April 2017 Update

With competition coming in around a week and a half, we have been working tirelessly to get CleanSpeed 3 assembled and working. Unfortunately, Votey Hall, our base of operations, is undergoing major renovations right now, which meant that last week we needed to move everything out of our shop. This set us back back, but the good news is that our vice president, Tom Hryckiewicz, had room available in his spacious garage, so we’ll be working out of there until competition.

Over the weekend we finished TIG welding over all of our bad MIG welds so that we could send the frame out to paint at Hazelett Strip Casting. They got it back to us the next day fully painted in the characteristic AERO green. We can’t thank the guys at Hazelett enough for all the work they do for us.

It’s green!

The other projects on the car are coming along as well. Our removable battery pack is nearly fully assembled—only the protective plastic top is left to finish. Yesterday we connected all six segments together and measured the overall pack at 112 volts. We also tested the Elektromotus battery management system, which worked first try without any finagling, allowing us to view voltages and temperatures of every cell in the pack. Lots of credit to Elektromotus here—their hardware and software is amazing. This BMS is orders of magnitude better than the one we’ve used with these cells before; I don’t know why we didn’t look into it sooner.

This is an older picture—a lot of progress has been made since it was taken.

As for the low voltage electronics, the CAN-based control system is almost finished; the majority of the remaining work is just tidying up wires and fixing a few software problems. The telemetry system is also nearly finished. It will allow us to record wheel speed and shock travel on each corner of the car, along with body roll, acceleration, and GPS data.

One of the biggest projects on this car from the very beginning was suspension. Our lead mechanical engineer, Greg Castaldi, has put an unbelievable amount of time and effort into designing a suspension system that is not only functionally impressive, but also visually impressive. The custom aluminum uprights were CNC machined by Tru Form Precision Manufacturing, and they look amazing. (The fact that they are anodized in gold certainly helps).

Rear upright in perfect, gold-anodized aluminum.

To go along with the uprights, Greg has been working with president Jack Thomae to CNC machine bell cranks and other aluminum suspension components. This is going to be one good looking suspension.

Lots of work still has to be done, but at this point it’s mostly just assembling everything into the frame and making sure it all meets the Formula Hybrid rules. The plan is to have enough of that work done to drive the car this weekend.

One thought on “April 2017 Update”

  1. WoooHoooo! Your progress looks impressive. I look forward to watching video of driving the 🚗.
    I’ll be cheering for you from home!

    -Cathy Lohe 👍🏼👏🏼🏎

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