by Nick Cavender
Today in the lab, almost all of the team’s focus went toward getting the car ready to ship to Ann Arbor. The shipping of the vehicle was delayed from today to Monday.
While the car was getting inspected, the team was working hard to gather parts to take to Michigan. As you can see, there were multiple piles of nuts and bolts sitting on the table ready to be packaged.
Ludovici can also be seen doing his best to give the lab a much needed sweeping, while Tom was working on organizing some wires.
When the car got back to the shop after successfully passing inspection, Zhen and Dr. Wayne immediately began examining the vehicle to complete a vehicle safety checklist.
The car will ship to Ann Arbor on Monday, followed soon after by members of the team who are going to work on the vehicle at the EPA’s testing facility in Ann Arbor.
Just in case you were curious… here’s the list of people going to Ann Arbor:
by Stacie Aliff
Despite a few bumps in the road, members of the EcoCAR Team are feeling very confident about their progress with the car. On Thursday, February 24, the team was working hard in the EcoCAR Lab to get the car ready for the competition’s upcoming “checkpoint” in Ann Arbor, Michigan later this month. At this point, the car is nearing completion but still has a lot of detail work that must be done.
This detail work is one of the hardest things to complete, according to senior team member Joe Marconi. Although Marconi just became a team member in January, he is already aware of all the hard work and patience that has gone and will go into this competition.
“The hardest part for me so far has been learning all the rules and safety regulations and making sure what I’m doing follows those guidelines,” Marconi said.
In addition to all the mechanical work, the team is also working on making sure the car is suitable on the inside as well. Along with Marconi, other members of the team were cutting and gluing pieces of carpet to cover up the various metal parts in the car, such as the battery cover.
Although the team splits up into smaller groups to get things done, the members agreed that everybody is really good about working together when things need to get done.
“We do split up so we can get more work done, but when it comes down to it we all work together really well,” Marconi explained. “It’s been a great experience so far and I’m excited to see our finished product.”
by Amy Bergstresser
It is easy to see teamwork is a strong focus for the students in West Virginia University’s engineering program.
Walking down the hall toward the EcoCar lab, I passed dozens of students huddled around each table. This image continued until I reached the glass windows showcasing the classroom labs.
As I approached the end of the hall, finally at the EcoCar lab I was greeted by the two engineers walking in as well. We exchange slight head nods and smiles while entering the lab.
I have been here once before and have to say it looked completely different than I remember. Maybe it was because the garage door was closed, or could it possibly be the new faces?
Regardless, there is always one thing in that you will always find at the WVU EcoCar lab: teamwork. The team is scattered around the room in groups completing various tasks. There is a team of two completing the vehicle’s upholstering, Dr. Scott W. Wayne is looking over Senior Joe Marconi’s work under the hood, and another engineer is sitting in the driver’s seat talking to the team’s Graduate Research Assistant Zhenhua Zhu.
Looking around the room I notice it is not only the parts that make up the West Virginia University EcoCar, but the people? the teamwork.
by Bre Hill
The Engineering team for EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge is in the home stretch this week, with only six days left before the car is shipped to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the spring workshop taking place from March 11-18.
Once there, the car will need to pass a safety inspection as part of the EcoCAR competition.
Over the past several weeks the engineers have been working on the engine outside of the car, but the 1.3 liter turbo diesel engine is now back in its rightful place under the hood.
Zhenhua Zhu, a grad student working on the vehicle, commented that from this point the engineers must focus on putting everything else back in its place now that the engine is working properly. Parts such as the control panel, bumper and exhaust pipe are still disconnected from the vehicle.
“When everything goes back in the car and works right, it’s always exciting,” said Zhu.
With the clock ticking down to the car’s trip to Michigan, Zhu is also working on entering information about the car and its progress into data logs that will be submitted for the competition.
The West Virginia University EcoCAR team participated in the WVU Odyssey held by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) on Friday.
The event was held on the front lawn of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) building and ran from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.. The expo showcased WVU’s alternative fuel vehicles from the past and present.
The WVU EcoCAR team displayed their vehicle and allowed those interested to examine the car. Team members spoke with passersby about the architecture of the vehicle as well as the specifics of the EcoCAR competition.
“This is a great opportunity to speak with the public about the vehicle,” said WVU EcoCAR faculty advisor Scott Wayne. “I think that there is a great deal of interest in this vehicle, especially around WVU’s engineering campus.”
The event was hampered at times by rain; however the participants were not deterred, nor were those interested in alternative fuel vehicles.
“I don’t think the rain was a big factor,” said WVU EcoCAR team leader Zach Cohen. “Anybody who is interested in these types of vehicles will come out to support us or learn a little more about them.”
Many members of the WVU EcoCAR team were impressed by the amount of people interested in alternative fuel vehicles.
“I think there a great turnout,” said WVU Ecocar outreach coordinator Nick Cavender. “I was speaking with people about the car almost constantly throughout the day. There was not much down time.”
The WVU EcoCAR team will display their vehicle in the WVU Homecoming parade next Friday, October 22nd.
Sud-Chemie’s manufacturing plant in Needham, Massachusetts, recently donated an SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) catalyst to students on the WVU EcoCAR Team.
According to Scott Wayne, the WVU team’s faculty adviser, an SCR catalyst is the most effective technology to reduce the amount of NOx emissions in the vehicle’s diesel exhaust system.
The WVU team knew they wanted to go with a catalyst manufacturer that had a lot of experience to its name.
In response to the team’s request, Alexander Guliaeff, Sud-Chemie’s North American technical sales engineer, immediately contacted Sud-Chemie’s researchers in Germany and asked them to look at the WVU students’ design specifications.
“We asked our colleagues in Germany to manufacture the team’s catalyst because they develop more advanced catalysts for the European market and we knew they would be able to help us select the best one to meet the team’s needs,” said Guliaeff.
“We very really thrilled when we received [the catalyst],” said mechanical engineering student Alan Kuskil. “Sud-Chemie specifically designed it to fit our engine, so this is a custom-made catalyst, not something you pick off a shelf. I think it’s great that they gave us a brand new piece of technology. It’s going to be very beneficial for us in this competition.”
The WVU team now anticipates NOx reductions of more than 90 percent over running the engine without an SCR system!
by Nicholas Cavender
The West Virginia University EcoCAR team has been hard at work over the past few weeks preparing for the visit from EcoCAR officials on March 23.
Over the past weeks, the WVU EcoCAR team has been hard at work installing their high voltage battery module. The module is an integral part of the vehicle as it will provide power to all high power systems.
The high power systems include (but are not limited to) the steering, braking, fuel and exhaust systems of the vehicle. It is separate from the engine battery, which provides power mostly for systems on the vehicle’s dashboard.
The team is also awaiting the arrival of parts which will allow them to work more closely with the vehicle’s computer systems.
Engineering team leader Brody Conklin is confident in the team’s abilities.
“I think that the vehicle is coming along pretty much on schedule,” said Conklin. “The team is working hard and we’re having a blast working on the car.”
While many members of the team are working on installing parts in the vehicle, others are working on creating parts for the vehicle’s exhaust system which will allow a more eco-friendly emissions.
Seniors Alan Kuskil and Adam Lupo spent time last week drafting product designs for these parts.
“This is one of the most important parts of the vehicle,” said Kuskil about the exhaust system, “because the goal is to lower emissions. The issue right now is trying to create a system that improves the quality of emissions while maintaining the rest of the vehicle’s abilities.”
The team is eager to meet with EcoCAR officials today to show off their hard work.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program is the newest sponsor of the EcoCAR Challenge.
Clean Cities is funding EcoCAR graduate students to act as outreach coordinators to support each team’s outreach and marketing efforts. Outreach coordinators are responsible for building public awareness of advanced vehicle technologies and promoting their teams’ involvement in the national competition.
Visit the following website to learn more about Clean Cities’ role in the EcoCAR competition: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/ecocar_challenge.html
The WVU EcoCAR team recently returned from the Winter Workshop in Daytona Beach where they successfully demonstrated their Hardware-In-The-Loop and outreach presentations at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Daytona International Speedway.
The workshop provided the team with the opportunity to meet with industry experts and judges from dSpace, National Instruments, General Motors and Argonne National Laboratory. The team also got to interact and share experiences with the sixteen competing teams from across the United States and Canada.
WVU EcoCAR team members are now looking to devote their spring semester to working on the vehicle and preparing technical and outreach reports for the final competition in Yuma, AZ and San Diego, CA!
The WVU EcoCAR engineering students successfully completed the first half of the Year 2 EcoCAR Challenge. The mechanical, electrical, aftertreatment, and controls teams have been working diligently throughout the semester and are excited to showcase their progress to the judges during Winter Workshop next month!
Below is a rundown of each team’s progress to date:
Intercooler has been sized and a location has been chosen
Fuel system design has been completed and a new fuel pump has been installed
12 V battery has been relocated in preparation for the A123 modules to be installed
Possibilities of component relocation (A/C compressor, power steering pump) is underway and will be done before the engine arrives
Battery cooling system has been designed
Adapter plate and engine mount designs are being finalized
Finalized Charger Selection
A123 Action Items-ESS design Report approved
Vehicle Schematic Completed
Developed Safety Procedures including Lockout/Tag-out
Developed Testing Procedures for the Batteries
Urea injector has been specified and ordered
A basic bench test consisting of a pump, regulator, injector, and tank has been constructed
Air compressor and tank for the purge cycle has been ordered and installed on the vehicle
Tubing has been ordered and bending/fitting is in progress
SCR catalyst brick has been donated and is being washed/canned all through a donation
Injector harness design is underway
Solenoid valve for the injector is being specified
Shutdown sequences in d-Space (simulation) and in Motohawk (control algorithm) sides are in progress
Startup sequence is done for both sides
CAN bus message tracking has been completed
Optimization algorithms have begun
Aftertreatment control algorithm has been completed
Four controls team members attended training in Columbus, IN for Motohawk training
Whew! The team is looking forward to some R & R during the holidays before they head out to Daytona Beach for Winter Workshop 2010! Happy Holidays from the WVU EcoCAR Team!
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