Engineering Experience 4: Design a Small Solar Vehicle/Nl/2014: Team PM11

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Our Logo and team name, VentuSolaris.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

We, Jeroen, Steven, Frederik, Nick, Simon and Martijn are a group of students studying at GroupT Engineering College. On this page you can find a report of a task which we are currently working on for our engineering experience project. The task we need to complete is to build a small solar vehicle or SSV which can drive 10 meters as fast as possible and then push a petanque ball as high as possible up a slope. In order to build this vehicle we first had to do some simulations and analytic calculations, these can be found in the report of Case SSV part 1 and Case Simulink. After we finished these cases we were able to start building our vehicle.

The project isn't limited to just building an SSV, we also have to design a logo, make a wikipage/blog. All these things combined the project isn't just about building something, but about all the steps that are involved in developing a product.

Team[edit | edit source]

Name Function Contact
Steven Dendooven Team Leader
Jeroen Renders Wiki page editor
Frederik Vercammen Secretary
Nick Deserranno
Simon Putseys
Martijn Schaeken

Project Organisation/Enterprising[edit | edit source]

In this section you can find documents in which we plan our work, and describe our ideas and goals for the project.

WBS:[edit | edit source]

Our WBS, a map of all the tasks that need to be completed to finish the project.


Plan Of Approach:[edit | edit source]

Our Plan Of Approach, in this file you can read our goals and main ideas for the project.

Plan Of Approach

Gantt - Chart:[edit | edit source]

In the Gantt - Chart all tasks that can be found in the WBS are divided over the team members, and an estimate of the time needed to complete these tasks is given.

Gantt - Chart EE4 SSV Team 11 PM

SSV Description[edit | edit source]

A short description of our finalized SSV, included are some values about the size of the vehicle and some photo's.

Description of the SSV

Process Report[edit | edit source]

In this report we wrote down the difficulties we had during the project and what we learned while solving them. Each team member describes the skills he acquired during the project, and the skills he has improved.

Process Report Team PM11

Meeting Reports/Blog[edit | edit source]

In this section you can find the reports of each meeting we had with our team. The reports include topics that were discussed and/or worked on and topics that need to be finished by next meeting.

Week 1[edit | edit source]

Meeting 1:[edit | edit source]

Started working on WBS, Contract, Plan Of Approach.

To Do: Finish WBS, Contract, Plan Of Approach. Making a Gantt - Chart, thinking about options for our vehicle (steering, framework,...). Needs to be finished by friday 18 PM.

Duration: 3 Hours

Meeting 2:[edit | edit source]

Finalazation of WBS, Gantt Chart, Plan Of Approach, Contract. Dividing tasks that need to be done.

To Do: Check final version of Plan Of Approach.

Duration: 2 Hours

Week 2[edit | edit source]

Meeting 3:[edit | edit source]

First a short seminar on solar panels and DC - Motors. Afterwards we prepared everything for our solar panel test, and started correcting our documents like plan of approach and WBS. Then we did our solar panel test, after the test we interpreted the results and ended the meeting.

To do: Finish a short report on the solar panel test, translate plan of approach and WBS in English.

Duration: 4 hours.

Week 3[edit | edit source]

Meeting 4:[edit | edit source]

First a short seminar about things that need to be accounted for in the design of our vehicle (like air resistance, friction). Afterwards we had a vote to choose a name for our team, VentuSolaris got the most votes. So that will be the name of our vehicle/team. We also had a brainstorm about a possible logo and thought about some ideas for our car's chassis.

To do: Each teammember makes a possible chassis design in solid works.

Duration: 4 hours.

Week 4[edit | edit source]

Meeting 5:[edit | edit source]

First a short seminar concerning matlab and the simulations that need to be finished by week 6. After the seminar we chose a chassis (each team member had to come up with one before this meeting), then we decided which material we would use. Our chassis will be build out of steel pipes with a diameter of around 2 cm. We also had a brainstorm about some other features of the car, including gears and steering mechanism. The rest of the meeting we worked on the simulation and started drawing the chassis.

To do: Start writing our report. Learn how to work with matlab so we can finish our simulations.

Duration: 4 hours.

Week 5[edit | edit source]

Meeting 6:[edit | edit source]

Before the meeting there was a seminar about fablab. Afterwards we went on with our matlab simulations, we calculated the ideal weight of our SSV as well as our gear ratio (calculated with maple). We also had a meeting with our coach to answer some of our questions regarding matlab and the calculations for our SSV.

To do: Finalization of case SSV part 1 (calculations in matlab).

Duration: 4 hours.

Week 6[edit | edit source]

Meeting 7[edit | edit source]

We continued working on case SSV 1. We checked our calculations about the optimal gear ratio and mass. We continued working on the matlab simulations, but weren't able to finish them by the end of the meeting. So in order to hand in case SSV part 1, we will meet again this week on thursday.

To do: Finalization of case SSV part 1 (matlab) and case Simulink.

Duration: 4 hours.

Meeting 8[edit | edit source]

This meeting was necessary in order to finish our case SSV part 1 and Simulink before the deadline on friday 1 PM. We finished the matlab calculations and got some nice graphs which showed our optimal gear ratio and mass, these were slightly different then those we calculated before. Simulink remained a problem and not all of the tasks we needed to do for this case are ready yet. So we will try and finish them tommorow before the deadline.

To do: Finalization of case Simulink.

Duration: 5 hours.

Week 7[edit | edit source]

Meeting 9[edit | edit source]

Improving case SSV part 1 and case simulink with the information and comments the coach gave us. We also started working on case SSV part 2. We started thinking about our sankey - diagram and our strength analysis. To finish the meeting we relooked our design for the SSV and thought about other materials then steel which we could use. We concluded that steel was the best material to build our SSV frame.

To do: Welding of the chassis and setting up another meeting with the coach to get feedback on our improvements for case SSV part 1 and simulink.

Duration: 4 hours.

Week 8 (during easter holiday)[edit | edit source]

Meeting 10[edit | edit source]

We continued our work on case SSV part 2, we divided the different tasks that needed to be done in order to complete the case. We went to hubo to buy materials to manufacture our frame with. We reviewed our case SSV part 1 and simulink and assigned tasks to improve the case.

To do: Welding of the chassis and continue working on case SSV part 2.

Duration: 5 hours.

Week 9[edit | edit source]

Meeting 11[edit | edit source]

By this meeting the frame had been welded so we thought about ways to improve it and a way to steer our SSV. We also worked on our case SSV part 2 and helped each other to complete the different tasks.

To do: Continue working on case SSV part 2.

Duration: 3 hours.

Week 10[edit | edit source]

Meeting 12[edit | edit source]

Case SSV part 2 was mostly finished at the start of the meeting so we began to put our seperate pieces into one document. Parts that weren't finished need to be finished by the next meeting (6/05/2014) in order to hand in our report on case SSV part 2 on time. We will need to continue working on the case at home.

To do: Finish case SSV part 2.

Duration: 4 hours.

Race[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

On tuesday 20 may it finally was race day. The race took place on the Martelarenplein in front of the train station. We were there at 9.15 to get our vehicle approved and rated for the race, at that time the sun was still hiding behind the clouds. At around 10.15 the first races started, luckily by then the sun had come trough so the race could go on without problems.

We had to race in the second poule, which had some very strong teams, both the winner and second place were also in poule 2. The first race was a race out of poule 1, we had to race in the second race. The first race went pretty well and the ball got to a maximum height of 11.2 centimeter. But we discovered a problem, the thrust piece didn't hit the ball first, it first hit the edges of the track in which the ball was supposed to travel. After this first race we modified the thrust piece so it would hit the ball and not those edges. We then had to wait a very long time because we had to race in the final two races of our poule.

The second race also went pretty well, we reached a maximum height of 11 centimeters this time. We had hoped for a higher maximum height but the track in which our SSV needed to race wasn't totally straight which caused our SSV to drag along the sides of the track. In the final race which would determine if we would advance to the next round (the semi-finals) we reached a maximum height of 16.4 centimeters. Everything went very well in this last race so we got a pretty good height.

We thought we would certainly advance to the semi-finals but it appaered that three teams came in third place, so we had to do one last race to determine the third place. Luckily we won this race so we could advance to the semi-finals! We reached a height of 13.3 centimeters in this qualification race.

The teams for the semi finals were announced and we were in the last semi-final. Right before the last semi-final there was a team who had hit the ball up to 29.9 centimeters so we knew it would be difficult to get to the final race. We did very well in the last semi-final and the ball reached a maximum height of 18.9 centimers, unfortunately the other team hit the ball even higher. So we didn't advance to the final race. But we did have the highest maximum height of all the teams (except the three teams in the final), so you could say we actually finished fourth.

Everything considered we can certainly call our result and the performance of our car a succes. Not only did we finish fourth, our car also didn't break down and apart from the issue in the first race there were no design problems. So we were very satisfied after the race and proud of ourselfs.

You can find a link to a youtube video of one of our races here: Our SSV is the one in the left track(the one which finishes first).

Rules + height measurement[edit | edit source]

The rules of the race were pretty easy, you just had to stay on the track and hit the ball with your SSV in order to get it as high up the slope as possible. There were some limitations, your SSV couldn't be any longer then 60 centimeter of wider then 30 centimeter. It was also illegal to use an extra engine, batteries or some kind of spring under tension to hit the ball.

The measurements were done with a camera and computer. The camera took a picture at the highest point of the balls and then the computer calculated the height of each ball, a pretty simple and straighforward setup.

Case Reports[edit | edit source]

In this section our reports of the calculations and simulations we did can be found. There are 3 reports the first two were reports written during the project, the last one is the final report.

In this first case we calculated the ideal mass of our solar vehicle, and our ideal gear ratio. First these values ware calculated by hand then using matlab and finaly using a model in simulink. We also simulated the race, in order to find our speed at the end of the track, the time it would take to travel the 10 meters and the acceleration our SSV will have.

In the second case we analysed the force our SSV will encounter during the collision. We did some tests in order to get an idea about the collision and analysed these results. There are also some calculations based on assumptions in this part to learn about both the collision and how to make correct assumptions. We also had to draw our frame and make some technical drawings with measurements

Our first report, containing Case SSV Part 1 and Simulink
File:SSV Case 2.pdf
Case 2 without technical drawings
The final report of our EE4 project

Technical Drawings[edit | edit source]

Front view
Top view
Side view

Pictures[edit | edit source]

Our finalized SSV, a side view.
Another side view.
Top view of our SSV.