The Controls group to date has been busy redesigning the electrical components and architecture of the FH3.  Most importantly a bit of systems engineering led us to decide upon a pre-transmission parallel hybrid model for the competition, the same as previous years.  The pre-transmission system allows us to maximize efficiency and power output (well beyond the limitations of the tires to grip) without suffering under low or high speed situations.  There is a downside to a pre-transmission system, namely that it must undergo shifting, during which no power can be applied for acceleration or regenerative braking.

Additionally it was determined to us an AC motor system, which allows us to maintain a high efficiency with a higher motor rpm range, more power output, and easy regenerative braking implementation.

A controller manufacturer was selected for their robust and affordable controllers.  The AC Motor manufacturer was also selected, due to having an appropriately sized and efficient AC motor within our voltage range.

Right now the battery pack target voltage has been determined to work most advantageously with our controller and motor, however a specific battery has not been chosen, two companies are currently being examined as sources for our batteries.

This week's meeting revolved largely around creating CAD models for our components, as well as gearing up to create the entire vehicle wiring diagram over the next two weeks.  We expect to be able to start programming our controllers before the end of the quarter, and early in January to begin assembling our wiring harness.

Programming has been a particular area of research, since the motor controller requires a proprietary interface, and our advisory controller system appears to be programmed via Matlab, however the manufacturer and internet both do not provide a great many details on the process.  We are currently awaiting quotes for the advisory controller options, though due to information drawn from industry through members of the team, we have decided upon the advisory controller manufacturer as well.

Most of the vehicle sensors will be reused from last year, however several new sensors and components are being applied in order to create a more accurate set of condition information for the advisory system, allowing us to push the vehicle to the grip limits of the tires at nearly all times.

We have also sent out a recruitment request to EE and CSE here at UC Davis and received a good response from students of all years.  It looks like we're going to have a good end result well before competition!

-Sean C. Fountain
Controls/Electrical Lead
3/24/2012 12:56:01 pm


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