Thursday, May 24, 2012

2012 Competition and Year Sum Up

RPI Formula Hybrid 2011-2012 year ended very strongly. We brought out race car to the competition at New Hampshire Motor Speedway from April 30th-May 3rd.
Despite all our planning, a couple things still happened last minute. Our pneumatic shifter was swapped for a manual slapstick shifter because we were concerned with the tank capacity of the pneumatic system.

After a few touch-ups we were able to pass mechanical tech inspection but we had a few problems with the electrical systems. Eventually, multiply convoys were sent in every direction to find us a specific DC fuse and we pass electrical tech too.
Sam Putney holding on during the Tilt Test

Michael Kessler completing the Brake Test
The Albatross stands triumphantly after passing the Rain Test and all inspections

When we completed the rest of the inspections, it was RPI Formula Hybrid's first time ever competing in a dynamic event when we took part of the Endurance Race. The first half of the endurance was strong; we even overtook a few other schools, but we started having engine problems during the second half. The race ended when we ran out of gas, but nonetheless when the points were tallied we placed 7th!

Tony Peto ripping around the course during the Endurance race

The whole team at the end of the competition

Thank everyone so much for the support! We are very happy with the results and look forward to the future we will go from here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tech Park Testing

 Last Saturday we tested the car at Pitney Bowes in the Rensselaer Tech Park.
 There were a few hiccups in the car - our starter battery and air shifter weren't working. The motor belt was slipping too, but we were able to run the car anyways. Check out the pictures!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rollout, preparations for the competition

 Today was the unveiling of our car to the university. We are close to the completion of the vehicle.
Many people attended, including Dean Rosowsky of the MANE department and Lance Allen Wang of the President's office. Thanks to everyone who helped us achieve our goals! We could not have done it without you.

Mechanically it is 99 percent done. The electrical system is now undergoing final wiring, then CAN node programming to collect data from sensors and control the vehicle's powertrain. Our powertrain is operational in it's current state, but more work needs to be done to pass the vigorous technical inspection at the competition. We will be leaving early Monday morning to get to Loudon for registration.

We will be testing the car this weekend at the Rensselaer Tech Park. If all goes well, expect a strong car from Rensselaer Polytechnic this year.

Stay tuned! There will be plenty of updates next week while we race at the competition.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

lots of progress!

 The battery box has been constructed. Here you can see our packs, which we'll talk about later...

 The fuel tank has been finished. Here is an image of the tank being pressurized and checked for pinholes and leaks.
 Here are the finished rear uprights, before the final machining. An expanding collet was used to fixture the uprights in the lathe for boring to the final bearing dimensions.
Here is an upright being bored in the lathe. Look's pretty silly doesn't it?
Here's a video of the operations.

 We've had a lot of younger members in the shop cranking out parts. Keep it up guys!
 The exhaust has been completed, complete with narrow band 02 sensors welded in. We will be using a wideband sensor for performance tuning, but in the meantime only narrowbands have been installed. Thanks to Burns stainless for the collector, tubing and their engineering knowledge!
 The rear suspension is coming together! Sam has been making good progress on parts, and we now have one corner tacked up. Tomorrow the rear suspension should be done, and after that the front!

Sorry for the slow updates, but more will be coming!

Be on the lookout for RPIFH's rollout - it won't be long now.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

motor mount, pizza, etc.

We've received the motor mount parts!
 The wiring harness for the engine has been modified. We've removed all unnecessary wires and shortened it to fit in the car cleanly.
 The rear uprights are coming together. The only parts missing are the bearing cups, which should be machined this week. That means we'll have a roller by the end of next week.

  All suspension mounts are done. Here are the fronts, along with some bearing cups for the uprights. It's coming along!
We can't forget about the shop pizza!
Tony doing his 3 hour fuel tank challenge. More pictures of it will be up soon.

More to come...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Impact Attenuator, Upright and Motor Mount Progress

 This week we made quite a bit of progress. 

 The mount for the AGNI 95r electric motor we're running is finished being designed. FYI for those of you who are interested in using this motor - the mechanical drawing is wrong on their website. Specifically, the bolt pattern is a 196mm diameter circle, instead of 194mm. The lever arm you see is a tension mechanism for the final drive.

Miles and I spent some time last Friday testing impact attenuator - or in Layman's terms, the bumper. Plascore was generous enough to sell us some attenuator material, which is made of 3003 aluminum honeycomb. It's great at absorbing energy at a constant force. We tested the material's strength against displacement in RPI's concrete testing Instron machine.

Here you can see the localized compression of the cells. 

 I was able to get some work done on the jig for the uprights tonight as well. 

Taylor and Joe cranked out a lot of parts this weekend! We've got to keep this momentum up if we're going to finish the car in 4 weeks like we plan to.

Until next time...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

More chassis progress!

Yesterday the engine and radiator were mounted onto the chassis. Planning on making progress on rear suspension mounts, electric motor mounts and steering rack stuff this coming week.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Upright Design

The 2011-12 upright designs are finalized. I will hopefully be building them next week. The uprights will be crafted from 16 gauge sheet steel. Blanks will be cut using the Abrasive Water Jet (AWJ) here on campus, folded on a break and TIG welded together. Bearing cups for the 32009 taper roller bearings used will be made in house on a Haas TL-1 CNC lathe. Wilwood will be supplying the calipers front and rear, with 240mm rotors and a custom live hub designed for easy service. The bare uprights will weigh in at 2 pounds in the front and 2.75 in the rear.

Stay tuned, I'll be posting pictures of this build and more!

Front Upright Assembly

Rear Upright Assembly

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More chassis welding


Tony and I have finished welding the basic structure of the chassis. Jake has been here assisting and learning some things here and there. Check it out!

Until next time...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Break Racecar Building

Hey everybody!

Tony and I have been building chassis and taking care of some orders for the past couple of days. As of now the front of the chassis is mostly done. We still need to finish most welds, but we're making good progress. This afternoon we're starting on the back. Alex has been around doing body stuff.

We'll really get things rolling next week when Sam and Jake show up. It's time to start building the racecar!