General Team Update

Featured, General / Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The team is hard at work since returning to school after Winter Break. Here’s what we’re up to!

Cutting, welding, and more!

We have started to cut parts for the suspension and chassis. Students are learning how to use different tools in the shop such as the horizontal band saw, table saw, and hand saws. We are very excited to start putting everything together as the individual components start to take shape!

Here, Teddy models where the driver will potentially sit as we put together the frame for the chassis to be welded.

After finishing our second iteration of the chassis using Computer Aided Design, we cut out the steel tubes and built a frame to hold the pieces together when they are welded. Pictured above is the bottom part of the chassis, which will be welded to the top part of the chassis within the next two weeks. Pictured below is Charles putting together the supports to the sides to weld the frame together.

Getting ready to weld the steel bars together for the frame

Floor it!
By: Nic Nemeth

Nic cutting out the pattern for the floor

For our first prototype, we are making the floor of our car out of plywood. We recently cut out the pattern for it, and are ready to attach it when the chassis is fully welded near the end of the week.

We explored a lot of different ideas regarding the floor and how we were going to attach it to our chassis. One proposed idea was to make our floor out of metal and simply weld it to the chassis but that would require ordering and waiting for the sheet to arrive which would waste valuable time and we wouldn’t be able to reach our February 1st Deadline. As such, we elected to go with plywood, a material we have an abundance of.

In regards to fastening the floor to the chassis, we have decided to utilize L-brackets, where we will weld on the side of the chassis and screw through the floor on the other side. Other proposed ideas included additional aluminum ribs being attached underneath the chassis and simply having the floor sit on top of them.

Our floor will sit on top of the chassis and features squares cut out of it to accommodate our vertical supports. It ends before it reaches our rear supports so we don’t have to worry about the floor being in the way in case we want to change the location or add more rear supports.

Getting Energized

Our solar panels have finally arrived! We bought two 2,280 watt solar panels that are 780x1790mm large. Once the Maximum Power Point Trackers (MPPT’s) arrive, we can begin hooking our solar panels up to our main electrical system and battery.

Model in CAD

As we wait for the MPPT’s, we started to design the attachment of the solar panels to the chassis. Our current design is as seen in the picture to the left. Inspired by ribs on a plane wing, the frame that will hold the solar panels features 7 ribs attached by 2 long metal tubes. The solar panels will lie next to each other and will be attached via the large, flat top of the rib.

1:10 scale model of chassis with solar panel frame on top.

We anticipate attaching the solar panel frame to the top of the chassis. In order for the driver to get into the car, we inserted an L-bracket to one side of the car with a hinge that will allow the solar panel frame to lift up vertically for the driver to get in, they can easily close again after the driver is seated and ready to go. To the right is a 1:10 scaled model of the car and the solar panels attached to the top of the chassis. The future is looking bright for us as we continue to get more parts shipped and put together in CAD.

Wiring it up

Our electrical team is currently working on mapping out where all the wires go and connecting the motor controller to the battery.

Perrin and Teddy connecting wires
The whole team planning the wires out with help of mentor Alain

As soon as the Battery Management System (BMS) gets connected to the motor controller, and the petal is connected to the motor controller, we will be able to test the spin of the wheel. We are finishing up the final touches to the electrical system, and are excited to attach everything as soon as the chassis is finished.

We have made tons of progress this week! We anticipate the full assembly and a rolling car by February 1st… Stay tuned!

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