Diary of a Greenpower Team - 4QD - Electric Motor Control

Diary of a Greenpower Team

Here at 4QD we’ve long been interested in the Greenpower series. Our Porter controllers have been used by a lot of teams and our 10XXX model has been a proven championship winner.

But we’ve never run a car ourselves, never helped with the planning or the building, and not got near to understanding the logistics. So when our son Charlie started at GPUTC who allegedly had a car we thought it would be rude not to offer our services.

Thus it was that we found ourselves at a team kick-off meeting yesterday [13/11/19]. This page is to document in broad terms how it goes, what challenges we find, how we plan, and generally to share our experience in the hope that other STEM teachers might find something useful.

13/11/19

This was an initial meeting to see how many students were interested [3], and how many staff [2]. We also wanted to set some goals, and to start to sketch an outline plan.

Goals

4QD have been to quite a number of Greenpower races now as an observer and we suggested a possible goal as “To run for 90 minutes in 2 races at a Greenpower event during this academic year”. We could have been more ambitious and set target times or rankings, but to set something realistic would take knowledge of our capabilities that we just don’t have at the moment.

Then we could move on to…

What needs to happen achieve this goal?

Broadly it comes down to

  1. Have a working car and team.
  2. Enter and get to an event.
  3. Pass scrutineering.
  4. Get through qualifying, then drive for 2 races.

How hard can that be?

So onto the matter of getting a working car. GPUTC are in the enviable position of having 4 Greenpower F24 chassis. For various reasons none of these have ever been fully assembled let alone raced, so the 2nd task became to take a full inventory. We need to know what parts are there, and then start to work out what is missing. We also need a place to store and work on the cars, GPUTC have a shipping container that looks like it will do the job nicely.

Next we need to start acquiring information.

  • When are the events? Once we know the dates and locations the staff can plan which it is possible to attend in light of exam schedules etc. Once we know which events we want to enter we can start to put a project plan together.
  • What are the rules for the car? Once we have these and the inventory we can start to plan the car build.
  • What other rules are there for the team? Any minimum numbers, any clothing requirements etc?

That was more or less it for the 1st meeting, the staff agreed to do the inventory and get the rules printed off. The students agreed to find some more participants. Let’s see where we are next week!