Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Small Shock" Electric Mini Bike Project Update

"Current" news: it's alive! Our HEV class project "Small Shock" is up and running. Let's start with some information concerning what makes it go: five Werker 12 volt, 44ah batteries wired in series provide the 60 volts for power. Turn the key and listen for the contactor to close; now the current is flowing to the Sevcon Gen4 inverter/controller unit. Twist the throttle and this unit inverts the direct current of the batteries to alternating current and sends it to the 3 phase AC motor. This brushless permanent magnet motor is capable of putting out up to 19 horsepower. Clean, quiet horsepower. The sensation of driving the bike is quite different then a conventional mini bike; totally smooth and almost silent. The only noticeable noise is from the chain - and an almost imperceptible low whirring sound from the tires as they roll over the pavement. A Cycle Analyst digital dash provides data concerning battery voltage, energy usage, speed, distance and regenerated energy that has been directed back into the batteries.

A few notes about the work that remains to be finished before the end of the semester: final tweaks to the wiring - it is important to us that the wiring harness look as professional as possible. This should be finished soon. The DC to DC converter must be installed. That will convert the 60 volts from the battery pack to 12 volts. This will be needed to run the headlight, taillight and brake light. We may also need to add cooling fans to the heatsink for the inverter. Once these tasks have been finished, the students will disassemble everything and the frame will be shipped out to a local company for powder coating. The same bright green that adorns the AntiPrius project will be applied. The wheels and some of the accessories will be painted silver. We have only three weeks to finish and it will be close. If you are in the Northern Michigan area on May 19th, Small Shock may be seen at the NMC Barbeque, along with the AntiPrius and our hot rodded GEM electric car. More info about the Barbeque here