We’ve had a very exciting summer designing and building our own custom hydrogen fuel cell in Dr. Secanell ‘s Energy Systems Design (ESD) Lab. This new fuel cell will allow our vehicles to run more efficiently and help the team expand it’s innovation in fuel cell technology. There are many parts that go into the cell and one of the essential components that has been completed is the humidifier. The humidifier is important to the system because it increases the cell’s overall efficiency, performance, and reliability. Without humidification, the membranes that are used to exchange protons become too dry and can result in poor function or failure of the fuel cell.
Like previous days, our team had an early start; at 6:00am our team took Sofie to line up for racing. Even though prototype races started at 9:30am, we lined up early to get near the front of the queue to ensure we would be one of the first to race. Despite our very early wake-up, there were a few teams in front of us in line. In line, we conditioned our fuel cell (similar to how an athlete warms up before a race or game, our fuel cell performs best after having been running for a bit) because it allows the membranes in the fuel cell to become hydrated.
Our team had another early start this morning we lined up Alice at tech inspection at 7:45am to get in at 8:00am, when it opened. We passed with flying colours for most of the stations like Brakes, Safety Belt, Visibility, and Horn. Only the Hydrogen station gave us issues (the start-up cycle wouldn’t complete) and so we left tech inspection with 9/10 of our checks completed. Our Fuel Cell team worked diligently all morning to fix the issue. With tech inspection permanently closing at 4:00pm today, our team knows how crucial it is to pass this hydrogen test.
The team got up bright and early to move both cars to the test track for the competition photos and attend the ecomarathon opening event.
Sofie’s final technical inspection will soon be underway. More to come
We had a massive number of people show up to our AGM! This was our most successful AGM ever with enough people to almost completely fill a big lecture hall in ETLC. Thank you to everybody who came. We hope you join our team and learn valuable skills while building the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the world.
It’s been a good couple of weeks in terms of videos. We released our promotional video for the 2016-17 year and in the same week, the University of Alberta featured us at the Celebrate Teaching, Learning, Research event in a video. We hope you enjoy them!
Here’s our 2016-17 promo video:
Interested in learning outside the classroom? Gaining hands-on engineering, business, community engagement, or education experience? What about changing the world and making friends while you’re at it?
EcoCar is hosting its Annual General Meeting to celebrate last year’s success, discuss the state of the team, and our vision for the future (of the team and of the world). Here, we will also welcome anyone interested in joining our team and introduce you to some of our team’s senior members and learn more about the team.
The team woke up early as usual and after their morning chores, headed to the park to finish the work started the previous day. The Mec E’s – Jerry, Chris P, Chris O and Kent – installed the hall-effect sensor and Nik hooked up his laptop to begin testing. After some fiddling with the code and the GUI, the go-pedal was pushed. An even louder VROOOOOOOOM! We didn’t know if it was possible, but the motor was going faster than yesterday! Hilariously, the noise was loud enough to scare Alex and Nathan quite a bit.
Day 5 began in high spirits and we were ready for more testing on all fronts. Some brainstorming the previous night had resulted in ideas on how to fix the issues with the fuel-cell system and the motor. For some reason, the fuel-cell controller was turning off during operation and stopping the flow of electricity to the car. We were also ready to install our new motor controller, the Vedder, which had just started working the previous night. We were expecting this to increase the speed of the car with more precise control over the motor.
Day 3 at the Shell Eco-marathon Europe started bright and early at 6:30 am. We made our way to the paddocks to continue working on the car and to take it to technical inspection for the first time in London. With spot number 20 in the line, we queued up in high spirits which, unfortunately, soon turned to boredom since we needed to wait for a total of four hours before getting into the testing area. One of our more opportunistic members (calling you out Ryan!) even decided to catch up on some much needed sleep inside the car!