Engineering Experience 4: Design a Small Solar Vehicle/2012: Team PM11

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Solar Cell Racing Logo

This wiki is about the development of a solar powered race car, this is a project organized by Group T (engineering school in Belgium). Nine students at Group T will build a solar race car that has to finish a certain course as fast as possible with an as innovative possible design while keeping the design of the car as beautiful as possible. The team goes by the name "Solar Cell Racing" and is recognized by the logo on the right

Team Members[edit | edit source]

Name E-mail Task
Victor Tamarit Simulink & Matlab
Tessa Aerts* Calculations
Nathalie Andries Calculations
Mathias Vanduffel Simulink & Matlab
Seppe Asma Testing
Robin Wauters Testing
Joren Van Laethem Testing
Vincent Peeters Attachment of the solar panel
Jeroen Belis Process report & Wiki-update

The project[edit | edit source]

The project consists of building a Small Solar Vehicle (SSV) and communicating this work towards other people, therefor this wiki is part of the project.

Designing the Small Solar Vehicle (SSV)[edit | edit source]

The goal is to design a solar powered race car. The team has to make choices regarding the following elements:

  • Motor
  • Wheels, shaft and its fixation
  • Frame
  • Drive structure
  • Fixation of the solar panel
  • guiding system
  • Total weight

The choices of the team are described in the process report.

Communication[edit | edit source]

Documents describing the project[edit | edit source]
Meeting reports[edit | edit source]

Meeting 1.pdf Meeting 2.pdf Meeting 3.pdf Meeting 4.pdf Meeting 7.pdf Meeting 8.pdf Meeting 9.pdf

Blog[edit | edit source]
  • Week 1

We first followed an introduction seminar. One of the coaches explained the different goals of the project, deadlines we need to keep an eye on and seminars we need to follow. After the seminar the coaches divided all the students in smaller groups. So we could get started. We were with 8 student: Jeroen, Joren, Mathias, Nathalie, Robin, Seppe, Tessa and Vincent and our coach is Tan Ye. We divided the different tasks, like: Plan Of Approach, Work Breakdown Structure, Gantt chart, meeting report, designing a logo and writing a blog. We also figured out a name for our group. Solar cell racing it is. We were told that our coach could understand Dutch so we wrote all the reports in Dutch. This was a little misunderstanding so we translated a couple of documents in English.

  • Week 2

This week we followed a seminar about how the solar panel and the DC-motor are working. When the seminar was finished we had a first meeting with our coach. He gave us some extra information about the race and feedback about the Plan of approach and the Gantt chart. During the meeting we met with a new team member, Victor. From now on our group Later that day we received our solar panel and the DC-motor. We did some tests on the panel and were able to determine the diode factor.

  • Week 3

This week there was a seminar about the race strategy. After the seminar we had a meeting with our coach and discussed some stuff like the gear ratio and the diode factor we calculated last week. After this meeting with the coach there was an team meeting. We decided to split up our team in two groups. One group will be doing the necessary calculations, the other group will design the car and search information about the possible materials.

  • Week 4

Again the week began with a seminar. This time an coach discussed an computer program, Simulink, that can simulate the solar car. That day we also met up with the team. First of all we came with a final design for the car. We also made a to-do-list and discussed what every person needs to do. After the meeting we had an appointment with our coach. We asked him some questions about the program Simulink and aerodynamics. He reminded use about two important deadlines in week 6 and informed us about what he expect from us in the following weeks. On Thursday we had an short team meeting. We decided that everyone needs to think about something innovative that can improve our car and make it faster.

  • Week 5

The week began with a seminar about FabLab. This is a fabrication Laboratory which we as student from Groep T can use. It has al lot of different machines, as a laser cutter, a 3D printer and a frees machine. We will use the equipment to cut out the car pieces from the Plexiglas. After the seminar we had a short meeting an started with the work for the deadline on week 6. Tessa and Nathalie started calculating the ideal gear ratio via Matlab and by hand. They also began with the calculations for making the Sankey-diagram. Mathias and Victor worked with the simulation program Simulink to simulated the SSV. They first had to build up an circuit that represents the SSV. Seppe, Robin, Vincent, Joren draw the parts of the SSV in Solid Edge. This drawings will be used in FabLab to cut out the pieces of the car.

  • Week 6

This week no seminar was planned and because our coaches was abroad we just had a meeting with the team members and continued the work of last week. Jeroen helped Tessa an Nathalie with the calculations of the gear ratio, the acceleration en velocity graphs and the sankey-diagram. Robin helped Mathias an Victor with the simulation of the car. Seppe, Vincent and Joren went to FabLab to make the pieces of the car. The rest of the week we worked separately to be able to reach the deadline. A lot of hard work was done this week. We met the deadline on Friday

  • Week 7

Again no seminar was planned this week. We had a meeting with the whole team about the design of the car. We brainstormed about different mechanism which will keep the car on the track. We made up a list about part that were still missing. One of the most important keys of the meeting was the gears. We sorted out which one to buy and where to buy them. Finally we decided to buy them online and after a phone call with the dealer the gears were ordered.

  • Week 8

We started the week a little bit disappointed. The gears we not yet delivered so we couldn’t start assembling the car. So went shopping for some last car pieces as there is glue and a car rearview mirror. Now we only needed the gears.

  • Week 9

On Tuesdays we had a seminar about technical drawings. Because we needed technical drawing for cutting out the pieces of the car in FabLab we just needed to adjust the drawings a little bit. This week we started working on SSV2. We divided the different tasks and had a meeting with our coach. We discussed the previous reports and made some adjustments. Later that week the gears were delivered so we could start assembling the car. This took longer than we expected. But the hard work was rewarded the next day when we tested it. Because of the bad weather we were forced to test the car with an 9V battery. During the test we didn’t noticed any problems. We did noticed that different kind of mechanism for keeping the car on the track we causing a lot of friction and the car itself was driving straight. So we decided to have no extra mechanism. Also the rail in the middle of the track is between the two front wheels. So if the car does not drive straight the front wheel will correct it and the war will be kept on the track.

  • Week 10

This week we did not had a team meeting. We worked separately on the SSV2 part. Robin tested the solar car on a sunny day. So the solar panel and the connection of it with the car was tested to. Everything looked fine.

  • Week 11

• Meeting on thuesday • Deadline, procesrapport, ssv1, blog, wiki updaten, peerassessment, t-shirten, foto’s auto