The Ohio State EcoCAR 2 team is approaching its first major vehicle rebuilding milestone: a running rear powertrain!
Over the past two months, the students have been hard at work assembling the rear sub frame and energy storage system (ESS) mounts, where the batteries will be held. The team has currently finished installation of the ESS and will be working hard to install the batteries.
Building and installing the ESS has been an enormous task. The project began with having sheet metal laser cut and bent to form the various non-structural pieces of the ESS enclosure. These pieces were then welded to the cooling plates to create the complex structure of the boxes. This allowed for mounting of controllers and wiring, all while maintaining an airtight enclosure around the batteries themselves. While the boxes were being built, steel support frames were welded to the frame rails in the rear of the vehicle. The battery enclosures were then lined with non-conductive material to ensure they remain electrically isolated from the rest of the vehicle. Finally, they were mounted on the steel support frames inside the vehicle.
The next step will be installation of the batteries themselves and their associated wiring harnesses for completion of the energy storage system. The team will then focus on the installation of the rear sub frame, which means it won’t be long until their rear wheels are spinning!