Tuesday, April 16, 2013

2 Weeks!

We've been getting lots of work done, and there's lots of work to do. Here are some recent updates.

The race car in "rolling chassis" state was brought down to Ecovative Design in Green Island. A few of us had the pleasure of working with Gavin McIntyre and others to pack bags of their Mycobond "Regrind" into the chassis to use as seat bolsters.
Grinding the Mycobond so that it can be put into bags for application
This biocomposite needs to grow in a clean environment. Look at the science!

The bags were stuff and molded to shape in the cockpit

Thanks to Dave for being our human mold

Final set up of bolsters
Ecovative's material takes a couple days to grow, or colonize. We duct-taped the bolsters in place and left the chassis at their warehouse for a couple days. Once they are done growing, they get popped in the oven to dry then they are good to go. I'll update pictures when I go get them tomorrow.

A lot of work was done on the turbocharger. Last Sunday, we brought the car with the complete turbo system to Rensselaer Motorsports dynamometer to see how it would go. There will be a big update of the complete system soon, but I'll discuss it a bit here.
By the rules, if we have a turbo, we are in the modified engine category and all of our intake air must pass through a 12mm restrictor. Furthermore, all throttle bodies must be upstream of the restrictor. This combination means that when the throttle is closed there is a large pressure differential on each side of the turbo, which was sucking in a lot of oil through the turbo and intake system and depositing it inside the engine. Until we can figure out an appropriate way to deal with the oil pressure, we have decided to work on the car in it's Naturally Aspirated state. Luckily we were able to do a tuning session in NA, and are working on optimizing the ECU and fuel injection.

Turbocharger all hooked up! It looked pretty good.

We tried adding an oil pressure regulator but it did not solve the problem
Doing a tune back in naturally aspirated state

There was other good news too. We were able to get our telemetry working! Through XBee technology we were able to wirelessly communicate with the car from a laptop. We will be making more XBee modules and fully utilizing this feature.

In these final weeks we are concentrating on polishing our electrical system and getting ready for technical inspection. Stay tuned

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