Momentum - February 2021 - 15
stacks than previously. We also developed our own 600-24-V
dc-dc converter to power the accumulator cooling fans, built a
24-V lithium-ion battery to power our 13 PCBs, on which we
added debug LEDs for immediate hardware status reports.
What was the biggest engineering technical challenge the
team faced, and how was that challenge overcome?
This year we decided to completely change our vehicle
architecture by utilizing four AMK in-hub motors to power our
car. This presented a large number of technical challenges for
the team to overcome. Firstly, we had to develop a new master
code for the motor controllers and adapt our old battery pack
to allow us to run the motors on the dyno so that we could
debug the system and ensure reliability.
Secondly, we had to design our electronics system and
powertrain to accommodate a 600-V system.
Thirdly, we were facing new challenges in the cooling
system and gearbox design. For the cooling system, we had
little data and understanding of its performance. Because of
this, we had to develop a new cooling model to estimate the
cooling system's performance. This model was used to
quantify changes in our design and make sure we were
moving in the right direction.
The cooling system had to link all four motors as
well as ensure that the inverters stayed cool. For
the gearbox, we had to do extensive work to
ensure that it could be manufactured and
designed to meet performance specifications
and weight targets while still being compactly
packaged in the wheel assembly. In addition, the
gearbox had to be manufactured quickly so that
they could be run on the dyno before fitting it
in the car.
Did the team finish building its car, or did it
cancel work once notified by SAE of the move
to a virtual competition?
We continued building our car once we knew of the
virtual competition. However, we halted construction when
our school decided to shut down campus.
How disappointing was it to have had the FSAE dynamic
events cancelled, and what was the team's response to it?
It was extremely disappointing to have the competition
canceled. For many engineering students, FSAE presents a
unique opportunity to see a project through from start to
finish. I still remember seeing my first FSAE car run and
thinking " Wow, this was built by us. " However, the team is using
this time to work on next year's design and learn what we can
from the comfort of home. n
The McGill University team's In-hub motor gearbox.
February 2021 15
Momentum - February 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - February 2021
Momentum - February 2021 - Cover1
Momentum - February 2021 - Cover2
Momentum - February 2021 - 1
Momentum - February 2021 - 2
Momentum - February 2021 - 3
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