Electrical Week 2

This week in solar car club, we spent our time cleaning up the Fab Lab. It doesn’t sound very interesting, and I am not going to lie, it wasn’t super fun; however, it was useful for teaching the incoming members that it is important to clean up our messes, and that organization is the key to productivity. We learned that lesson while on the cross-country trip this past summer. During the trip we were very unorganized, and this made it difficult to find our tools, which extended the time it took to fix whatever was needed on the car. It is important to teach the incoming members of the solar car team that time is the biggest constraint that we have, well that and money, and organization had minimized the time it took to accomplish what problems we had. There was also an added bonus, we got a clean Fab Lab, and that is very helpful in the future. It is very important to teach the incoming solar car members about the tools, and the way to keep both the tools and materials in their best possible shape.

Last Thursday we changed up the schedule, we decided that the way to be most time efficient is that we should start the planning process for dates, and what needs to get done when. I agree, this is a very important step, and it needed to be done as soon as possible. The electrical team divided into two groups, The Solar Array group, and the Solar Car group. I was in the Solar Array group, and we planned out the schedule, so that we can have an idea on how long it will take to get this done, as well as what are the steps required to meet this schedule. I hope that the schedule we laid out will help us be more efficient in the long run.


Electrical Design Plans

This past team meeting we went over the potential directions that we are wanting to take the electrical systems of our car. We would like to enable it for IoT, where all of the stats for the car are available online. In addition, where last year we designed all of the electrical systems in 2D, we would now like to use a 3D CAD program to help design the wire runs and placement of the wires. This should prove to be much better than using a full sized 2D drawing of the car, and laying wires on top of it to make the wiring harness. Last year this resulted in that when the car was ready for wiring, almost all of the wires had to be spliced and extended, which led to many of the problems that we had with an unreliable secondary electronic system. To reduce squared R power losses, we would also like to design part of the electrical system to boost the voltage after the batteries in order to reduce the amperage flowing through most of our primary system.