Recent Projects: Transportation
Dartmouth Formula Racing: Data Management and Communications
We worked as part of the Dartmouth Formula Hybrid team on the car. We installed a small computer to monitor a network of sensors installed around the car. The computer logs all of the data for analysis and also transmits it to a computer in the pit area for real-time monitoring. In addition to the software running on the car and on the computer in the pit, we wrote user manuals and supporting software.
Dartmouth Formula Racing: Drivetrain and Driver Interface
Team: Samuel Axelrod (Dual Degree), Joshua Bary '12, Zachary Currier (Dual Degree), Ermira Murati (Dual Degree)
Sponsor: Dartmouth Formula Racing (DFR)
Advisor: Douglas Fraser
As the drivetrain and driver interface team, we were tasked with ensuring that the DFR car was mechanically reliable and efficient. Our main focus was on three systems: the engine, the drivetrain, and the shifting mechanism. We aimed to make efficient, understandable parts that were simple and quick to build, adjust, and repair. By prioritizing completion and targeting problematic components, we helped to make the car drive in February. Our time was spent learning about engines and power transmission, designing mounting fixtures, configuring wiring, and searching for points of failure.
Dartmouth Formula Racing: Electrical Powerplant
The Dartmouth Formula Racing team uses an electric motor powered by an ultracapacitor bank as part of a parallel hybrid drivetrain. The electrical powerplant project objectives included controlling the electric motor, implementing a regenerative braking algorithm, employing a semi-automatic electric boost feature, and managing the energy transfer into and out of the ultracapacitors in a safe and efficient manner. We have successfully demonstrated the system's capability of completing the required electric-only acceleration run and assisting the internal combustion engine throughout the remaining driving events at the Formula Hybrid competition.
Fuel-Water Separation for the Big Green Bus
Team: Brian Almadi '11, Lucas Hussey '11, Tim Vanderet '11
Sponsor: Big Green Bus
Advisor: Douglas Fraser
In its six-year history, the engine for the Big Green Bus (BGB) has been plagued by water damage. This is primarily because its main fuel, waste vegetable oil (WVO), often contains much higher water content than standard diesel. To help solve this problem, the group has provided two key deliverables. The first is a Racor 777R fuel/water separator, which has been purchased, tested, and fully installed on the BGB. The second is an originally modified state-of-the-art CaH2 water content test, which allows the BGB crew to test for WVO water content with far greater accuracy than its historically employed methods.
Optimization of the Walvisstaart POD
Walvisstaart has developed a radical new flapping foil propulsion system for large canal barges in the Netherlands that shows a significant efficiency gain over traditional propellers. Our project was to determine the technical and economic viability of adapting this system to smaller fishing vessels. Our team conducted a computational fluid dynamics analysis to analyze the hydrodynamics of the blade design and determine optimal design parameters, built and tested a prototype for comparison, and did a preliminary market analysis. From review of our research, computer model, and prototype, we have recommended that this project be investigated further.