Saturday, February 6, 2016

MechE Battery Party!

MechE Updates

Our primary concern today was designing structures to hold and support our battery packs in the back of the Opel. By the afternoon, literally everyone on the MechE team was engrossed in this task. We were even honored to have Sir Nicholas Arango from the EE team come and help us generate ideas.
Being a team with a small car and big ambitions, one of our biggest design constraints in our Opel project is that we have 464 individual battery packs to distribute between what used to be the engine compartment and the space which used to house the back subframe and gas tank. Each group of cells has to be housed such that none of the cells are at risk of being ruptured in the case of a collision. At the same time, the front and back compartments each require a cooling system for these cells, and in addition to our subframe, motor, and transmission in the rear compartment, each compartment will eventually house one or more modules such as our motor controller or our battery controller. Our design constraints, therefore, are difficult to work with, and it took hours narrowing down what path we should take.

Alex helping lead discussion. Alex and Joey, who had done a great deal of work designing our battery supports in weeks past, proved invaluable.

Leave it to Rango to bring out the best in people.

After hours of work, first in small subteams and then as a whole, we were able to come up with a modular design for our supports which could be implemented universally across virtually any permutation of battery placement. We designated two teams—one to generate plausible battery placements with batteries oriented towards the back of the vehicle, another with cells toward the passenger side—to create a library of battery placements to choose from. This coming week, we will select the design that seems most feasible, stable, and space-conscious so we can start building the support frame itself.

A set of one of many sizes of battery module CADded by Joey
In addition to this, Jacob, Ryan, and Olivia worked with Jimmy from the EE team to decide how and where to mount potentiometers to the accelerator and brake pedals in the Opel, and Joey created comprehensive CAD of the structural members of the Opel frame.

Joey’s CAD of the structural components of the Opel frame

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