Engineering Experience 4: Design a Small Solar Vehicle/Nl/2013: Team AM3
The team has chosen "Icarus" as a appropriate team name. Just as the mythological "Icarus", we want to go beyond the assumed limits and design a powerful and highly efficient solution for our customer, the Umicore Solar Team. The name "Icarus" also fits because we are also dealing with the sun, hopefully without crashing though… ;-)
|Thibauld Berckmans||Project leader|
|Thomas De Rechter||Quality Manager|
|Tom Keuleneer||File administrator|
|Filip Lemmens||Writer, blogger|
|Kristof Vandikkelen||President of the Meetings|
Plan Of Approach
This Plan of Approach has been presented to and approved by our team coach, Tan Ye. It describes how we, as a team, are trying to complete this task. You can also find our own goals and priorities in this document.
This contract contains the basic team regulations and the team's committments. It has been signed by all team members. These signatures can't be copied or used unless the authors provides a written permission to the users.
Work Breakdown Structure
Here you can find the link to the PDF-file which contains our WBS:
This document provides an overview of individual tasks which have to be completed during the design and construction of our Small Solar Vehicle (SSV).
During this week we had our first seminar, which was an introduction to the project and the announcement of our first deadline (Friday 02/15). By that time we had to finish multiple documents, such as the Work Breakdown Structure, Gantt Chart and Plan of Approach. We've come together to do the Plan of Approach and the Gantt Chart. Maarten was in the first week also a member of our team but he has left our team because he can't follow this course and he made the Gantt Chart.
This week we had a seminar about the solar panel and the Umicore Solar Team. After the seminar, we got a solar panel to calculate the characteristics. We measured different voltages and currents with a variable resistor to calcutate the diode factor and the maximum power produced by the solar panel. This was one of the assignments for case 1. Also an error analysis, a declaration for the errors in the measurements, was made.
In week 3, we had a seminar about the race strategy and the gear ratio. There was a lot of interresting information that we can apply in the construction of our small solar vehicle. After the seminar we had a discussion about how many gears we're going to use, finally we decided to use just one gear because we think that the time we lose with switching the gears would be to big.
A seminar of Simulink was on the program this week. This is a program to simulate and analyse dynamic systems. It works via Matlab and it's a fast way to combine the (electric) solar cell model, the DC-motor model and the mechanical model. After the seminar, we started with the calculations for the ideal gear ratio and the other assignments for case 1 and the case of Simulink.
This week, there was a seminar of Fablab. Fablab is a lab on the faculty of materials on the KULeuven and they've some interesting tools like a laser cutter, 3D-printer and a milling machine. We could use it to the frame of our vehicle. We also worked on the first case and the case of Simulink but they aren't still finished. We also drew a design for the solar vehicle in Solid Works.
In the last week before the deadline for case 1 and the case of Simulink, we finished both cases as well as the other assignments for the deadline.
Three quite weeks have passed, but now we're back in full swing! This week, all team members had to take a test, to check whether we're really learing something or not. The coach also gave us some feedback on the work we had to hand over before the first deadline. There are some working points, but the team is motivated to make these changes and improve the delivrables.
During the Easter break, Kristof and Thibauld spent an afternoon on the SSV's bodywork. Here's a picture:
On Tuesday we ordered the parts needed for the drivetrain (shafts, bearings, gears,…) at Conrad. They really have a lot of parts of industrial quality! As stated in Case I, our gear ratio is quite high. This ratio is hard to find, so we combined multiple gears to get our ratio of 12. The gears used are 15:45 and 15:60, both of modulus 1.
This week, the assembly could really start; we went to FabLab to make the parts for the SSV's frame with a laser cutter. We both used MDF wood and plexi plates. We also ordered some additional parts at Conrad, which we forgot last week.
Great news: The team finished the assembly and the SSV completed its first solar powered test run! You can find a short video on YouTube: SSV Sunny Test run
We had some troubles however: The styrofoam body turned out to be useless; the material is simply too soft too attach the frame to. The CD-wheels were also difficult to attach firmly onto the main shaft, so we got new plexi wheels with the laser cutter. The third wheel at the back will still be made of CD's.
The SSV rolls smoothly, thanks to the industrial quality bearings. However, our SSV's weight is quite high (1460 grams), due to the adaptations we had to make during the development process. The team reckons it can reduce the SSV's weight by at least 25% for a second generation model, by using less material by designing parts that can fulfill multiple tasks and engraving the logo directly onto the frame, as well as some other minor improvements.
Next week will be a busy one; on Tuesday the race will take place in case of good weather conditions. If not, an exposition of all SSV's at the GroupT Atrium will be organised. There are also some deadlines coming up for next Friday: The final version of the proces and technics reports have to be handed over to our team coach. These documents will also appear on this Wiki page.
See you next week!
The weather Tuesday wasn't ideal, so the race was cancelled and the team participated at the showdown moment at GroupT's Atrium. Some other teams had nice designs too, but we were proud of our simple but rock solid design!
The documents for this week's deadline were uploaded right on time, and we think we've done well.
Meanwhile, we keep looking forward for the race to take place as soon as possible.