By NC State’s EcoCAR 2 Team
It’s crunch time here at the NCSU RADPack shop. We have started a whole bunch of recruitment and training programs to get our new volunteers! Every Wednesday night we have activities and basic training at our shop that we hope will help all our engineers open up some more. We tend to be a quiet bunch, so the RADPack’s William Chang starts the sessions with boxing! That’s right, Will actually makes everyone in the room get up and do some boxing moves to loosen up and boost their self confidence. So far, none of the recruits have gotten angry and left, so we figure the classes are working! During our four class sessions we have covered topics like engines, fuels and electric motors, and we’ve even had an ice-cream social (with root beer!).
In other news, we are currently trying to work our way through the architecture selection process for our entry to the EcoCAR 2 program. We’re using a program called Autonomie to build a virtual car and run it through a drive cycle to see what kind of performance, emissions and energy consumption our architecture ideas are giving us. Once we select an architecture we will choose the specific components to purchase for use in rebuilding the car. It’s a pretty daunting task considering we will be locked into the architecture and components for all three years of the EcoCAR 2 program. So far we’ve looked at a few high end AC motors and inverters. The performance is nice, but the retail price on some of these motor packages is almost as much as the Chevrolet Malibu we’re putting them in! We’re hoping to find something that’s a bit more reasonably priced so that the car we design can be closer to a production car and not just an unlimited budget design showcase.