This Month In EV, April 2016

Early on in the month, the team designed and installed a buzzer system in the Datsun connected to the BMS that warns the driver when a cell drops below a specified voltage. This was part of the solution to the problem we faced in March at the Spring Thaw Event where the batteries overheated and reached almost unrecoverable low voltages. Since we lost a few batteries at the Spring Thaw Event, the team put 12 more batteries in the front of the Datsun, bringing the car’s voltage up to around 176 V, the highest it is allowed to be for competitions and the highest it’s ever been in any of our cars. During this time we also reshaped one of the bottom side panels on the Datsun that had gotten a little beat up in one of the autocross runs from last month. We also continued to charge the car in preparation for the Herald Miller Invitational.

In the middle of April, the team traveled to North Carolina to participate in the Herald Miller Invitational, a substitute event created in place of the EV Challenge. To read more about that, click this link: https://svgsev.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/the-herald-miller-invitational/.

Towards the end of April, the team charged the Datsun and worked on minor things while also planning events and meetings for the future. We plan on taking the Datsun to the Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School’s Award Picnic in May to show off our work to other students, parents, and members of the community.

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SVGS EV Team Goes to NC EV Challenge

Team members show off their second place overall trophy from the North Carolina EV Challenge event
Team members show off their second place overall trophy from the North Carolina EV Challenge event

On April 24-26, the SVGS Electric Vehicle team went down to North Carolina to participate in the 2015 EV Challenge at NCCAR (North Carolina Center for Automotive Research). The team competed in events such as autocross, acceleration, range, vehicle design, oral presentation, EV jeopardy, and troubleshooting; the team received recognition in many of these categories. Each team member got a chance to work on their driving skills on the track and expand their knowledge of electric vehicles by talking to members and mentors of other teams at the competition.

The team showed two cars this year: the Datsun 240Z and the Porsche 911. The 240Z performed on ~150V of Lithium Ion batteries while the Porsche ran on Lead Acid batteries. Future plans for the cars include the installation of new battery management systems on both and the conversion of the Porsche to Lithium Ion batteries.

Photo of all the teams and electric vehicles at the EV Challenge
Photo of all the teams and electric vehicles at the EV Challenge

Specific awards received by the team include:

2nd in the modified division

2nd in the autocross

3rd in the vehicle design category

3rd in the acceleration

3rd in the range event