SEMA 2016 46 Hour Update


Happy Earth Day!!!

After our first tech inspection earlier this afternoon, we had a few minor adjustments that needed to be made.  Tech inspection only stayed open until 7:00PM, and so we knew we only had a couple of hours after our first inspection to make these changes if we wanted to have a second inspection today.


The Electrical team tinkered with the code for the headlights, brake lights, and turning signals with the auxiliary board.  The CANbus was also a focus of attention.

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On the Mechanical side, there was only very minor adjustments: fixing the spacing for one of the wheels, and making a two-minute-fix to the seatbelt.

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As the clock reached 6:00PM, we headed over to tech inspection for the second time.  We breezed through the seatbelt test, and our wheels passed easily as well.  However, we ran into some problems at the hydrogen fuel cell station.  Due to the flammable nature of hydrogen, we are required to have a hydrogen sensor in place that will shut down the car if the concentration of hydrogen reaches a certain level.  During the test, our hydrogen sensor was able to detect the hydrogen… but it did not shut off our car.  With a sigh, the Electrical team know they would have some work ahead of them to get us past tech inspection and able to compete in the race.   Our auxiliary board was having issues as well during inspection, but after a few minutes of tinkering, and re-writing code, our turn signals and headlights worked!  9/10 for our second tech inspection!

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A note on hydrogen safety: hydrogen is combustible in air at a concentration of 40,000 parts per million (ppm), but our car is designed to shut off at 80 ppm!

The plan is to have a third tech inspection early tomorrow morning, which leaves us some time to get in a short test run on the indoor track before gearing up for the race.

About Natasha Pye

I am currently in my second year of Engineering Physics with Nanotechnology. I am the Assistant Project Manager for EcoCar this year. Chances are, if I am not sleeping, eating, or doing homework, I am either working on EcoCar or playing Ultimate Frisbee.

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