was a GLORIOUS experience! Very different from riding a heavy gas motorycle. Adam's throttle responds so smoothly and the bike is so light that is feels like driving a toy (a 90 Horsepower toy).

Another cool EV we got to see was Rob Woroby's "mountain board". Rob founded Black Sparrow Industries  they make an awesome crossover between a mountain board and a BMX bike. The steering is done via a linkage that responds to you leaning. The resistance/damping of the leaning mechanisms can be varied by the user.
Black Sparrow ! (photo courtesy of Charles Guan)

There was a bunch of Teslas and other electric vehicles around. Ted Dillard (the organizer) had his two electric motorcycles in the event as well.

A big part of the event was to get your vehicle to try and reach the top of Mt Washington. On Sunday morning, we got ready and attempted the hill climb with the Porsche.

john driving!

We were pretty cautious during the ascent. We knew the Porsche motor had some heating problems from before so we stopped every two miles to check the temperature of the motor.
Rango using the IR thermometer to check motor temp.
this is us halfway up the mountain!
yay! we made it!

Lots of fun! the way down was also cool! We used regenerative braking most of the way down and we were regening about 12kW on average! We used 30% of the battery energy going up hill and regenerated about 15% on the way down! So cool! Facts like this is tell me that in 100 years people are going to making fun of current state of the art mechanical brakes where we "waste" power.

The event was awesome! We had lots of fun and learned a lot about really cool projects going on in the realm of EVs! Here are some other shots from that weekend!

dinner at the pizza place in Gorham, NH!
Our sleeping arrangement!

Cooking breakfast using the IR thermometer for temperature feedback
nice summit pic of the Porsche!

we bought the classic mt Washington bumper sticker!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

More brake work!

Hi, I am Pepe Nacho. I am a freshman looking to major in Course 2, and I will be giving you an update on what goes on in the Electrical Vehicle Team (EVT). I just joined the team and I'm really looking forward to learning how to build things.

Today, we pretty much divided into two teams. I was on the team that worked on getting the regen system on the eBike working. The regen system is actually pretty cool, it extracts energy from the motor and uses that energy to charge the battery. In the process of extracting energy from the motor it acts as a mild brake (not a substitute for one though), so it comes in handy when going downhill or other situations where you want to slow down a bit. We first looked up the data sheet on the motor controller to find out how the regen system could be activated. It could either be activated by a switch or a throttle, but we decided to go with throttle (way more fun). Attaching the throttle was actually not as hard as I thought it would be. We had to rewire the throttle because the because its original wires were too small to be crimped. To get around that we spliced the throttle's wires with wires that were large enough to be crimped. Splicing is the process of connecting two wires. After we spliced the wires we added connectors and we connected it to the motor controller. We did not get a chance to test it just yet, but we will be testing soon! Videos coming along!

The other team designed and created a prototype to activate the brakes on the trailer. The first thing they had to decide on was what kind of system would be used: electrical or mechanical. To avoid adding extra batteries or actuators we went with an entirely mechanical design. You see, the trailer has two wheels, each with a brake on them. Most brakes on bicycles work with a lever, a cable, and the actual brake. To activate a bicycle's brakes, you usually pull on the lever, the lever in turn pulls the cable, and the cable then activate's the brakes. The team had to devise a way to pull two brakes with one lever. They ended up designing some mounting brackets for the brakes and we also started prototyping some pulling mechanisms to translate the cable lever pulling to the brakes contacting the tire.

rango mounting brakes!
design and meeting notes

half of lauren working under the bike

brake parts