Engineering Experience 4: Design a Small Solar Vehicle/Nl/2013: Team AM6
Aton is a research company. It is specialized in the research of solar powered vehicles and was founded in 2013.
|Nils Broes||Team leader|
|Frederick Eskens||Educating responsible|
|Régis de Biolley||Build responsible|
|Sander Cruysberghs||Design responsible|
|Seppe Verbist||Technical drawing responsible|
The teams will be formed during the first week of the project, our team consists of 6 members. During this week we got our first assignment. We had to make our collaboration contract, Plan of Approach, Work Breakdown Structure and our Gantt Chart. These documents give us an overview of all the tasks that we have to do and it also gives a clear overview of all the deadlines. Unfortunately one of our team members quit the project at the end of the first week. This means that the entire planning had to be remade. All the documents where posted on this page at the end of the week, they will be weekly updated and this blog will give an overview of our work during the project.
During the second week we started with a seminar about our solar panel. After the seminar we did some tests on the solar panel to design it's characteristics. After these tests we held a meeting with the entire team to divide tasks among the members and to talk about next week deadlines. During the week, we got a test about the lecture of the solar panel and DC-motor. This test was individual and needed to be filled in on Toledo. Their where 3 questions that had to be answered in a 15 min time limit.
Their where no deadlines planned for this week. Every team member did some work for next week or for the other weeks. Till now the communication in the team is running smooth so this is a good indicator for the future.
During this week, we had a seminar. In this seminar we got advice about our project and they gave us information about some calculations. After this seminar we finally began with the design of our SSV. We already discussed the main direction that our project will follow and we also started to gather information about different parts. By next week we hope to have finished our basic design for our SSV.
This week we had a seminar about Simulink. Simulink is a program that will help us with the simulation of the race, this will give us an accurate image of what will happen during the race. After the seminar we had a meeting with the coach, he gave us advice and helped us with our Matlab program. Sander already made the draft version of the frame, this is the start of different simulations that we will execute on this draft version.
During this week we will have our last seminar, the seminar will be about how Fablab works. Fablab is a workshop where we can fabricate the parts for our SSV for free, the only cost that we have to pay are the costs of the materials. After the seminar we had another meeting with the coach. We started to make all the reports of case 1 and 2 because the deadline for these reports are on 22/03 at 13 pm. This means that we still have a lot of work to do. Sander finished the simulations on the frame, the data shows that the frame is strong enough even when it is made as light as possible. The frame can easily handle a load of 10kg and this is much more than the frame had to handle.
This is the last week that we can work on reports. We still have a lot of problems with the simulations in Simulink so most of our time this week will be spent to solve these problems. The rest of the assignments are going well so we have a good feeling about the deadline.
After this week all the reports had to be delivered. We still had to do a lot of work and this made us very motivated to make sure that we finished before the deadline. Thursday we finished with the final touch on the reports and we finally could take a little break. In the next 2 weeks we have our spring break, this break is the optimal opportunity the optimize our design and we also made an order for the gears and all the other parts to make our vehicle.
This week it is all about building, at the end of the weekend the SSV should be finished. Finally the fun part begins, now we can actually see the result of our hard work. Until now we didn't encounter any problems with the built so we hope that it sill stay like this. Next week we have the final test run on the track, this will give us a clear indication on how our SSV will perform. After the test run we still have some time to make some adjustments but we hope that won't be necessary.
This week we were finally able to test our SSV on the track. The test on Tuesday wasn't a big success because our steering system didn't work yet. Our coach gave us some good advice about the wheels of our SSV. the connection between the wheels and the frame was to week and needed to be modified. later that week we tested again but this time with a steering mechanism. our SSV was able to drive 6 meters on the flat surface, this was for us an indicator that everything is working fine, but we noticed that we lose a lot of speed while we steer. Because the alignment of the wheels are good it can drive straight for a long time. At the day of the race it will be our goal to make sure the car can start on a straight line so we can minimize the steering.
With the results from the test of last week, we decided that we could improve our SSV a lot. For this reason we took apart our SSV so that we can improve some parts. For the improvements we ordered some new parts to fixated the gears on one spot, this has as result that their will be less stress. Now that our SSV has been taken apart we took the opportunity to replace some parts with a new and slightly improved parts. We hope that all this effort will pay of during the race, we are looking forward to it !!
This week all the teams are working on their final report. The race on Tuesday was canceled and replaced by the judging of the SSV's. We didn't participate in this judgement because we were still working on it. We want to congratulate the winners in the category of innovation and appearance because those teams did a really good job with their SSV. After this week we only have to wait for good weather and then we can finally test our SSV against the other teams.