Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Modern Classroom

At last! We now have the ability to project data directly from vehicles onto the screen at the front of the classroom. No more crowding around the 7 inch screen of a scan tool. Of course, that requires bring the car into the classroom, but that's how we designed it. 

 

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Alive!

Our hybrid training vehicle, AKA The AntiPrius, is finally running. The wiring consumed an incredible amount of time. Not all of the systems on a stock Prius were needed or retained on our vehicle. Getting the communications systems talking to each other was the key to getting it started. And we're happy to say that it not only started, but that the performance is outstanding. The totally linear feel of acceleration without gear changes has to be experienced to be believed. The Prius is not known for it's performance, but with the drastic weight loss diet that this on has experienced, I can only describe the acceleration by saying that it's like being launched from a slingshot. With a lighter right foot on the pedal, it will tool around in electric mode silently and effortlessly. With the inverter/converter just behind your head, you can hear a faint squeal as the IGBTs do their job converting DC current to AC.

Soon it will be time to take the entire vehicle apart, finish all of the welds and take care of many final details. The frame will go out for powder coating ("chrome" powder coat!)  while the wiring harnesses get wrapped. Lots of parts will get primer and paint. Then comes reassembly and trips to as many car shows as possible. Hopefully we will be answering questions from potential students as well as letting hybrid vehicle owners get a look at what's under the skin of their own cars. And that's what this one of a kind creation is all about - making it easy to learn how hybrid electric vehicles work!

 The 2011 NMC Hybrid Electric Vehicle Class

 It rides and drives as good as it looks.

The battery is located in the front. 
Just the opposite from it's stock location.

                 Battery contactors with LED indicators.                      

The display unit, showing the energy transfer.