EcoHawks News

This page will be continually updated with news about the EcoHawks including weekly updates provided by each team.

May 2, 2017
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Last week, we received new resistors that would allow the current sensors to operate properly and installed them onto the sensors. Unfortunately, during testing of the sensors last week, problems were encountered. On one sensor, an on-board resistor (not the one we installed) burned out and led to the sensor failing. On the other sensor, the resistor we had purchased suddenly began behaving as if it had a resistance a few orders of magnitude higher than its actual rating. We have been unable to conclude why these issues arose, but ordered new resistors and sensors to replace these failed ones. The failure of these sensors created a slight hiccup in our goal of testing the battery pack’s capacity while watching for swelling in to determine to what degree the capacity may have been reduced. Since we could not directly record the amp-hour data without the sensors, we elected to cycle the battery pack while manually recording the information displayed on the charger’s screen. While manually recording the data, we placed a GoPro camera above the pack to take time-lapse photos for visualization of potential swelling. Each time this was done, the charger automatically cut itself off and indicated that charging was complete between 3500 and 5000 mAh. This demonstrates a greatly diminished capacity, even lower than we had previously seen with suspected swelling. From the time-lapse photos, it was possible to see changes in the spacing between the cells of the pack, indicating that the cells were beginning to swell even at this low capacity.

April 25, 2017
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
During the last week, the new resistors for the current sensors arrived and were successfully installed into the sensors. With these new resistors in place, the Python library written for the sensors was tested and so far the sensors have been accurately measuring current data. At this time, this current information is being implemented within the LabVIEW program. An important issue we dealt with over the last week was the problem of the inverter not being rated high enough for the battery pack’s nominal voltage. Due to this, we were having to discharge the battery pack via the charger in order to get the voltage low enough for the inverter to operate and true discharge to be carried out. This was less than ideal, as the information on how much energy was discharged by the charger while dropping the voltage down could not be incorporated into our program. To alleviate this issue, we elected to purchase a resistor that will be placed before the inverter to drop to create a small voltage drop that will allow the inverter to operate properly. This resistor is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday and we will install it at that time. Goals for the next week include – installing the resistor to drop voltage before inverter, complete implementation of current sensors within LabVIEW program, and further test to confirm whether or not the battery pack is truly swelling at the low capacity levels that we suspect it may be.

Altec BMS Investigation
1. Finalized poster design and printed final copy
2. Presented poster to advisory board
3. Contacted Ash about debugging monitor/BMS system
4. Adjusted setup until monitor displayed correctly
5. Met with Dr. Depcik to discuss testing implementation for next semester

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
Thomas completed the poster and had it printed up for the advisory board presentation. Tre continued working with the route table and ISAT to integrate the tire slip ratio activated expression trigger. Alexandra helped Tre successfully activate determine how to set up the ABS light to be activated by the tire slip. She also continued working on the integration and programming of the Raspberry Pi. The final concerns for the programming of the simulator are determining if the route table provided by NADS is working properly, and determining how to work around the University's strict WiFi and firewall settings so the UDP message can actually be sent to the Raspberry Pi.

April 18, 2017
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Over the last week, the team continued working towards the goals discussed last week. Dayton worked on completing conversion of the INA219 current sensor library from the Arduino language it was originally written in to a Python version of the same library. This will allow for use of current sensors with the Raspberry Pi. Results from testing these sensors are expected in the next week. The team also purchased the necessary materials for construction of the new enclosure, and the new enclosure is roughly halfway finished at this point. Through use of the Kill A Watt meter, the team was able to determine that the actual power draw of the fan is significantly lower than previously thought (actual power draw of 90 Watts versus 840 Watts). This lower power draw will alleviate many of the concerns surrounding the power rating of the resistors currently installed in the current sensors. This means that testing of the current sensors can go forward with the resistors we have now, and testing with higher amperages/power can be carried out once the new resistors arrive (late this week or next week).

Soybean Press & Biodiesel Institute Upgrade
We have decided to order the other press (the $300 one mentioned in our presentation), currently we are waiting on it to come it. As well as we have received the sprockets and roller chains to hook up the Piteba press up to the motor. John is in charge of machining the sprockets to the correct dimensions since he has access to the machine shop. Thank you for sending out the poster information, which we would like to discuss during our meeting later this morning. I have also talked to Courtney Crain about obtaining some desired material from her in regards to the KU Bio Diesel Institute e.g. soap, process flow diagram, etc. She informed me that they need 1 liter of oil to perform a "small batch".

Altec BMS Investigation
As far testing goes we have some things to debug in the system. The display is telling us that the BMS is recognizing all four of the cells in the battery pack but we are having trouble getting pack voltage and current. Also when we charge or discharge the battery the capacity reading doesn't budge. The weird thing is, is when you change the display to show voltages of each individual cell the readings are all correct and you can see the values changing when charging/discharging. We will contact Elite Power Solutions and begin troubleshooting next week. Ash, if you have any ideas shoot them our way. I have attached some pictures of the display and the overall setup as well as circuit diagrams. The good news is that the resistor bank is working very well at discharging. With all five resistors engaged we can pull upwards of 100A, so cycling through tests won't take too long.

April 11, 2017
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
During the last week, Dayton completed corrections that fixed some issues that we were experiencing with the charging program. Last week, we were experiencing some problems with the battery charger itself but our chosen method for solving the problem (liquid electrical tape to protect the microcontroller) appears to have fixed the issue. We will monitor this as we continue testing, but as of now we are confident that the problem was solved. Additionally, the new resistors were soldered to the current sensors. We are slightly concerned about the power rating of these resistors, as they may not be able to dissipate enough energy when charging and discharging at higher amperages. Further testing and investigation of this potential issue will be carried out this week as we troubleshoot the current sensors. In light of the fact that the battery pack will now remain inside, the team also created a design for a new enclosure for the battery pack and control system.

Altec BMS Investigation
1. Wired BMS to battery.
2. Drew and built brackets to connect resistor bank to battery.
3. Collaborated with Ranjith to get 12V 0-5A power supply to run BMS.
4. After video cable not arriving through mail from Ash decision was made to buy one in Lawrence to expedite process.
5. Scheduled phone call with Ash for Monday, April 17, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. CT
6. Begun working on poster presentation and collaborated with Dr. Depcik for ideas and rubrics.

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
Prior to our meeting with Dr. Depcik next week, the team will be creating a draft of the poster for the advisory board for feedback. Thomas completed the mounting of the solenoids onto one of the brake pedal assemblies and organized the project binder. He will be next be installing the solenoids into the simulator cab. Tre researched the route table and how to utilize the tire slip variable in the simulator. Alexandra continued working on the integration and programming of the Raspberry Pi as well as setting up the ability to access the controller remotely from the simulator desktop.

April 7, 2017
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Over the last week, work was continued on improving automated control of the system. The remaining critical step for complete automated control is successfully gathering current values using the INA219 current sensors. Once we can accurately gather this information, it will be possible to more accurately characterize the amount of energy put into the battery pack and control its charging and discharging. An issue with the battery charger was encountered during testing last week. The team was testing charging the battery pack at a higher current than previously used (charging at 30 Amps, the battery charger’s maximum output). Each time charging was attempted, the charging would stop and the charger would “click around” a few different menu options. The conclusion the team reached was that the issue may have been caused by the hot glue used to hold wires in-place softening due to excess heat. Our operating theory is that this could have caused the charger buttons to be “pressed” if a loose wire came in contact with the charger’s microcontroller. To alleviate this problem, we purchased Liquid Electrical Tape and covered the microcontroller with it to prevent any accidental contact with a wire from triggering the controller. As we continue testing this week, we will determine the effectiveness of this solution.

Soybean Press & Biodiesel Institute Upgrade
Since the last time we met, we have ordered sprockets and roller chain to attach the piteba press to the electric motor. We decided to use a gear ratio of 2:1 and plan to have it hooked up in a week. Courtney had to reschedule our meeting on Monday to this afternoon at 3 p.m. Question we have for her are why potassium hydroxide compared to sodium hydroxide in the first reaction, if they do methanol recycling, what wash ratio they perform on the bio diesel, and the quality of the bio diesel.

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
Thomas completed the installation of the electronics mounting plate into the simulator. He also verified and completed the CAD files of the solenoid assembly provided by Alexandra and submitted the mounts for 3D printing. Over the next week, he will drill the mounting holes on one of the brake pedal assemblies and mount the solenoids. Tre spoke with NADS regarding the information still needed for the integration of the system. He also researched graphical user interfacing to attempt to understand the problems with the virtual object implementation. Alexandra completed the soldering of all the circuitry needed for the permanent system. She performed tests to ensure the circuity was soldered well and in full working order. She also continued working on the integration and programming of the Raspberry Pi based on communications with NADS. At the advice of a professional controls engineer, she has also been researching the Node.js based platform Node Red as a tool for the programming and integration.

March 28, 2017
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Last week was Spring Break for KU students, so we were gone for most of the week. During the week prior, we made a few key steps forward for automated control of charging and discharging. First, testing of data logging of the battery pack’s voltage during charging and discharging was continued. This program has been operating effectively, the last hurdle here is converting the data file types from LVM to TXT files so that they may be more easily analyzed in Matlab. Additionally, it was determined that by replacing the 100 mOhm resistors on the current sensors purchased last year with 10 mOhm resistors, we will be able to effectively use the sensors to record current. This is the key component in recording the number of amp-hours flowing into and out of the battery pack during charging and discharging. These resistors have been ordered and received, once they are soldered onto the sensors we will be able to record current. The other key piece of equipment purchased last week was a Powerswitch Tail 2 from Adafruit. This is essentially an extension cord with a switch installed in the middle. With simple electrical signals, the switch may be opened and closed allowing for controlled discharge of the battery. By placing this between the output of the inverter and the fan (or other equipment to be discharged to) the issue of the inverter resetting when disconnected from the battery pack will be eliminated.

Soybean Press & Biodiesel Institute Upgrade
Since the last time we met we have checked with Nebraska Screw Press about what they offer in terms of a press and if they would provide any advice/information on the subject of pressing soybeans. The presses they offer are quite expensive, meaning the route of purchasing is out of the question. I did send you the conversation I had with the CEO, to allow you to read what information he provided. We also ran a few tests on moisture content and how heat also affects extraction. I have attached the records from these tests along with pictures. I will upload these document later today to the dropbox. We also discussed about different ways to connect the manual press to motor we have.

March 17, 2017
Soybean Press & Biodiesel Institute Upgrade
This last week I have researched the process of extracting oil from soybeans in an industrial setting. I found that the preparation of the beans are very important. The beans need to be cleaned, dried, and dehulled (removal of the husk). The dehulling process includes the cracking and mechanical separation of the soybeans, while magnets separate any iron present. As well as the beans are heated to approximately 75°C to make the oil extraction easier. Cold pressing is done small scale and I did not find any real information on them besides that you can purchase these type of presses. John talked to Piteba, the company that made the manual press. Hannah research different kinds of presses e.g. screw and hydraulic. We look forward to meeting and discussing with you in our meeting later today.

March 3, 2017
Honda ABS Driving Simulator
Thomas purchased and drilled the mounting plate for the electronics under the hood of the simulator. He also worked on creating and scheduling the presentation for next week. He will continue working on both tasks over the next week.
Tre spoke with Andrew while he was here working on the simulator about the possibilities for integration between the raspberry Pi and the simulator. Over the next week, he will continue working with NADS to configure the route table outputs to communicate with the Raspberry PI. Alexandra ordered the parts needed to fix and create the permanent circuitry for the Raspberry Pi. She also spoke with Andrew while he was in town about the configuration of the DAQ output pins and the variables built into the simulator that will allow for the programming of the ABS activation based on wheel slip. Over the next week she will be soldering the breadboard, finalizing the mounting for the solenoids, and working with NADS to program the DAQ outputs.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
The focus of the past week was continuing to develop the automated control system while collecting data during charging and discharging of the battery pack. With regard to the automated control system, the initial goal had been to use transistors to act as switches for activating the charger’s “charge” function. Unfortunately, this proved to not be possible as the charger requires the button to be held down for three seconds while the transistors provided a fluctuating signal that was not able to activate the charger. Fortunately, Dayton was able to create a solution to this problem that sends a signal from the USB relay purchased by last year’s team to activate the charger. This allows for the charging process to be activated via buttons within the LabVIEW interface rather than manually pressing them. As far as data collection from the system goes, collecting data sets during charging and discharging of the battery pack was successful. This means that we can go forward with further optimizing the system while collecting and analyzing data.

Soybean Press & Biodiesel Institute Upgrade
This last week we ran tests with wet soybeans (~48 hr soak) and it became a mess. The liquidity substance that came out was more of a paste and back flow became an issue as well. We came to the conclusion that only dry beans should be used. We had no luck with crushing beans in the automatic press. We talked to Charles in the machine shop about the previous design and what changes we were thinking of making. He showed us insight on what flaws were in the previous design and confidently thought that the press would not work. Charles also gave us what possible routes there are for our project, which we plan on discussing with you later today in our meeting.

February 24, 2017
Altec BMS Investigation
1. Scheduled meeting with Altec for Friday (Today)
2. Gained access to M2SEC G557 lab
3. Successfully used resistors from lab to discharge battery unit
4. Received and examined documentation detailing BMS systems from Dr. Depcik and Mr. Dalal

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
The team met with Dr. Kondyli earlier this week to discuss user testing and ensure she approved of the plans for modifying the simulator moving forward. Thomas placed an order for 2 additional solenoids and created a model for the shelf design for the components being placed under the hood of the cab. Next week he will procure an aluminum sheet and being installation of the shelf. Tre discovered how to import audio files into ISAT and utilize them within a scenario. He also met with Andrew Veit of NADS and discussed the implementation within ISAT and with the Raspberry PI. He will be further communicating with NADS over the next week. Alexandra created a new assembly of the solenoid mounting using the brake arm CAD provided by Colter. She also worked on data retrieval and analysis utilizing the ISAT data analysis tools and Matlab. She also resolved the issues with the Raspberry PI and will be ordering the new hardware needed to resolve the issue and create the permanent circuitry.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Over the past week, the team continued to work towards our goal of beginning to collect preliminary data as soon as possible. Dayton continued working on the final troubleshooting for our LabVIEW program that will allow us to collect data from the system, and this program is near completion. The major issue we faced last week was the fact that the battery charger returns to the menu when disconnected from the battery pack. After discussing the problem with Dr. Depcik, we determined that the best way forward would be to solder our own switch onto the charger in place of the push-button it currently has. To do this, we purchased a simple transistor that we will be able to use to control the charger via LabVIEW. Our plan is to begin collecting preliminary data before we begin the process of modifying the charger to be controlled by our program. This will allow us to make sure that everything in our data collection system is working properly before we try to use the automated control system. We are going to begin collecting this data this coming Wednesday (March 1).

Soybean Press & Biodiesel Institute Upgrade
Over the past week we ordered a manual oil expeller press and received it yesterday. As well as obtaining soybeans to start crushing. Our plan/goal for the coming week is to conduct tests with both the manual and automated press. On a side note, we have heard back from Courtney Crain about the KU Biodiesel program and in deliberation to set up a meeting with her and/or the production manager.

February 17, 2017
Honda ABS Driving Simulator
The team will be meeting with Dr. Kondyli this Tuesday to discuss our plans for the modifications to be made to the simulator. Thomas placed an order for more hardware and began creating a design for the mounting of the hardware within the simulator. He also began work on our next design presentation. Tre researched how to use the route tables within MiniSim to communicate with external devices (a Raspberry Pi). He also continued to work with programming ISAT. Alexandra continued researching the programming of the route table and Raspberry PI. She also created a model assembly of the brake pedal, solenoid, and a mount to attached the two, which she then 3D printed.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Over the last week, Dayton completed the LabVIEW program that allows us to collect voltage data. This operates by opening a connection to the Raspberry Pi and then running the Python script written for control of the analog-to-digital converter. The successful completion of this program means that we can now collect data from the system using LabVIEW’s easy to understand interface. We also tested the space heaters with a “Kill A Watt” power meter to make sure they were drawing the full load they are designed for. We found that both heaters were operating at the full 500 Watt rating and still did not provide very much heat to the area. Therefore, we will need to change the item we are powering outside to a set of floodlights (which are relatively cheap and will work well with our battery pack). Additionally, we made a rather unfortunate discovery regarding the battery charger’s operation. The original plan had been to operate the charger in the “NiMH Charging” mode and use a relay to open and close the connection to the battery pack, allowing us to control when the battery pack is charged. Unfortunately, when this concept was tested we found that the battery charger goes into a “battery disconnect mode” whenever it is disconnected from the battery pack. This requires a button on the battery charger to be pressed to resume charging – meaning that charging could not be resumed without the button being pressed by someone present at the Hill Center. We have come up with several options for how to deal with the issue and will be discussing them with Dr. Depcik and Professor DeAgostino in our meetings this week.

Soybean Press & Biodiesel Institute Upgrade
Over the past week, we were able to get the press running. There was an issue on operating the VFD, which we were able to resolve after finding the instruction manual online. Upon starting the press, we took it apart to clean and view how the press was constructed. We noticed various places of concerns dealing with the bearings and the clearance between the screw and the inside diameter of the pipe. In parallel I have reached out to Courtney Crain about the biodiesel institute, which I am still waiting for a response. I also contacted Frieb Seed, the person that my family usually gets various seed crops from, and they are going to donate approximately 60-70 pounds of soybean seeds for us to use. They wanted to let us know that the seed has be treated with Acceleron, which is an insecticide/fungicide. I do not think that this should affect with our tests by any means.

February 10, 2017
Honda ABS Driving Simulator
The team met this week with Colter to discuss the progress on the project so far and our goals and timeline moving forward. Thomas created a list of materials that still need to be ordered for the final hardware. Tre continued troubleshooting the rendering setting of the virtual object implementation on the scenario authoring to try to virtual object implementation. Alexandra continued researching the programming of the route table and Raspberry PI. She also created a model assembly of the brake pedal, solenoid, and a mount to attached the two, which she then 3D printed.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Over the past week, work was continued on the LabVIEW program that will call a command script that communicates with the Raspberry Pi to retrieve voltage data from the system. As voltage readings are the only type of data we need to gather from the system, this is the last necessary piece for us to be able to run the system. We anticipate completing this program and having all sub-VI’s combined into one LabVIEW program for system operation within the next week or two. This will allow us to begin charging and discharging the system while gathering data from the system. Additionally, a set of relays and operational amplifiers (op-amps) have been ordered. Costing only $15 total, running the system with traditional relays instead of the USB relay will provide two-fold benefits. First and most importantly, it will allow us to power the appliances outside the at the Hill Center without exceeding the 15 Amp limitation the USB relay imposed. Additionally, not being limited to 15 A will make it possible to charge the batter pack at a greatly increased rate. This will improve our ability to cycle the battery pack and gather data.

Soybean Press & Biodiesel Institute Upgrade
So far we have observed the press located in B171. The press looks well built and user friendly. I got into communication with Craig Harding, the previous team leader, to gather any information and knowledge on what has been done. Craig informed me that due to crushing action the motor on the press would stop due to torque so they added a gear reducer to eliminate this. He noted that the press bearings would push out during operation and something would need to be added to prevent this. Craig also mentioned that they had better operations when the soybeans were soaked in water for approximately 24 hours prior to crushing.

Altec BMS Investigation
1. Scheduled and completed meeting with Dr. Depcik
2. Contacted Altec
3. Began implementing procedure to diagnose and remedy problem
Procure a 12v battery pack from Altec and a charging device. Use Dr. Depcik’s research area to test/charge/discharge battery pack.

February 3, 2017
Honda ABS Driving Simulator
Thomas successfully ordered two brake pedal assemblies from an Acura dealership. He also began and over the next week will continue to create an order list for the final circuitry components. Tre preformed some scenario authoring troubleshooting to determine why the sample scenario NADS sent involving virtual object implementation could not be imported into the software. He determined the issue appears to be the virtual object rendering settings. This appears to be the same issue preventing the successful creation of any virtual objects. Alexandra has been researching NodeJS programing and attempting to familiarize herself with Java and how to utilize the route table to send UDP messages. This seems to be the best way to interface between the simulator and Raspberry PI. She also met with Charles to discuss the best way to mount the solenoids to the brake pedal. They came up with a design that allows the solenoids to be mounted without removing the brake arm. She will be 3D printing a mock-up of these mounts this weekend.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
At the beginning of last week, the team was waiting for IT to get back to Dayton regarding getting more RAM for our computer in order for LabVIEW to run more efficiently. Fortunately, Dayton had an extra RAM module at home so he went ahead and installed that into the computer as a temporary solution until IT can provide us with more. This allowed for work to be continued on the program for connection between LabVIEW and the Raspberry Pi. This is still an ongoing process, but is going well thus far. After discussing the potential issues we saw with the space heaters with Dr. Depcik, he recommended that we use a device called a Watts Up Pro to check whether or not the heaters are receiving the amount of power they are rated for. If they are not, this could potentially be the source of the lack of heat from the space heaters. We were unable to find the Watts Up Pro in the undergraduate cabinets at the Hill Center so we will be asking the graduate students to unlock the graduate cabinets for us to check them as soon as possible. Additionally, we are investigating the possibility for using traditional relays to control the charging/discharging system rather than the USB relay. With the system’s current design, the USB relay is the limiting factor in how quickly we can charge and discharge the battery pack. Therefore, if we can use traditional relays instead we can greatly increase our ability to charge quickly.

January 27, 2017
Honda ABS Driving Simulator
Thomas began updating the timing chart including tentative assignments to group members for each of the listed tasks. He also contacted Colter and the local Hendrick Acura dealership regarding the pricing and availability of spare brake pedal assemblies. Tre successfully created a scenario within ISAT to display text as well as play audio within the simulator when a specified braking force is exceeded. Over the next week, he will be reaching out to NADS to resolve difficulties with displaying an image instead of text. Alexandra has been researching the USB4 Data Acquisition Device and software currently being utilized by the simulator in order to determine the best way to interface between the Raspberry Pi and the simulation and will be contacting NADS after completing this research. She will also be speaking will Charles Gabel next week regarding the possibility of creating interchangeable pedals.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Over the last week, work was continued on the program for communication between LabVIEW and the Raspberry Pi for processing of voltage data from the system. Because the Raspberry Pi requires an analog-to-digital converter to process the data, this program operates by calling a command line that opens a secure shell (SSH) connection to the Raspberry Pi. Proper operation of this program has proven to require more RAM than our computer currently has. The team has begun discussing this with IT and will be able to continue work on this program once our computer is upgraded. Last week we also tested the space heaters purchased last year for heating the outdoor workspace at the Hill Center. At first we thought that they may be broken because we could barely feel any heat coming off of them. However, after using an infrared thermometer to check the temperature of the heating elements of the heaters we concluded that the heaters are simply not powerful to provide any real heating to the space. At this time, our proposed alternative to using these heaters is to power floodlights to provide improved lighting to the space instead. Relatively cheap floodlights that have the same power requirements as the space heaters (500 Watts) are available online.

January 20, 2017
Honda ABS Driving Simulator
This week the group met to create a plan for the next steps that need to be accomplished:
• Program scenarios utilizing the event function to display the ABS icon or play a sound
• Research if the circuitry can be simplified in the final design
• Contact NADS to determine if it is possible to wire outputs of the signals we need directly to the Raspberry Pi
• Contact Colter to acquire spare brake pedals
• Contact Dr. Kondyli to discuss setting up regular meetings for the semester

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Over Winter Break, the team was able to spend time working on building a LabVIEW VI to read voltages from the system through the analog-to-digital converter. Though we have been able to successfully read voltages with the Raspberry Pi using Python coding, we ran into problems getting the voltages to be read from within LabVIEW. We are continuing to work on resolving this issue. If it proves impossible to read these voltages directly in LabVIEW, we have a back-up plan for obtaining these values. This would involve having the Raspberry Pi record the voltages using Python code and send them to the computer via text files. The first week back from Winter Break, the team discovered that data on solar radiation (watts per meter squared) at a weather station in eastern Lawrence can be obtained online. Using an application program interface (API) key, a LabVIEW VI has been designed that downloads this data and outputs the solar radiation value at any requested time. This will allow us to bypass use of the luminosity sensor, which had the potential to be very difficult to get working properly. The team’s current plan is to go forward with using this solar radiation data and setup the luminosity sensor later as a failsafe in case the weather station in Lawrence ever stops recording the solar radiation data. This will allow us to quickly get the system up and running, with the luminosity sensor serving as a backup for the future.

December 14, 2016
Honda ABS Driving Simulator
Over the past week, the team completed the pedal mock-up by integrating it with the Raspberry Pi. The team has also been working on preparing the presentation for this Friday as well as working to complete the final version of the design report for this semester. Moving forward, we will prepare for break by discussing the dates and expectations for the next semester, as well as ways to continue moving forward with the project through the winter break in order to avoid losing momentum.

December 7, 2016
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Over the last week, the team continued to work on creating sub-VI’s in LabVIEW for measurement of data from the battery pack system. We had success at familiarizing ourselves with the LINX system that connects LabVIEW to the Raspberry Pi. LINX was designed with a solid library of VI’s that have allowed us to modify them for our purposes with relative ease. While we have had success outputting signals from the Raspberry Pi, an issue that we have run into is that the Raspberry Pi cannot take analog inputs. We were not previously aware that it was not able to take analog inputs, and this created a problem as our original plan had been to take analog voltage readings directly from the system to the Raspberry Pi. To remedy this problem, we have ordered a Microchip Technology MCP3008. This is a basic 8-channel analog to digital converter that will allow us to read analog data with the Raspberry Pi. Next week our end-of-semester report is due and we will also give our final presentation. It is our goal to finish design of the VI for turning on and off the battery charger and hopefully do some testing with the analog to digital converter before the end of the semester.

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
Over the past week, we have focused on the final tasks we need to complete before the semester ends. We have been editing our previous design report and presentation. Thomas completed the physical assembly of a brake pedal mock-up: the solenoid mounted to the back of a brake pedal with a switch to activate it. There was an issue when the office ordered the second solenoid so the original purchase was never made. The solenoid was therefore actually placed Friday and just arrived today. I was able to get the Raspberry Pi operating system up and running. Since the solenoid was being mounted to the mock-up assembly, I tested the program and circuitry by replacing the solenoid with an led. By the end of next week, we will complete and submit our mid-project design report. We will also present our end of the semester design review. The second solenoid will also be incorporated into the mock-up for the complete assembly.

November 30, 2016
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Last week was Thanksgiving break, so we were at home for most of the weekend. We had originally intended on using the TeamViewer software to work within LabVIEW while at home over break. Unfortunately, despite the fact that TeamViewer was running properly when we departed from Lawrence on Tuesday, at some point between then and Friday (when Dayton tried to access the computer from home) the connection went down. When we returned from break, we discovered that for some reason the operating system (OS) on the Raspberry Pi had become corrupted. This led to loss of functionality of the mouse and keyboard in connectivity with the Raspberry Pi, and therefore it was impossible to launch the LINX program. As the lack of LINX prevented us from programming properly, it became necessary to reinstall the Raspberry Pi OS. This is an ongoing process that should be completed later today. Both of these issues encountered over the past week will need to be monitored closely going forward in order to determine the cause of the problems and prevent them from happening again. While these issues short term roadblocks for us, we are maintaining our goals for work to be completed by the end of the semester. In the next week we aim to complete the sub-VI’s in LabVIEW for collection of temperature, current and luminosity data. These sub-VI’s will form the foundation of our program and allow us to test the ability of our system to collect data properly.

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
During our previous meeting with Professor DeAgostino, it was determined that it would be most beneficial to order a new Raspberry Pi model rather than continue attempting to troubleshoot the previous model. It was also determined a second test solenoid would be beneficial in order to test out how two solenoids could be used in sync to cause more significant vibration in the pedal. Therefore, an order was placed for the new raspberry Pi, a second solenoid, and the required circuitry components. While waiting on the new components to arrive, further research was done on ABS systems - specifically regarding how criterion could be set for the parameters defined within the simulator for the activation of ABS. This is proving to be a significant complication because of the numerous factors that affect wheel speed including vehicle speed, slip angle, road conditions, and braking force. Over the next week, we will continue researching the parameters behind ABS activation, as well as working with the new Raspberry Pi and solenoid as soon as it arrives. We will also be preparing for the end of semester by creating the end of semester presentation as well as further improving our design report based on the feedback we received on the first draft of our report.

November 17, 2016
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Over the last week, the team’s efforts have remained focused on design of the control system for charging of the battery pack. Last week, we were running into issues with getting the Raspberry Pi to connect to the “Jayhawk” wifi network at the Hill Center. After a focused troubleshooting effort and attempting to call IT for advice, the Raspberry Pi has now successfully been connected to the “Jayhawk” wifi network. This will provide a more consistent and secure connection than the “KU Guest” network, and was therefore worth the effort required to establish the connection. We are currently waiting for IT to install LabVIEW 2014 on our computer at the Hill Center. While we were able to establish a connection between LabVIEW 2015 and LINX, LINX was designed for LabVIEW 2014 so operating within the older version of LabVIEW is preferable. Now that the Raspberry Pi, PC and LINX are all connected properly, once we have LabVIEW 2014 installed (this should happen in the next day or two) we will be able to truly get into the design of the control system.

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
Over the last week we have continued exploring the most effective ways to create the vibration in the brake pedal. We formulated on a new plan to modify our existing actuation design where the solenoid would impact the pedal rather than push on it. We found a solenoid and used its specs to calculate the impact energy it could produce, estimate what its motion would look like and designed an experiment to simulate the impact. We also worked on the circuitry and programming of the Raspberry Pi as the controller to the solenoid. The circuitry is currently successfully wired with a push button to activate the solenoid because of concerns with the Raspberry Pi OS. This allows us to confirm the circuitry is valid and test with the solenoid independently while working on the Raspberry Pi. Over the next week, we plan to continue working both on our mock-up of the pedal actuation system, as well as attempting to design our final plans for the system based on our testing results. We will also troubleshoot the issues with the Raspberry Pi to work through the issues with the OS and ensure the board is not defective or damaged in some way.

November 9, 2016
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
For the past week, the team has remained focused on getting the control system running. After obtaining administrative access to the computer, we began the process of setting up the computers connection to the wifi at the Hill Center. We initially tried to configure the wifi with an extra wifi card that was found in the undergraduate equipment lockers at the Hill Center. We were unable to make the card connect properly, an issue that we believe occurred due to the fact that the wifi card was lacking the antennas that would typically be attached to the back of the card. We then purchased a USB wifi adaptor in order to connect the computer properly. This wifi adaptor worked as expected and our computer can now properly connect to the Hill Center’s wifi. The next step was to install the Linx software on the computer. This software installation was completed successfully. When we began trying to configure a LabVIEW program connected to Linx, we ran into issues. At this time, we are having trouble getting LabVIEW and Linx to communicate with each other properly. Researching and troubleshooting this issue will be our primary focus for the next week.

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
This past week the team continued working on the tasks outlined last week. We are finishing the final edits on our first design report and as well as working with the hardware circuitry and programming. Over the next few days, we will finish our design report and turn in a completed copy by the end of the week. Once we have submitted this, we will focus on the physical mock up programming and testing as well as programming scenarios within ISAT. We will also continue to work on resolving issues with the simulator calibrations.

November 2, 2016
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
The focus of the last week has been primarily on the set up of our computer at the Hill Center. When the team initially tried to get everything set up, we quickly realized that we would need administrator level permissions in order to configure the computer properly. Last week, we began talking with IT about getting these permissions and after filling out the proper paperwork, all team members now have administrative access to the computer. Therefore, we are now officially ready to begin programming the control system. The other critical item for the week has been the completion of our Preliminary Design Report. The report has been completed and will be submitted to our advisors today.

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
This past week the team has created a working rough draft of our first design report, and a diagram for the first mock-up of the solenoid circuitry. Once this initial circuitry was determined, a materials list was created and an order placed for all the necessary components to begin testing the solenoid and microcontroller. Further time was also spent learning how to operate the simulator through the software behind programming it. Over the next week, we will wrap up work on our initial design report, and continue familiarizing ourselves with the necessary programming for the simulator and microcontroller. All the necessary components should be delivered within the next day. Once these are delivered, the circuitry will be assembled and physical testing with the solenoid will begin. We will also continue communicating with NADS on how to resolve our concerns with the brake calibration.

October 26, 2016
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Last week, we obtained a computer from the Mechanical Engineering Department for use on our project. When we took the computer to the Hill Center to set it up, we soon realized that we would need a way to connect to the building’s wifi. Our temporary solution is to use the wifi adaptor from the Raspberry Pi for setting up the computer and initial programming of the project’s controls. We can purchase a second wifi adaptor later if necessary. In order to configure the computer to connect to wifi via the adaptor, we need “Administrator” level permissions. We are currently waiting for Dayton to be granted this permission level so that it can be connected to the Hill Center’s wifi. Additionally, we have begun working on our Preliminary Design Report. We plan to have this completed by next Wednesday, November 2nd. We are still trying to schedule our initial meeting with Westar Energy. Ideally this will take place soon.

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
This past week has been spent on preparing our Initial Design Review, forming the structure of our design report, attempting to calibrate the simulator, and preparing an order list for a mockup. While attempting to calibrate braking in the simulator, we ran into some issues and have received feedback from NADS on how to begin solving them. The order list includes all circuit components required to provide vibration feedback for our mockup. Over the next week, we plan to work on the meat of our report. Work will continue regarding simulator calibration. The order list will be submitted and the majority of the parts should be recieved through 2-day shipping. We will then be able to begin construction of a mockup and perform preliminary tests on our solenoid actuator.

October 19, 2016
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Over the past week we have had two main goals - continuing to research charging techniques for NiMH batteries and gathering the equipment necessary to begin the design of our control system. A critical realization we came to during the past week was that if we purchase a USB relay that can handle more current (the USB relay we have now has a current limit of 15 amps), we can cut the charging time for the batteries in half while still remaining under the appropriate C-rate for charging NiMH batteries. We also have made plans to acquire a computer that the ME department is no longer using. This will be picked up on Wednesday, October 19th and we plan to get it set up at the Hill Center on Thursday, October 20th. We are planning on having our first meeting with the client (Westar Energy) sometime in the next couple weeks and have also began to shift focus to writing our mid-term report.

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
This week our team has worked to refine our power-point in preparation for presenting our project concept to Honda. We have chosen a solenoid to use for the mock-up and prepared a purchase order form for submission to the ME department. The group has also continued to research the best ways to integrate the solenoid with the Raspberry Pi. Over the next week we expect to receive detailed video evidence of our first presentation and use this information to help us with our presentation to Honda. We will continue research regarding solenoid integration and will begin experimenting with the solenoid once it arrives. Information encompassing research and design thus far will be consolidated into our first project report.

October 12, 2016
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
Last week, while recharging the batteries a slight swelling of the battery pack was noticed. The pack was disconnected and voltage measured – this resulted in a measured voltage of 16.85 V, and it was continually dropping before our eyes. We returned on the night of Wednesday, October 5th to inspect the system. To our surprise we found that the packs had discharged to a stable voltage of 16.3 V and showed no more signs of swelling. We began to discharge the pack using the “discharge” function of our charger. This process was painfully slow and with no more effective discharging mechanism on hand, we elected to leave the batteries in that state over Fall Break as they appeared to be stable. When we returned after break, they were still stable at the voltage we left them at before break. We further discharged the batteries on October 11th, but we still feel that there are a number of unanswered questions regarding what the true capacity of our batteries and how we can charge them most effectively. This question is something we have begun to investigate over the past week and will be a main focus of ours for the next couple weeks. Additionally, we completed our concept selection presentation last week and are now set to begin our design of the control system. We have also begun inquiries into obtaining a computer to run LabVIEW (we will have it once we get final permission from our advisors).

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
This past week the team continued researching, specifically regarding how to use a solenoid with a raspberry pi. We also ran the simulator to better familiarize ourselves with it. A schematic was created to illustrate our plan for the initial mock-up. The power-point presentation for our initial concept selection presentation was also completed. We also reserved the ME conference room for our presentation. Moving forward, this Friday we plan to present our initial concept selection review. Once we receive feedback from this presentation we will begin modifying it and preparing to present it to Honda. We also plan to continue researching how we will implement the hardware, as well as reviewing the documents we have received from NADS on how program the simulator.

October 5, 2016
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
The team’s primary focus over the past week has been on preparation for our Concept Selection presentation. We finalized what options we were considering and rated them based on selected criteria. The option we have selected to go forward with is using LINX 3 with LabVIEW to treat the Raspberry Pi as a DAQ system. This is both the most straight-forward and cheapest option. The other important task we completed this week was an inspection of the batteries to determine if they were still charged from last year. When we initially checked, they were almost completely dead and therefore needed to be recharged. We disconnected the charger from the Raspberry Pi and reconfigured the system to charge without outside controls. We recharged the batteries and retested the voltage to ensure that they had charged properly. We plan to come back and check them again in the next couple days to ensure that there is no significant discharge of the energy stored.

Honda ABS Driving Simulator
This week the team continued our research and went more in depth into the potential methods for hardware. We created a concept selection matrix for the actuator. We also created an initial draft of our first presentation. We reached out to Dr. Kondyli regarding issues we were having with running the simulator, which appear to have been fixed. Today, we had a conference call with NADS to discuss the details on how we might go about the programming. Over the next week, we expect to present our first presentation. We will also continue our research and begin to attempt to program the simulator, pending documents we are expecting from NADS. We will also be setting up a time with NADS in the next few weeks to go through the initial training on the simulator that occurred prior to our involvement in the project. We will also be reaching out Colter for data we will require for calibrating the simulator.

September 28, 2016
Honda ABS Driving Simulator
This past week the team continued researching the project. We contacted NADS with questions regarding details on the existing simulator's hardware and circuitry schematics, as well as how to go about calibrating the braking based on data we will obtain from Honda and programming the display within the simulator itself. We will continue speaking with them over the next week to learn more about the simulator. Over the next week we plan to continue research into the simulator and how to go about modifying it. We will also begin researching potential methods and hardware that can be used to implement pedal feedback. We will also be researching regulations defined by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in relation to ABS and our desired notification methods including sounds and displays on the dash. We will also be scheduling a time that Professor DeAgostino, Dr. Depcik, and Professor Kondyli are all available next week for our proposal and concept selection presentation.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose Year 2
The focus of our work over the past week has been primarily on determining what the best possible control options for the system are. On Thursday, September 22nd we had a phone call with Alvaro Papa Silva and Kyler Cowsert. They confirmed our current understanding of the project – that the most critical decision facing us at this time is the choice of what control method to use. They expressed a fair amount of confidence in the Raspberry Pi system but also did not think that selecting a different controller was a bad idea. The team spent time over the last week investigating what these other control options might be and which ones among them are most viable. At this time, we are planning on having our “Concept Selection” presentation next Wednesday, October 5th at 10 AM (assuming this time works for Professor DeAgostino). This means that our main goal for the next week will be finalizing our controller selection options and determining which one is the best.

September 21, 2016
Honda ABS Driving Simulator
This week the team met with both Dr. Depcik and Professor Kondyli and set up weekly meetings with Dr. Depcik. Professor Kondyli demonstrated how to operate the simulator and provided a key to the room. The team also created a timing chart for the project and acquired basic manuals from Dr. Kondyli to the Acura MDX and the MiniSim software. The team has begun reading through these manuals as well as researching papers regarding similar projects utilizing MiniSim and ABS. Over the next week, we plan to continue researching the simulator. We will contact NADS for schematics and information regarding programming and calibrating the simulator. We also plan contact Colter to acquire braking test data and ABS specifications from Honda.

April 28, 2016
Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
Presented our poster to the ME advisory board. Worked on our report, user manual, and final presentation.

April 21, 2016
Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
The press is fully assembled and is currently being tested. Variables we have been experimenting with include motor speed, soybean moisture level, and pressing area constriction due to the nozzle. So far the soybeans have been able to be crushed but the outlet is too constricting which jams the press. Our next steps are to increase the pressing area and to use a lubricant to help the flow of biomass until oil is produced.

April 14, 2016
Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
Worked on machining nozzles. Assembled the press. Tested the press with soybeans.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
We are currently in the final stages of the project. As far as the control system, we are in the process of debugging the voltage and current tests. The USB relay is set up within the control system. All components have been inserted within the enclosure. We bolted in the supports for the shelf within the enclosure. Finalizing the temperature control system is the last action item of the housing unit. The heaters have been mounted and we are in the process of finding weatherproof covers for them. The project poster has been submitted for printing. We are also in the process of purchasing the weatherproof casing for the lux sensor, since it will be on the roof of the mechanical pod. We hope to finalize the control system this next week and have everything hooked up and fully functioning by the following week. We have scheduled our final presentation to be Wednesday, May 4th at 10 AM at Westar in Topeka.

Smart Grid Year 3
The team worked this week to calibrate the sensors and update the user interface that monitors the sensor activity. Grounding issues in the grid are being addressed to make sure all components are running smoothly. Work continues to be made on the poster to be presented at the April 22nd Advisory Board presentation. The group plans to begin compiling data from different grid simulations to analyze and compare the impact of different scenarios.

April 8, 2016
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
The preliminary project poster has been finalized and ready for review. The only anticipated changes will be to add charging and discharging data in a results section. The KU Energy Conference is this Monday, April 11. Kyler and Al will briefly present the project and our progress, thus far. We had a minor set-back this week. The enclosure was accidentally crushed by the window shades during a tour of the Hill Center. A few components had fallen out and the enclosure was slightly bent. We successfully reassembled the enclosure and no components were damaged. All components are now inside the enclosure and wired. We are in the process of debugging software and installing fuses right before the USB relay. The remaining 3-4 weeks consist of debugging and data acquisition, as well as setting up the charging interface.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
The barrel assembly has been welded to the base. The tapered roller bearing was pressed into the barrel. Machining of the choke was completed.

Smart Grid Year 3
The team continues to refine the code to ensure optimal optimal data is produced by the grid. Major tasks include testing and refining sensors to ensure they are producing consistent results (for example: house heat is pulling 25 W). The interface indicating the voltage, current, and power readings for each consumption component is being organized to ensure maximum clarity for the user.

March 31, 2016
Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
Finished machining of the screw. Finished machining of screw shaft keyway. Continued work on nozzles and choke.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
The mid-semester presentation was last week and the mid-semester report has been completed. All construction on the enclosure has been completed up to this point. The cooling fins have been implemented within the enclosure. The temperature control system and the 120 VAC power outlet have been assembled to the outside of the housing unit. The current shunts have been wired on both sides of the battery pack. The larger shunt on discharging side and smaller shunt on charging side. We are in the process of inserting all components within the enclosure, as well. All components involved in the control system will be inserted after we have sufficient data acquisition. Since the failure of our last battery charger, we have ordered a new one and have successfully charged the battery. As far as the control system goes, we have completed the first iteration of battery manager code and took in data from all sensors. We are in the process of finalizing all actions performed by the USB relay. We have begun integration of the final wiring layout. Lastly, we have begun debugging and testing the overall charge and discharge system.

March 24, 2016
Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
Continued work on the screw and started work on the nozzles.

March 7, 2016
Smart Grid Year 3
Research continues to be done to better understand the Battery Management System within the grid. Significant progress was made this week to the battery control setup. MyRIO is now being used to run the relay controls for battery charging and discharging. Load profiles have been researched to give the operator a set of realistic scenarios when operating the grid. Labeling and documentation continues to progress on the cart to help with future learning and maintenance of the cart.

February 29, 2016
Smart Grid Year 3
We were excited to show both Prof. DeAgostino and Dr. Depcik a working smart grid for the first time ever. Talking through the Smart Grid with both advisors helped us think of some key aspects that still need improvement. This past week we worked to add all of the sensors and ensure they are functioning properly. We also troubleshooted an unreliable load control relay. Most important - we have made significant progress with the additional relay board used for battery charging and discharging by learning how to control it using FTDI USB protocol. We now have the full ability to control it and are now working on using LabView FTDI driver to control it within our program.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
Rear and front supports were made and welded onto the rails. Turning of the screw on the lathe has begun.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
Great news! Today, in addition to completing a lot of metalworking resulting in our battery pack holder and preliminary fins, we were able to run some tests on the battery back using the USB relay as an actuator directed by our Raspberry Pi! In addition to testing it in discharge, we were also able to use the battery charger's software to create the current, voltage and capacity added graphs at the end of this album. We plan to explore the use of this software in aiding us in keeping track of the battery pack health over the remainder of its lifetime.

February 22, 2016
Smart Grid Year 3
The team continues to add sensors to the Grid allowing for more data points to be monitored. Additional sensors were soldered and wired to allow for battery control when running the Grid. Li worked with formatting Host3 to ensure it interfaces with different color codes. The next step is to fully incorporate the battery control, add different load profile scenarios to the code, and ensure all sensors are properly acquiring data. The hardware side of the cart is nearly complete. This allows for the labeling process to begin on the cart. After the cart is properly labeled, users and observers will be able to clearly identify locations of components and flow of energy through the Grid.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
A lead screw has been selected and ordered. The barrel machining has been completed. This includes the soybean feed area, drainage holes, and pipe flange attachment. Nozzle machining has started. Choke drawings have been uploaded so machining can begin on them.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
The enclosure was ordered, and arrived within 2 days. The housing enclosure is assembled and all parts have been mapped out in the most strategic configuration. All exposed areas have been sealed off from elements of weather and critters. The CAD model of the enclosure, with all of its parts, has been finalized with the configuration we intend to use. The USB relay is wired and will be placed between the inverter and heaters and between the battery charger and battery pack. This placement of the USB relay is the area with least current. We cannot test the USB relay until the necessary cables arrive. The INA219 sensor has been soldered and worked on. Sqlite3 has also been downloaded and work has begun to manage the database. The temperature controller is in the process of being hooked up with the 12 VDC heaters, for the interior of the enclosure. Once they are hooked up and tested, we will install the subsystem into the enclosure. Next, we will confirm all heat transfer analysis of the enclosure interior. We will cut an aluminum plate to the necessary dimensions (these will be our fins) and install them in the enclosure, as well.

February 15, 2016
Smart Grid Year 3
The team made significant improvements to the structural integrity of the cart. By securing the terminal blocks and breadboards to the cart the team ensured wire connections will remain intact should the cart need to be moved. The power selection relays continue to be tested to allow integration into the system. The data presentation interface was improved to allow users to easily read what data is being compiled. As sensors are being tested to ensure their data can be exported to an excel spreadsheet for analysis.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
Worked on creating the rails and finishing up gateway certifications. Narrowing down screw options to be ordered this week.

February 8, 2016
Smart Grid Year 3
The team continued to make progress towards improvements to the cart. Diodes were extended from the rest of the electrical components to ensure the heat produced during operation does not impact other parts of the grid. Major coding improvements have been made to add clarity to the computer dashboard, and the internal design of the code. The code is able to completely run on coal fired power, adjustments are being made to utilize different types of power sources.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
We have completed the building of the hopper and slide. We have also tested the motor setup with all components to make sure the speed can be controlled. We have decided to end our business with Keystone Threaded Products and are searching for a new source for our screw.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
This week mostly consisted of programming practice in Python. We started by creating a pseudocode/ flow diagram for all separate branches of the control system. This will allow us to program each branch individually. Once all separate programs run smoothly, they will be merged to make up the control system. We have acquired assistance to understand the language and to facilitate the process. Peers/ friends of ours in ACM are nice enough to help us get started with the program so that we will be able to complete the control system in a timely fashion. The power supply has arrived so we will be able to charge the battery over the weekend. No work has been done with the battery, since we do not want to drain the battery past a critical point. All parts have now been drawn up in CAD and have been assembled in the desired configuration. We found a metallic enclosure on Grainger and will have that ordered by Monday. Lastly, we will be constructing our own aluminum frame for the battery. This will hold all individual battery packs (28) together to prevent wire disconnection.

February 1, 2016
Smart Grid Year 3
The team purchased necessary components to finish up the hardware side of the grid. Purchases include a new microgrid storage battery, power selection relay board, additional terminal blocks, and a 12 V cooling fan. Group members Craig and Li continued to improve the code by implementing power selection capability. This capability will be used to run the additional relay board. Sesker and McInerny desoldered 3 sensors to allow 12 gauge wire to be connected. These sensors will serve as power production monitors in the grid.

January 25, 2016
Smart Grid Year 3
The team has met twice since returning from break. New weekly meeting times were organized. All tasks necessary to complete the project were discussed, along with intended completion dates. The implementation of the code to the grid is the largest task of this semester. Li and Craig are editing and adding to the code to ensure compatibility with the hardware. McInerny and Sesker have ordered and organized additional hardware components. These hardware components will reduce the heat produced by the system and add structural integrity to the cart.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
We have moved all of our parts to B171 and have organized a workstation for the team. We unpacked parts and have developed a plan for machining and assembly. We also met with Charles and Ash for help and suggestions on machining procedures for our parts. Cuts to be made for the hopper have been laid out. We also figured out what we need to wire the transformer, variable frequency drive, and motor together.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
We started the week with getting caught up and reviewing the timeline to plan out the next 3 months. All parts were collected except the power supply to the battery charger, which is being shipped. Now that we have most of the parts, the team configured all parts as they will be organized within the housing unit. We now have accurate dimensions of the housing unit to comfortably fit all parts. The majority of our work over the next month or two will revolve around coding our control system. The team began working with the computer and understanding the syntax and various aspects of the program, with respects to the project at hand. A cheat sheet with all variables and commands is being made, as well. Programming our control system will be the most difficult part of the process; however, much work has been done to understand the Python language. Our next step will be to develop a flow diagram/ pseudocode of the control system.

December 4, 2015
Smart Grid Year 3
The team spent a great deal of time this week implementing the new circuit design. Larger gauge wire, terminal blocks, LEDs, and revised sensors were added to the grid. All consumption components have been successfully connected to the circuit. The coal-fired power plant is connected and acting as the sole power source. This allows Li to to test the sensors and make improvements in the LabView code. New relays are set to arrive on (12/9) allowing for additional power and storage sources to be implemented.

November 27, 2015
Smart Grid Year 3
The team made progress this week to implement a new circuit design that reduces amperage, and allows for more independent control of Smart Grid components. Craig created a color-coded circuit diagram which details out the size of wire and amperage at each connection throughout the grid. Li continues to edit the code to coincide with the circuit changes being made. Progress continues to be made on the final report, and the PowerPoint for the presentation on (12/7).

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
We ate lots of food, did geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, wrote for our report, and put the finishing touches on our presentation.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
We ordered our electrical components for battery configuration, as well as a few of the overall system components (heaters, temperature controller, inverter, etc.) They all arrived over Thanksgiving break, which allowed us to begin construction. The construction side of the battery configuration has gone smoothly, so far. We have assembled most of the wires and connectors to match our configuration schematic. We are now researching ways to program the Raspberry Pi 2 to command the other components within the enclosure. We are also in the process of designing the overall control system that will incorporate all parts. After the suggestions made by our sponsor, Don Ford, we are exploring ways to use the system during the summer time. Our final presentation is next Wednesday, December 9th. It will include our progress and the action items to be completed when we get back from break. All additional parts should be ordered by the end of the semester.

November 20, 2015
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
The team met to begin battery configuration and wiring. We prepped all the wires by separating them from their original assembly. To save money, the team decided to use the existing connectors, rather than buy new ones. We cleaned the connectors using a wire brush. The remaining work that was delegated among the team is as follows: research behind charging and discharging the battery, become more familiar with Raspberry Pi computer system for data collection, and look into type of photodetectors that will indicate the optimal time of day to charge the battery. Future work is to order any electrical components behind battery configuration, research how to program the chosen photodetector, and decide the best way to charge the battery pack. Although we are still in research mode, the team will begin physically reconfiguring the battery very shortly.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
Shaft connectors were found and added to the bill of materials. The CAD was updated with the new parts. The screw drawing was sent to Keystone Threaded Products. We also spent time writing the report and editing our presentation.

Smart Grid Year 3
The team worked this week to compile all scenarios and results of our breadboard overheating issue. Craig reached out to the EECS department for assistance on possible solutions to the current and amperage issue. Proper amount of amperage needs to be supplied to each component for it to properly run. However, limiting factors on the relays and sensors have caused overheating issues. Li continues to address the code to ensure it is ready to connect to the grid components when that time comes. McInerny and Sesker finished the final LED board. They also compiled a brief itinerary of the final report to delegate responsibilities and ensure progress continues to be made on that document. The last presentation of the semester has been scheduled for 1 pm on (12/7) in M2SEC room G535

November 13, 2015
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
The team met to discuss battery configuration and wiring specifications. We ran circuit analysis, taking into account the other components that will be hooked up to the battery, and determined the type/gauge of wire that will be needed for the desired configuration. The team looked into ordering alternative connectors; however, after meeting with Dr. Depcik, we decided to clean the existing ones. We plan on ordering the electrical components next week. Once we acquire these parts, physical battery configuration will take place. This will set us up for initial data collection. After thermal analysis of the interior of the enclosure, the team also made a list of all components needed within the enclosure. These parts will be ordered later on in the semester.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
We decided on a screw for our design and made changes to our CAD to accommodate for this. We met with Charles Gabel to discuss fabrication and part selection for the press. He gave us several ideas on how to make the press easier to machine and repair. Finally we continued editing our design report.

Smart Grid Year 3
The Smart Grid team has finished the LED board design. Construction, painting, and wiring are nearly complete on the LED display. In order to correctly control the LED display, additional relays were purchased. These relays will allow the LabVIEW program to correctly show when each consumption or production device is in use. Overheating is an issue where the power supply connects to the breadboard. The group continues to try new things to keep the wires cool.

November 6, 2015
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
Work this week was focused around the power point presentation for our Design Review today, November 6th. As a team, we also reviewed the feedback from the report submitted last week by Dr. Depcik. This next week will be focused on further advancements of the project. The battery housing unit design will be finalized. Research will be conducted to find a commercial “utility box” type enclosure for the battery back and components. We will also be looking into wiring configuration and the types of gauges and connectors we will need for the battery. The last main focus of this week is to design a data collection system.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
We contacted multiple screw manufacturers to try and find a screw to work with our design. A tapered roller bearing and a radial bearing were added to our design to withstand the calculated thrust and radial loads. These bearings were searched for and added to our CAD and bill of materials.

Smart Grid Year 3
The team made big steps in circuitry additions this week. The excess current issue was resolved by adding extra resistors to the circuit. All components are now wired into the new circuit design. Physical additions to the houses continue to be made. The LED board has been updated to create an enhanced user friendly experience. The next step is to add the LEDs to the circuit to ensure they turn on and off with their corresponding components. The team looks to focus on adding content and addressing feedback for both the report and the design presentation this week.

October 30, 2015
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
This week was primarily focused on the team’s first project report. The report highlighted work done up to this point, future action items, and various aspects of our project that need to be improved. Heat transfer analysis of the enclosure was further explored. After reading through peer-reviewed journals and executing heat transfer calculations, we realize that the temperature margin is tighter than before. The team has also begun to look into purchasing the electrical components needed within the battery housing unit. The team’s first Design Review has been scheduled for next Friday, November 6th, at 2 PM; room is TBD. The Dean’s Club event was Thursday night, October 29th. The team attended the event to help give tours of the Hill Center and talk about our project. The team’s action items for this next week are as follows: purchase some of the battery components and the inverter, finalize the battery configuration to produce the required voltage, and create the Power Point presentation for the Design Review.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
We focused on setting up free body diagrams and calculating theoretical forces. These calculations lead to the selection of a different motor to meet the torque requirements. Computer Aided Design was also worked on to accommodate for these changes. The search for an extruder screw continues.

Smart Grid Year 3
The team made significant changes to the physical aesthetics of the cart. The houses, industrial building, and power plant all got painted. Hinges were placed on the tops of the houses and industrial building to increase convenience when editing electrical components. Team members met with Shah and got a tour of the Hill Center. Shah explained how the OSI Soft will be integrated into the building. OSI Soft members came to campus to explain how their company is changing the way businesses acquire and analyze data. A greater understanding was gained on how the Smart Grid Group will be of assistance to Shah in February. Craig obtained a new multimeter to assist in correcting the current issue that is causing overheating on the breadboard. Craig and Li continue to progress on the electrical side of the project.

October 23, 2015
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
All current action items have been delegated among the team. Al and Kyler are creating a battery discharge model and looking into different ways to configure each battery pack to produce the needed output voltage. This output voltage will be inverted to AC from DC current. They are also looking into different types of inverters and other electrical components we may need to produce the required voltage. Cost estimations are included in their research. Simon and I are focusing on the housing design for the battery and its electrical components. Simon is conducting heat transfer calculations for various types/configurations of fins, in order to cool the battery down. He is confirming the most efficient way to reduce the temperature of the battery pack and housing unit, using fins, fans, etc. I am sketching different, preliminary, battery housing designs based on known dimensions and intended positioning, as well as, basic thermal calculations regarding the temperature inside the overall enclosure. We have overall models for the aspects we are working on; however, nothing is set in stone. The team will meet this weekend to write the first Design Report.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
More work on our preliminary design report. Solidworks parts and assembly has been completed. Mass and energy balance has been calculated. Preliminary Design Review Powerpoint was worked on. A motor and screw have been picked out with the corresponding companies contacted. Preliminary Design Review presentation was delivered and design report was submitted to Dr. Depcik. Revisions of the report have begun.

Smart Grid Year 3
The Smart Grid Team continues to streamline the cart to be as efficient as possible. New relays arrived this week, and were soldered to the relay board. Craig continues to rewire the grid with assistance from Li. Sesker and McInerny brainstormed physical improvements to be made on the houses, industrial building, and main power source. A preliminary design was drawn up for the LED board which will graphically show users what power is being produced, and where it is being consumed throughout the grid. Li purchased materials, and fabricated the solar panel mount which attaches directly to the cart. Once wiring of the Grid is finished, the code will be utilized to run the simulation of Smart Grid Technology.

October 16, 2015
Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
More work on our preliminary design report. Solidworks parts and assembly has been completed. Mass and energy balance has been calculated. Preliminary Design Review Powerpoint was worked on. A motor and screw have been picked out with the corresponding companies contacted.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
Met with Prof. DeAgostino for concept alternatives presentation 10/9/15. Still pretty much in the research phase of the project before going in and doing calculations to determine which items to purchase. Looking into battery packs, radiant heaters, DC-AC converters, and battery thermal management methods.

Smart Grid Year 3
The Smart Grid team continues to make physical changes to the cart to streamline and simplify the system. The computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse have been moved to the top of the cart to increase ergonomics. The wiring components have been moved to the middle shelf, with wires neatly tucked away to increase the aesthetics. Old 6V relays have been removed from the relay board using a soldering iron and solder remover. 12V relays are being shipped and will be installed to the relay board as soon as they arrive. A label maker was used to add description to wires as they are wired to the breadboard. This allows team members to quickly identify where each wire is delivering power. Progress has begun on the final report, utilizing rubrics from Dr. Depcik and Prof. DeAgostino as a guide. The first submission of the report is scheduled for (10/22).

October 9, 2015
Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
This was a week of extensive research! We delegated research topics for maximum efficiency. The delegated topics of research were as follows: heater type and application, discharge measurement techniques (coulomb counting), battery configuration, and heat transfer analysis. The team met on Tuesday to record voltage outputs and to further understand the battery. According to Toyota, the 2007 Prius battery is expected to have a voltage reading of 202 V. We broke down the voltage readings by each sub-pack within the battery pack. The battery pack, as a whole, has 28 sub-packs that each contains 6 cells. Each sub-pack recorded a voltage of 7.62 V (1.27 V per cell). With 28 sub-packs, the battery’s total average voltage was 213.36 V. We are very excited that the battery is in such great condition, especially with the Prius at 128,000 miles. We also met with, graduate student, Khalaf to obtain customer requirements for the radiant heater. Lastly, the team made a Power Point presentation for the first Concept Review, this Friday, October 9th, at 2 PM. Goals for this week are to continue research on battery configuration, NiMH capacity and coulombic efficiency, and types of heaters that comply with customer requirements. We will also be looking into DC-AC converters.

October 2, 2015
Smart Grid Year 3
The team worked this week to finish up the circuit diagram using Fritzing software. The original design of the breadboard is saved to allow for reference as we change and streamline our new circuit design. As changes are made to the circuit we continue to edit a new copy of the Fritzing circuit diagram. Work continues to progress on our power distribution area of the circuit. Too much power burns up components of the relay board, while not enough power does not allow for the fans and light bulbs to turn on. After the amperage has been correctly supplied, the team will move on to adding data monitoring to extra components of the grid (house number 2 and the industrial building). The EECS department does not allow ME students to use/borrow/or purchase any circuit components from their lab. Research is being done to inquire if any local Lawrence businesses sell small circuit components. This will allow for quick additions to the circuit, when that time comes.

Cold-Press Soybean Oil Extractor
Revisions were made to the PowerPoint to correct flaws pointed out during our presentation. A final concept was decided on. The design report was started. Solidworks drawings of the parts were started. We searched for a potential motor and worm screw for purchase.

Westar Prius Battery Pack Re-purpose
Now that the battery pack is removed from the Prius, it is time for extensive research. The team has decided that the project should be looked at in two ways; Energy In and Energy Out. Energy In corresponds to the process of charging the battery, battery capacity, and the relationship between the charging rate and amount of energy generated by the building. Energy Out corresponds to the rate of discharge, battery life, and the process of powering the radiant heater for the outside work area. The Topics of research are being broken into these two categories. The breakdown will allow the team to research necessary topics in the most efficient manner, with organization. We are discussing the possibility of splitting up the research, two members focus on Energy In, and the other two on Energy out. The team met on Tuesday, September 29th and constructed two separate drafts of Decision Matrices corresponding to the two themes, Energy In and Energy Out. The weekly meeting with Dr. Depcik has been postponed to next week; however, the meeting with Professor DeAgostino will be Friday, October 2nd. We will present the drafts of the two Decision Matrices at this meeting. The team has a meeting with, graduate student, Matthew Choate to discuss the direction of the project and key aspects that need to be considered early in the process. The first Concept Review is scheduled for Friday, October 9th at 2 PM (location TBD).

May 1, 2015
E-Bike Year 2
Richard finished up work left on the front fork for this years electric bike. This included grinding the welds, stripping what was left of the coating, and repainting the fork black to match the rest of the bike. The team also worked on creating a poster for the presentation on Friday. Additionally, the team has started on the report.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week finally were able to successfully connect, read, and access sensor data from the CompactRIO. The only obstacle that remains is that our sensors are no longer correctly reading current. Once this issue is addressed, we will be able to run tests of the full system using our new developed load profiles. We are very close to getting the results we’ve been working toward!

Battery Pack Management
This week, the team focused on creating a hardware mount to put all of our components on to that will connect to the top of the battery pack. We decided on using ¼” bass wood for the board, with a layer of foam between the battery pack and the board. The board is attached to the pack through I-bolts that fit on to the brackets. After layout of many configurations we decided on the configuration shown below. The Arduino and terminal block are bolted in place, the breadboard attached with adhesive, the 9V battery with Velcro, and the BMS with nylon screws. A space was left below the BMS for the SD card slot to fit into. Also, finger holes were created that allow removal of the pack from the housing. Some wiring was also accomplished, including the AttoPilots. Next week the team needs to connect and test the BMS, test the Attopilots, design a way to stop the pack from bouncing up and down in the housing, and figure out how to get the gps readings and the analog readings into the sd card with a single string.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team completed and presented a poster for the mechanical engineering advisory board and the final technical presentation for the EcoHawks class. The team is in the final stages of testing and will soon have a completely closed system. The data acquisition board is mounted to the component table and an Ethernet cable was routed through the existing conduit into the engine control room. The system is functioning as expected and the team will be conducting testing over the weekend for the final report.

Active Flow Control
The wings have been moved to the Lawrence airport. The first wing has been approved, and the second wing is close behind. All that is left to do is final clean up of the second wing. Swing tests will be performed over the next week to calculate the new center of gravity and moment of inertia of each wing. Because of the lack of a fuselage for the wings, it does not look like flight-testing will take place until late summer. Once the second wing is approved, the EcoHawks portion of this project will be complete.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week the team's main focus has been on the final report, poster presentation, and wrapping things up for the end of the project. After meeting with Dr. Depcik on Tuesday, the team gained a good understanding of the tasks that need to be completed before the semester was over. On Wednesday, Blake and Austin met to complete the car testing with the inclined plane test which helped determine the force of rolling resistance acting on the cars. Aside from the car testing, the majority of time this week was spent preparing the team poster which was presented today for the ME Advisory Board. The team spent time revising the poster from the comments Dr. Depcik gave us the last time we showed him our poster and making sure everything looked good before we printed the final copy. As far as the report, all of the comments from Ash and Dr. Depcik have been incorporated into the final revision and a portion of the new material has been added. It will be complete and turned in by Monday. Next week the team will focus on preparing the final presentation and wrapping up any loose ends for the project.

E-Bike Solar Charging Station
For this week the EBSCS team purchased crushed concrete from R.D. Johnson and placed the permeable pavement on the ground of the structure. Later in the week the step up box and solar panels were bolted on top of the structure. Next week the team plans to finish the lattice weave and conduct final testing with the e-bike.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week the team again divided up and worked mostly individually. I put together a presentation for the ME adv. board, Jake spent much of his time working on CFD, and Alan and James tested several other blower sizes. James also worked further on the code. Next week we'll prepare our presentation, test the other blower sizes, and develop a testing procedure for HEMCO to follow when using the apparatus. James will also work further on the coding and circuits.

April 24, 2015
E-Bike Solar Filling Station
This week EBSCS worked on setting the structure. The structure and the bike rack were set in Quikrete and allowed to set overnight. The step up box for the elevated solar panel is being prepared to be mounted on the top of the structure. The aluminum weave that will act as walls for the charging station was completed on the front face of the step up box while it was on the ground for easier installation. The rest of the weave will be completed once the box is mounted to the top of the structure.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week we focused our efforts on extracting data from the CompactRIO input/output channels into our code. After speaking with NI representatives and getting some example code, we are able to collect and store data on the CompactRIO. We’re working through possible solutions to get this data to transfer over to the main CPU to be accessed by our central VI in real time.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week our team gave a technical presentation during class. Most of our work this week was spent preparing for this presentation but we also were able to continue testing the batteries and cars. Results were sent out earlier in the week for the first round of 100 cycle tests for each battery and the second round is nearly complete. Those results will be sent out as soon as the tests are completed early next week. Using the slow motion videos taken for the model electric vehicle coast down tests, Austin was able to fill in a spread sheet to calculate the velocity at each foot of the five foot coast down distance. To determine the coefficient of drag, the team still needs to perform an inclined plane test to find the coefficient of rolling resistance. From there, the team will be able to calculate the total tractive force and motor torque of Austin’s vehicle. Blake’s vehicle was still not able to perform a coast down test due to the amount of friction in the gear box. Next week the team will continue battery testing, begin the inclined plane test, and begin preparing the final report.

E-Bike Year 2
This past week Chase and Preston worked on editing the content from the research book and the midterm report, and making it into a publications. At the same time Richard was working on put the old bike back together. In addition to this, the team completed brake and turning testing for the new bike. The team has also started the construction of their poster layout for the up coming presentation.

Battery Pack Management
With a couple weeks remaining in the semester, the team’s construction phase is in full swing. However, a couple set-backs were experienced. On the housing side, a few switches were purchased for turning the Arduino on and off. It was determined a small slide switch fit best, so a rectangular slot was cut into the housing (with much difficulty; it was a small slot) next to the SD slot, and the switch was screwed in. Also, the cover for the switch and SD slot was attached. Finally, the cover was machined and the rubber gasket glued. This completes the housing portion of the design. On the hardware side, the team had some accidents. While testing the BMS on the battery pack with resistance heaters, a short was accidentally created that burned a part of the BMS, rendering it unusable. Also, while trying to bend connection pins that had been soldered to the GPS (a right angle was needed in order to have the GPS antenna face upwards), the pins broke off, taking the copper terminals with it. Fortunately, a new (better) BMS was purchased through Tenergy, and another GPS was ordered. Both should be in by Monday. On the coding side, a solution may have been found that will allow GPS serial data to be stored alongside the digital sensor data. Some more investigation is warranted, but hopefully a solution can be tested when the new GPS comes in.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team entered the final stages of assembly. As of now, all of the components are connected and most of the thermocouples and pressure transducers are input into the system. The sensors still need to be connected to the data acquisition board but testing of the heat exchanger will begin tonight. Most of the system should be complete by next week and data collection can commence.

Active Flow Control
Both wings are being worked on in parallel, and are close to completion. Fiberglass has been added to the second wing, and more will be added today. Unfortunately, each inspection of the wings leads to more that needs to be modified. The first wing did not turn out nearly as neat as the second, largely because of a lack of experience with working with balsa wood. This meant that even some of the repairs had to be redone, for instance a handful of repair pieces had the wood grain in the wrong direction. Luckily, the second wing was minimally damaged by the oscillator installation, so there is not nearly as much that needs to be done after the fiberglass. Assuming no more major modifications are required after the next inspection, the wings will be complete early this week.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week the team divided up to do mostly individual work. Jake worked more on the CFD, James improved the sensor system, and Alan made more flow straighteners, and ran the test again with them. Next week we'll run the test on all 5 blowers, and continue to improve the CFD and integrate all the parts of the system into a single system. We'll also write out a detailed procedure for the performance curve test.

April 17, 2015
E-Bike Solar Filling Station
This week EBSCS began breaking ground. Four three foot holes were dug for the main columns of the structure. The entire footprint of the structure was excavated to a depth of six inches following the installation instructions of the permeable pavement. Quikrete has been purchased and sometime next week recycled concrete will be purchased and delivered. The structure should be set next week, but further testing must be done on the electrical components before the component enclosure is mounted to the structure.

Altec Battery Chemistry Update
This week our team was able to begin testing on our model electric vehicles. We ran coast down tests by setting up markings on the floor and taking a slow motion video of our cars. Austin's car worked well in testing when his motors were not engaged with the gears but did not work very well with the motors engaged and would only make it 2 of the 5 feet. Blake's car did not work well for testing because the gears and motors create too much resistance to be pushed and the car would only skid across the floor instead of roll. As far as battery testing, only one of the batteries completed the 120 cycle tests (NMC), so testing has resumed using only 100 cycles which was a safe amount that every battery was able to complete. Moving forward, the batteries will be tested at 100 cycles until they are unable to complete that, in which case the cycles will be decreased again. Next week we will continue testing both the batteries and the cars.

Active Flow Control Update
Installation into the wings is nearly complete Fiber glass was added around the edges of the slot in order to recreate the load path through the primary spar. The first one will undergo final inspection on Monday, after some last minute repairs are made. The second wing has been started, and it is expected to be complete within the next week. Frequency testing has also been completed. It has been shown that the oscillator’s frequency is about 1 kHz. This should be enough to influence the boundary layer over the flap. Flight-testing will no longer be completed before the end of the school year, so the revised goal is to finish the wings. One last step that will be taken is calculating the moment of inertia for the wings since their center of gravity has changed.

Battery Pack Management
On the hardware side, this week two AttoPilot sensors were successfully connected and read in series, demonstrating that having one for each cell with a common ground is possible. A conversion equation for the readings was found by taking readings at different voltages and fitting a trendline to the data. The batterypack was configured correctly and four cell discharge tests were performed, followed by a 12 cell charging test. It was found that after charging two cells remained at very small voltages, indicating that they may be bad or damaged. The BMS was connected to the pak and the charger, but testing was unsuccessful, as the charger wouldn’t work with the BMS attached. On the coding side, it was determined that to solve the GPS problem (its update rate is different from that of the other sensors) when putting all the code together into one script, it should be possible to simply read data at a higher rate through Aruduino. Finally, on the housing side the wire cap was attached and some foam was found for cushioning.

E-Bike Year 2
Chase and Preston used Wednesday and Thursday afternoon to conduct brake and turning testing for the new electric bike. For the brake testing the team ran trials that were for speed that were roughly 4 mph, 7 mph, and 10mph. Trials were ran by both Chase and Preston. In the turning testing only Preston participated due to time constraints. The turning test to used speed of roughly 5 mph, 7 mph, and 10mph. On Thursday night each member of the team wrote new slides for the research book. Then on Friday they consolidated the new slides and rewrote old ones.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team completed a large amount of the construction of the system. This included installing the 80/20 aluminum framing on the syngas rig for the heat exchanger mounting, bending most of the ½” tubing, flaring the tubing, modifying the condenser to use Swagelok connectors, and purchasing Swagelok connections for the thermocouples and pressure transducers. Along with construction, the team was able to complete the final draft of their research book.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week we continued to work on getting the Compact RIO FPGA nodes to interact with the main code. We also worked toward having the relay act as a part of the code. We developed some theoretical power output curves from our revised profiles. We also wired the LED light diagram into the grid so that it will light up as the grid operates. Additionally, we worked to complete our final research book and developed then presented our second technical presentation.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week the group continued to work on the CFD, and presented our status update to HEMCO. Next week we'll come up with a timeline on all of the remaining tasks we have to do, and assign them to people. These were listed in the presentation.

April 10, 2015
E-Bike Solar Filling Station
This week the EBSCS team continued cutting the roofing for the main structure. Once the dimensions were measured, the aluminum sheet metal roof was cut using a metal saw. Construction for this was delayed, however, due to the saw running out of battery. The structure is being polished and the solar panel mounts were adjusted. Originally, the mounts were too long and made the angle too steep. They have been cut to be idealized for the spring/fall angle with some adaptability for winter and summer.

E-Bike Year 2
Richard took the front fork to cycle works were they reshaped it using a jig they had. He then used a wire brush and sand blasting to remove the powder coating so that he could attached the support ribs. During this time Chase and Preston reattached the brakes to the old bike and painted its handlebars. They also put together the technical presentation. Upon meeting with Dr. Depcik the team covered how they would modify their project report to for submission to the journal publication.

Battery Pack Management
This week the team researched what specifications are needed for the circuit components required for basic operation of the TI Voltage measurement/BMS ICs. We also unified some of the code so that we have one script to read data and store it to an SC card. We also investigated how we can connect the Attopilot sensors together in series correctly, and came up with a couple different configurations that we need to test. On the housing side, we machined the housing base and finally solvent welded all the pieces together to form the housing. Next week we plan to finish unifying the code (the GPS is hard), test the Attopilot configurations for multiple-cell measurements, and machine the housing cover.

Battery Pack Thermal Management
This week we continued testing from last week. To date, two tests have been fully completed and one is ongoing. The first test which was completed was with the hot plate on the bottom. As discussed a couple of weeks ago, this test demonstrated several of the trends expected such as the linear melting with increasing height along the polycarbonate, along with a challenge seen in a dome melting pattern at the end of the melting process. The second test conducted which was completed this week, heated the PCM from the side (the TMS was lean on one side). The melting pattern exhibited a slanted pattern. Additionally, the video documentation shows that the air gap which was created to address problems previous discussed, allowed the melted PCM to move and create a new air gap along the horizontal polycarbonate tube. Finally, the third test is being conducted as of the writing of this update. The PCM is being heated from the top and the melting process is taking significantly longer than the other tests. As of now, 20 mm of PCM has melted in approximately 19 hours. In the coming weeks we will analyze the data gathered, and determine if any re-testing must be completed. Once this is deemed complete, if time permits we will conduct similar tests with the heat pipes incorporated into the TMS.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week focused on the usual activities. Austin continued construction on his car and was able to fully assemble his car including the wiring. Once the battery was put in place the motors were not able to drive the car or turn the gears at all. An audible engine noise was heard and both motors were tested off of the car to ensure they were working. After talking to Dr. Depcik, Austin will need to find more powerful motors that draw more current from the battery to output more torque. He will be testing one more this weekend to see if it will work and move on from there. Blake completely finished his car including the wire and it drove. The car tends to stall for a second or two prior to accelerating to full speed. Since Blake’s car is working, next week the team plans to begin testing to determine the forces acting on the car as well as the amount of friction. The 80 cycle testing results were sent out Thursday after several tests failed for the LTO battery and the team was not able to gather data. A 120 cycle test was run on Thursday for the LTO battery and the battery was only able to complete 117 cycles before reaching the minimum battery voltage. The team will attempt to run 120 cycle tests for the remaining batteries but in the future will decrease the amount of cycles at least for the LTO battery and potentially others. Next week the team will continue testing batteries, beginning testing on Blake’s model electric vehicle, finish construction on Austin’s model electric vehicle, and finish the final revision of the research book.

Active Flow Control
Last weekend, the oscillator assembly was glued into the slot that was previously cut in the wing. The installation went well, and the oscillators protrude into the gap as designed. After gluing was completed, the primary goals were to clean up and repair the wing. The clean-up involved running a Dremel up and down the glue fillets, to increase the surface area that the fiber glass can adhere to. Repairs were made along with the clean-up. During installation, a handful of ribs were broken, along with the occasional slip of the Dremel. All of these ribs are important to the structural integrity of the wing, so it was necessary that they were repaired. Balsa wood was cut with a band saw in order to recreate the geometry of these broken ribs, and they were then glued into place. Fiber glass was also used to further reinforce the slot cut into the wing. The wing will be inspected soon to ensure it is safe to fly. In addition, a meeting was held at the airport regarding flight testing. The meeting went well, but unfortunately it now is nearly certain that all flight testing will take place over the summer, beyond the duration of this class.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team moved the table that will have all of the components mounted to it to its respective position next to the syngas rig at the Hill Center. The fabrication of the mounts has begun and should be completed by next week. The table and various mounts have been painted and everything should be ready to mount by next week. Construction is in full swing and the team is looking forward to testing the completed system.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week smart grid year two made significant strides in the completion of the smart grid model. The cRIO is flawlessly communicating with the desktop computer in the lab. The next step is figuring out the code integration. Since the FPGA requires different coding then the myRIO did, we are taping into different resource’s to see if we can find an example code that communicates with the cRIO. The LED diagram has also been started.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week the team found the flow profile of the blower, and determined the performance curve. We also contacted HEMCO to set up a meeting next week on Wednesday to present our results. The CFD model is finished, but the simulation still requires more data from physical tests to be considered accurate.

April 3, 2015
E-Bike Solar Filling Station
This week Team EBSCS worked on the structure that will shelter the e-bikes and electrical box. The half inch aluminum rods that will guide the lattice weave were tack welded into position. Also, the roof for the step-up portion of the structure was welded on. Battery testing was conducted to verify the batteries' voltage does cut off at the specified 10V DC.

Altec Battery Chemistry
The team focused a lot on car construction and testing this week. Austin is nearly finished with construction but ran into a couple problems involving wiring and attaching the gears to the motor shafts. He plans to fix them over the weekend. If all goes well, Austin will have his car construction completed by next week. Blake still needs to wire his vehicle but plans on asking another EcoHawks team for any extra wire they may have so that he does not have to purchase any additional wire from the store. Blake also plans on having his vehicle completed by next week so that the team can begin testing on the vehicles as soon as possible. Testing is still being done on the round of 80 cycle tests but should be completed on Monday. The latest test did not finish due to computer troubles so that set the team back at least one day. After the round of 80 cycle tests are completed, the team will bump up the number of cycles again but also being careful not to reach the minimum voltage so the test cannot completely finish all of the cycles. Next week, car construction will be finished, the team will continue testing the batteries, car testing will begin, and the team will work on the final research book submission.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week we put most of our efforts into getting the Compact RIO and the relay working with the computers. We also revised our load profiles to accurately measure power output. Additionally we finished wiring in sensors to the grid. Lastly, we developed a poster outline design for presenting at the end of the semester.

E-Bike Year 2
The new bike has been fully modified. Both bikes have been powder coated. A new research book has been written, and a presentation on the progress that the team has made was given. During some test riding the fork of the new bike had a failure and bent under the load generated by the disk break stopping the heavy weight of the bike. The fork will be bent back into place and reinforced with a piece of steel. Parts on the old bike are being spray painted and attached.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team received a large order from McMaster-Carr that contained a majority of the component-to-tubing connections. Included in the order were materials for mounting the system to the mounting table and the syngas rig located at the Hill Center. The team then tested the expander since the flapper valve has been removed and found that it rotates at roughly 8000 RPM at 120 psi. Thermocouples were fabricated by twisting two wires together and LabVIEW was able to correctly display the read temperatures. The team started speaking with a vendor to get terminal blocks and an enclosure to house the data acquisition system. The team started designing the poster for the May 1st, 2015 poster presentations to be held in the atrium of Eaton Hall. Finally, the team prepared a technical presentation for the EcoHawks class.

Battery Pack Management
This week, the team researched some Texas Instruments ICs as the Atmel is proving to be more difficult than previously thought to find programming resources. We purchased the TI bq76940 because it supports up to 15 Li-ion cells (including LiFePO4) and can operate within our 3.2 VDC rating. This chip is meant specifically as a battery monitor, and could be programmed to internally balance cells, as well as offer under/over voltage protection. Additionally, TI offers more supporting information on this product, as compared to the Atmel. Another bonus is that this chip uses I2C code - this language is not only hosted by the Arduino Mega, but has a much more extensive library of example code as compared to the Atmel's ISP language in Arduino's code library. The TI chip will be sent directly to Proto Advantage to have it installed to a 44TSSOP pin adapter. Additional circuit components were researched in order to correctly connect the TI. They will be ordered next week once the products and device values are firmly established. We successfully tested an AttoPilot (voltage and current outbreak chip) on one of our battery cells. This will be our means of voltage measurement for the BMS, in place of the Atmel. It is much easier to configure and program for the system. The initially purchased BMS will be used to protect and balance the cells. The TI chip will be considered as future work to improve upon the system, as the purchased BMS gives no information on internal system workings. The construction of the housing is still underway - all four of the walls have been machined and cut according to design. Fastener inserts were purchased Monday to give the housing walls permanent, metal threads to accommodate lid fasteners. The bottom wall, lock pad-up, and lid are next. It is expected that the majority of construction will be completed by this Saturday allowing for the solvent welding to commence.

Active Flow Control
More frequency testing was completed, this time the microphone was placed near the exit of each individual oscillator. This will allow us to see the flow rate differences in more detail. In addition, the oscillator arrays are now being worked into the wings. The oscillators protrude through the gap between the main element and flap as designed, although there are some issues with the transition between the oscillators and the flap. To fix these issues, the angle of the oscillators will be increased by around five degrees. This will ensure that the surface between the arrays and the flap is relatively flush. This will be completed this weekend, allowing the oscillators to be glued in place. After this, the second wing can be completed and ground testing can begin.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
Last week we managed to get the apparatus running correctly, so we began doing preliminary testing. We have a good idea of what the flow profile looks like, and so far it appears to match the flow of the CFD, which is good. We have a few more tests to run to increase the accuracy of our results and later this week we think we'll be able to do the fan curve test for the 6" blower. Jake will send you an email shortly with details on scheduling a time we can meet and present our results to you. I just keep you up to date and let you know that while we've still got room for improvement, our apparatus is finally giving results.

March 27, 2015
HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
After we got back from Spring Break last week we all but finished the assembly and programming for the testing apparatus. We plan to completely assemble the 6" setup today or tomorrow and run some preliminary tests over the weekend. These tests will give us some information on the parameters of the apparatus, such as the minimum and maximum static pressure and pressure losses due to the flow straightener, among other things. Barring unforeseen complications, we should be able to run a fan curve test next week. If that happens we should be ready to present results to you within the next few weeks. The CFD model is coming along as well, and though it hasn't been without complications, once we've gotten some data from the fan curve test we should be able to present the CFD model as well. This week the team continued to prepare the apparatus to carry out the testing procedures. This involved finishing assembly on the apparatus and performing the toppling force test. The group also made progress on the CFD, and ran it successfully on a sample model after it was found there was an error with the blower model. Next week we'll carry out all the remaining test procedures and have the CFD working producing sample results. Accurate results from the CFD will require data from the real tests.

Battery Pack Management
This week our team gave a midterm presentation on the project, which took up a substantial amount of time for the week. As for the project itself, we have continued working on getting the Atmel voltage measurement ICs working. The wiring can be complicated because the schematic is complex and has features that aren’t familiar. The ICs have a number of additional features, such as protection against current spikes, cell balancing, and the ability to power an MCU via the battery cells, but it is unclear what additional circuitry and electrical components are necessary for which functions and whether or not it is necessary to include those components for basic operation. We have written some code for reading SPI (serial peripheral interface) data, which is how the Atmel communicates, but have not successfully connected the Atmel so we aren’t sure if it is correct. A support case was opened through Atmel’s technical support, but we weren’t able to get much help. Looking to next week, we hope to either figure it out, or try another avenue for voltage measurement, as time is running short. Once this hurdle is cleared, the project will be much more feasible.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team spent a majority of the time preparing the midterm presentation. This was the second presentation that went into more detail on testing and construction of the waste heat recovery system. The heat exchanger’s exhaust stream bypass valve setup was completed and the connections for the heat exchanger were installed. The final order of parts for the system has been placed and should arrive soon. Painting materials for the mounting table that were donated by Heartland Painting will be obtained over the weekend allowing the team to continue construction. The problems with the scroll expander not turning were solved during the last teardown due to a flapper valve that had rusted shut. The valve that had gone unnoticed before happened to be the valve not allowing air to pass through the expander. Once the flapper valve was removed, the scroll expander would gyrate with only 20 psi applied to the inlet. This is promising because the system will be operating at >135 psi.

E-Bike Solar Filling Station
This week Team EBSCS worked on the welding of the main structure, after finishing the step up portion. The next step in the construction of the structure is to tack weld on the half inch aluminum rods to then guide the lattice weave. We also tested the batteries and have ensured that the batteries cut off discharge voltage does work, and will keep the batteries from being completely drained by the temperature controllers.

E-Bike Year 2
Richard retrieved the bikes from Ernest Spence powder coating. He proceeded to attach all of the components back onto the new bike so that we were able to present the completely constructed bike at our presentation. Chase and Preston worked on updating the presentation, adjusting content, and incorporating slides Richard made.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week the Altec team focused a lot on preparing for the presentation, creating a poster, and running battery tests. Blake focused on creating the poster which will be the first draft that is due next week. A poster presentation will take place later in the semester but we will have plenty of time to revise the first draft based on Dr. Depcik's initial comments. Austin focused on editing the presentation, adding new material to the presentation, and editing the handout starting from the draft pamphlet that was previously created. The team presented today in front of Dr. Depcik and fellow students and will be sent to Ash so that he knows what to expect during the final presentation in May. As far as testing, the team completed the round of 40 cycle tests and will send out the results before next week. The team began an 80 cycle test for one battery and will continue testing at 80 cycles for one round before upping the cycles again in the next round of tests.

Active Flow Control
This week the team began the challenge of cutting the slot for the oscillators in the wing. Using a small scalpel they were able to make significant progress on one of the wings. The team also went over the data from the initial microphone test of the oscillators and found they oscillate around 2 kHz. This roughly corresponds to 100 m/s but more testing is needed to verify the distribution of the arrays. This week a structural expert will inspect the wing for its structural stability since the slot cut through several of the main supporting ribs. If the wing passes the inspection, it will be able to be used on the plane and flight testing can begin shortly.

Battery Pack Thermal Management
This week we were able conduct our first fully successful test. In order to avoid problems mentioned in previous weeks we have made a few final changes. With regards to data acquisition, we have purchased a thicker 0.01" diameter wire for the thermocouples. Additionally, to avoid any leakages, we have ensured all junctions are sealed with PTFE tape. To avoid the loss of any liquid PCM during testing, we have applied a liquid silicone caulking material to the grooves of the connecting plates. Although there were minor drips from the right angle fittings of both baths, all major leaks were avoided in the test. The duration of this initial test was 11 hours and 47 minutes. The melting phase of the PCM took a little over one hour while the solidification took the remaining time (including the cooling of the liquid PCM prior to solidification). The data show that, generally speaking, our isothermal assumptions were correct. The temperature difference from the inlet to the outlet of the hot flow channel was minimal. Furthermore, the data show that the PCM was melting at a fairly steady rate. However, as more PCM melted, it was noted that the PCM began to melt less evenly. This is hypothesized to be attributed to two factors. First, because of the necessity of a camera to record the convection currents in the PCM, we were not able to fully insulate the polycarbonate. We believe that this did not allow the PCM to be heated as evenly as we may have desired. Second, it is beleived that the convection currents affected the center of the PCM more than the outside (were the velocities of these currents would be zero). Prior to future tests, we intend to address any issues we have faced. We will then be able to conduct further tests without heat pipes at various orientations. Once these tests are successfully conducted, we will conduct tests with heat pipes and, if time permits, metal foam will be incorporated as well.

March 13, 2015
Altec Battery Chemistry
The main focus of this week for the Altec team was preparing the midterm report. We spent a lot of time creating the construction section, adding to the theory section, and picking up comments from the last revision of the report that was turned in at the end of last semester. The team also made progress on the construction of our cars. Austin is nearly done except for the wiring and mounting the motors. The motor’s drive shaft is too small for the gear that it needs to fit in to so he still needs to fill the gear with a material and place the motor in it. Blake still needs to complete the attachment of the front axle and wire his car but is nearly done. Once the cars are complete the team plans to begin testing of the cars to determine the different forces acting on the cars. As far as testing, we have begun the 40 cycle tests but will not complete a full round prior to spring break. Once each battery has undergone a 40 cycle test we plan to send out the results. The week after spring break will have a lot of focus on preparing the midterm presentation which will be given Friday.

E-Bike Solar Filling Station
This week team EBSCS worked on welding. We fine tuned the wire speed and voltage of the MIG welder to produce quality lines. After practicing tacking and making lines we started working on the step-up portion of the structure. Unfortunately, team EBSCS ran out of tips for the spool gun; new tips have been ordered and arrived on Friday.

Active Flow Control
The AFC system is nearing completion. Over the last week, both oscillator assemblies have been sealed and checked for leaks. When air is blown through the oscillators, the frequency at which they oscillate is audible. The primary concern is still the flow rate. After modification, one pump was able to provide over a quarter of the target flow rate. This would mean a sufficient momentum coefficient would be achieved. However, once the oscillator assemblies were connected to the pumps the flow rate halved, likely due to the low pressure output of the pumps. A new pump which provides higher pressure was purchased. Testing will be completed on this pump next week to see if it is a better option than the original pumps. Wing installation has started, but is moving slow. There is concern that installing the assemblies will compromise the structural integrity of the wing. More planning is required to install the assemblies without causing the wings to fail flight certification.

E-Bike Year 2
Monday of this past week the team attached a chain to the new bike and were able to ride it for the first time. The bike handles well, is comfortable to ride, and the frame feels sturdy when handling curbs. Chase and Richard then worked on internalizing the wiring on the new bike while Preston attached guides for the old bike. Plates for mounting the battery pack were cut, drilled, and welded into place. The team spent an extensive period of time using paint stripper to clean off the rear triangle of the new bike and both of the bikes front forks. The team also wrote the midterm report.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team worked primarily on incorporating new information regarding construction and recent progress into the team’s report. Further testing has been conducted with regards to the expander which shows that some modifications may have to take place in order for it to work properly. Recent testing on the expander has resulted in the loss of oil that must be replaced which could have also attributed to the expander not working properly. As of yet, the expander still fails to rotate more than a couple of revolutions with 130 psi of compressed air applied. Further work is need to determine what is preventing rotation. Next week the team is on spring break but still plans to move forward with the mounting of components in their final locations and will start programming LabVIEW.

Battery Pack Management
This week the team prepared for their first technical presentation, as well as finalizing their spring midterm project report. The remaining un-machined track piece was finished, and subsequently was welded by Ash Shadrick on Tuesday (3/10). The cutting of the housing's PVC walls was started and a slight system redesign will happen in order to account for the stock thickness being 0.05" smaller than projected - this will ensure that the width and length of the housing will be adequate for the internal electrical components. It was decided that the SD shield will be used for data logging, in place of a USB. Data from the Hall Effect sensor was successfully logged onto the SD card using appropriate Arduino coding. The technical research on the Atmel voltage and temperature measuring system was done, gaining insight into the possible necessity of an evaluation kit in order to investigate different potential Atmel functions. Functions include cell balancing, power cut off, and additional protection circuitry.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week, most of our effort was concentrated on constructing the midterm report. We also reorganized the circuitry of the grid to make better use of breadboard space and wire into the 25-channel relay. Additionally, we created a first draft of the LED light diagram wiring and developed a more in depth circuit diagram of the power and information flow within the grid. We also started transition from the desktop computer to the laptop. In the next couple weeks, we’ll be working on finishing the battery charge and discharge profiles for the voltage method as well as looking more into the Coulomb Counting method.

March 6, 2015
E-Bike Solar Filling Station
This week EBSCS worked to complete the electrical component enclosure. The thermal management system was completely wired and connected to the batteries. It was then tested to make sure that both heating and cooling were activated at the correct temperatures. All of the electronics were then mounted to the enclosure and organized with cable organizers. The louvers and battery shelf were mounted as well. Remaining work includes drilling one more hole for the solar panels wires to come into the box, and adding a weatherproof outlet cover over the inverter.

Thermal Management Update
This week we were able to conduct another test. Adding to our initial successful test, we decided to add thermocouples to record the inlet and outlet tubing of the cooling flow channel plates. Additionally, we decided to keep the temperatures at the original levels, and all other aspects of the experiment remained the same. The intent with this test was to run a full melting and solidification cycle. However, when the test was running, it was found that the PCM was melting. With this, the team decided to shut off the experiment because visually, the PCM was completely melted and this would allow us to have an idea of the solidification process and what to expect in future tests. Because of the leak, the top three thermocouples were suspended in the air, outside of the PCM. This caused distorted data from those thermocouples. Additionally, because the computer was not actively being used (passively collecting data), the computer logged out and stopped the data collection at about 2 hours. This did not allow us to have a full set of data. However, the data do show that the PCM was beginning to solidify and we were able to learn from this experiment. We intend to make some changes to our experiment. First, we will add a camera to the experiment to allow us to compare was is actually happening to the PCM to the data collected. Furthermore, we intend to add thermocouples at more levels to create a higher resolution of data. We will also be considering changing the temperature of the plates to allow the data to show a clearer phase change. Finally, we will consider using a long polycarbonate reservoir which will allow a more accurate comparison with the tubing which will contain heat pipes in future tests. With these changes, we see that the experiment is developing with each test and meeting, and hope to have more data in the coming weeks.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team worked on finalizing the mounting system for the component table. The expander, generator, and storage tank will be raised off of the table while the condenser and the pump will be fixed to the table. Rubber mounts will be used in the mounting of the components to minimize vibrations. The heat exchanger connection system for the syngas rig was finalized and will be welded together as soon as the parts come in. The condenser should be drained by KU Facility Services within the next week. The LabVIEW programming has begun and the team is aiming to have code running by the end of spring break. The team realized that a power supply had been overlooked for the data acquisition system but has since been resolved and ordered.

E-Bike Year 2
Richard made and attached front disk brake and rear rim brake, welded on shifter plate, finished welding battery mount, assembled the control system onto the handle bars, and fixed the alignment on the rear wheel that had gotten knocked out. Chase got a 700c wheel for the front of our bike, ground out the welds on the new bike to improve appearance, worked on making a plate for the front shifter, and got tires and tubes with Richard for the new bike. Preston stripped paint off part of a donated bikes frame and ground it to be used as the battery mount, helped weld the tube to the bike, prepped a front shifter for the bike, worked with Chase to create a plate to mount the shifter on. The whole team worked to attach the tires, tubes, and wheels to the new bike.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week the Altec team began the first round of 20 cycle tests. Three of the tests were completed successfully but the fourth test had a communication error between the Vencon machine and the computer so the test shut down near the end. All twenty cycles were completed but we were not able to get data for the final rated capacity of the battery or voltage data past the halfway point. Another big point of emphasis this week is starting the report which is due next week. We have completed editing the document and will evaluate what needs to be changed and added this weekend to complete next week. We have also been working on the construction of our cars and will continue to do so. They should be completed within the next three weeks where we will begin testing them. Next week we plan to continue work on our cars, finish our report, and continue testing of the batteries, potentially bumping them up to 40 cycles/test.

Active Flow Control
The active flow control team has worked out the problems with the pumps. With the batteries, the flow rate is closer to the expected values. Because of this, using one pump per wing should provide enough air to influence the boundary layer. If the system works very well with one pump per wing, there is a possibility that another pump will be added, but for now the plan is to keep the system as simple as possible. One attempt has been made to seal the system. Using silicon around the gaps, the system was turned on. The noise from the pumps makes us unable to determine whether the oscillators are working properly, so we will have to wait until we have a microphone to confirm the air distribution. More work is being done to ensure that the top cover is firmly attached to the arrays. After this, the system will be sealed again using what was learned from the first attempt. Installation into the wings should begin next week.

Battery Pack Management
This week, progress was made on the housing and hardware aspects of the battery pack. On the manufacturing side, only three aluminum pieces are left to manufacture, and once these have been cut we can move forward with welding the parts together to complete the e-bike rack and track system. For the housing, the PVC stock was also cut to size this week – the next step is to square each piece and mill the inner features. Hopefully, by the end of next week the rack will be welded and the PVC cut and cemented to shape. On the hardware side, we had a difficult time finding instructions, support, and code online that explained how to store data onto a flash drive using the Arduino USB shield. Conversely, we found detailed and easy to follow instructions on logging data using an SD card shield. Thus, we decided to purchase an SD shield to use instead of the USB shield. Although this means we wasted money on the USB shield (cost was approximately $20), we managed to successfully write code for data logging within a few hours with the new shield, so the decision was justified. The hall effect sensor was also successfully tested this week, and on Thursday the Atmel ICs soldered onto the Proto-advantage adapters arrived along with the resistance heaters (finally – after over four weeks since shipment notification), which means testing of the ICs and the battery cells can commence.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week we made some progress on revising our midterm report which is due next week. We took time to start rewiring the grid to be better organized as well as to prepare for the implementation of the computer relay strip. We progressed further in our efforts to get accurate charge and discharge profiles for our batteries and did additional research into using the voltage method and the Coulomb Counting method. We also made progress on cleaning up the software, and have consolidated all LabVIEW related software into one location. Next week we will be finishing our report. We will also be doing some preliminary tests using LabVIEW to control the computer relay strip. Also, a first draft of our LED light diagram should be completed next week.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week the team divided into pairs to tackle the programming for the system and the CFD model separately. Construction on the 6" apparatus is finished, and once the programming is done we'll be able to run test procedures to determine several important parameters for running the fan curve test, such as the pressure loss due to the flow straightener and what valve positions correspond to what static pressures, among other things. The CAD models for parts to be used in CFD were completed. Next week we'll assemble the model parts and apply CFD conditions to it.

February 27, 2015
Altec Battery Chemistry
This week the team’s main focus was completing the latest revision of our research book that was comprised of 15 informational slides per group member. We were able to research online an find more information to fill the slides with more information. We also helped out the Smart Grid team with a lead acid battery test. They needed the data and graph of a full charge and discharge of their 12 Ah battery. We set up the test for them and it should be finished by today. This week Blake and I also cut the bodies of our cars from the plywood that we purchased last week. We also purchased some of the smaller, miscellaneous parts that we will need for the construction of our model electric vehicles such as wires and screws. Next week we will continue car constructions and get back to battery testing.

Battery Pack Thermal Management
Since last week, we have been preparing to run a completed test, taking into account the various challenges that we have been faced with. Last week we noticed where leaks were coming from, which areas of our TMS were weak, and what needed to be changed. We added right angle fittings in order to avoid crimping in the circulation tubing, we removed the PTFE tape which we noticed was soaking PCM through the opening and facilitating leaking, and found a way to attach our thermocouples in a new way. This past weekend, we began making these changes. We took the polycarbonate tubing to the machine shop and drilled 6 0.04” diameter holes at 10, 20, and 30mm heights. This allows us to take data at each height, while also allowing us to properly seal the PCM inside the polycarbonate. We also sealed all openings in the polycarbonate (thermocouple holes and the top/bottom openings) with liquid gasket material made from silicon. With these changes, we were able to make a successful test. It must be noted however, that even with these changes, the PCM was forced out of the polycarbonate reservoir. We believe that it is because of the property change between the solid and liquid phase of the PCM. As it melted, it expanded and pushed itself through the silicon. This hypothesis seems to be true because once the liquid PCM decreased to a certain level (a minor amount of liquid), it stopped leaking. For future tests, we will ensure that there is less PCM in the reservoir, however, this brings about a challenge with heating from the top (there will be air between the hot plate and the PCM). The data that was produced from this test was very productive. It has helped us understand the way that the PCM is behaving and will allows us to make revisions to our testing. For example, we have noticed that the PCM melts at an extremely fast rate, so much so, that the 10 mm thermocouples had a very difficult time detecting the phase change. As a result, we will be considering lowering the operating temperature of the hot flow channel to about 50 degrees Celsius. We will continue to study the data and make more changes prior to our next test which will be occurring sometime in the coming week.

E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week the new DC-DC converter arrived in the mail allowing Team EBSCS to continue testing the functionality of the system. On Wednesday the PV panels, converter, charge controller, and batteries were connected. The system worked and no components were overheated in the process. Using the digital multi-meter the voltage of the batteries started off at 12 V DC and increased to about 15 V DC after a couple hours of solar charging. This indicated the system was working, however overcharging of the batteries is of concern. Welding practice continued and each member was able to produce good welds. Structural welding of the step-up box will begin next week.

E-Bike Year 2
Richard finish milling a piece of metal to act as a holder for the seat post. He was also able to attach it to the new frame so that the new bike has a seat. Chase and Preston cut cable guides from the donated bikes frames and grind them so that they would fit smoothly onto the new bikes frame. The team updated the research book for the third submission. They also rewrote the abstract for publication.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team spent a majority of their focus on the latest iteration of the research book as well as contacting an additional 20 sponsors. The generator was tested under three unique resistive loads while varying rotational speed from 100 – 1100 rpm. The bypass system that will connect the heat exchanger to the exhaust piping is currently under construction. Looking to the future and the maintainability of the system, the team began researching a method of flushing the working fluid from the components for maintenance and decided to use a method called nitrogen blanketing.

Active Flow Control
This week, the AFC team worked on testing the batteries for their voltage and amperage characteristics. The batteries do appear to provide the advertised voltage. We also tested the flow rates for the pumps both on a power supply and with the batteries. The pumps appear to draw less amperage than the manufacturer specified. This should allow us to run the pumps off of the batteries for longer than originally anticipated. However, according to the flow meter, the pumps do not produce the flow rates that we expected. Even combining the three pumps together did not seem to bring the flow rate to our target levels. This will require further experimentation and testing. We worked together to drill the holes on the acrylic top plate, locating the holes with a countersink tool and using a drill press to complete them. In addition, we spent Thursday evening working on our Technical Presentation. We also compiled a list of sponsors and distributed them among the team members to contact. Finally, we worked on our research book slides in preparation for turning them on Friday.

Battery Pack Management
This week, our team concentrated on updating our research book, including the addition of new work, modification of old work and correction of previous mistakes. Besides the research book, Robbie started machining the aluminum stock down to its nominal sizes after Charles cut the oversized stock. Also, Cong located the Hall effect sensor and began wiring it to the battery and Arduino.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week the team finished construction of the apparatus. The only thing that still needs work before it's functional is the pressure transducer, which still isn't responding to the arduino and may be defective. Next week we'll diagnose the transducer issues, and begin testing procedures, as well as taking measurements on the blower and begin to model it in solidworks

February 20, 2015
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week the EBSCS team received the new temperature controllers which were able to switch on and off fine according to the temperature they were set to. The new DC-DC converter will not be received till early next week so the EBSCS team cut the temperature controller and fan slots in the electrical box instead. Once the converter is received, all components will be connected together and organized appropriately in the box. The aluminum sheet metal was sent to P1 in order to be sheared into strips for the lattice of the structure. These will be picked up on Monday.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week Blake and I continued testing of the batteries and were able to get three of the four batteries to reach 90% or higher rated capacity when they were fully charged at the beginning and end of a test. The lithium cobalt battery still stayed around 80% rated capacity but we plan to run another test with a higher maximum voltage to alleviate this problem. Once that is complete, we plan to increase the number of cycles per test to 20, with Altec’s approval. We also purchased more parts for our cars including quarter inch thick plywood to be used for the bodies of our cars. We initially attempted to find sheet metal to use for the bodies but there were not many options at Home Depot besides very thin sheets. Instead of risking the structural integrity of our model cars, we decided to purchase the plywood. We plan on cutting the plywood soon and beginning construction of our cars. Next week we will continue testing and working on our cars as well as turning in our research book slides that contain more notes on the different battery chemistries.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team met with Khalaf at the Hill Center to measure the three temperatures of the engine’s exhaust at the three different loads. The highest observed temperature was 765° F which is below the maximum temperature that the heat exchanger can reach. The team also compiled a list of materials needed to mount the various components and will submit that to Cutler Repaving soon. Again, the team cannot thank Cutler Repaving enough for donating so many items to help with the building of our project.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
After last week’s struggle, we ordered the several necessary parts to solve any problems with leaking or broken thermocouples. However, several of these parts have not arrived yet. We are still waiting on the thicker thermocouple wire, and the valves which will allow us to properly use the circulating baths for the tests. In the interim, we decided to attempt to run preliminary tests with the equipment we have. In order to stop the leakages, we used a liquid gasket material. However, after multiple tries, we found that the current set up has several problems. The way the thermocouples were attached is causing constant leaking from various points, the short length of the tubing makes it very difficult to avoid kinks which inhibit the flow of the water and glycol, and the thin thermocouples continue to break. With these challenges, we decide to take a step back as a team and remove the parts which are causing us problems and wait for the proper parts to arrive. Furthermore, we will be installing the thermocouples through holes in the side. We will drill these holes, and seal them using the liquid gasket material. Once cured, this material can withstand temperatures well beyond our TMS’s high temperature of 80 degrees Celsius. Finally, with the proper length of tubing along with the 3-way valves, as well as the thicker thermocouple wire, we should be able to set up the TMS without it’s movement being inhibited as it is now (the parts currently in use make it very difficult to move the TMS). With these changes, we anticipate a much simpler process to run tests. Furthermore, these tests will be able to be consistent and repeatable.

Active Flow Control Update
This week the AFC team focused on construction and testing of the AFC system. All of the necessary connectors and tubing are ready for ground testing. The only component left to finish are the holes on the top cover for the actuator arrays, which are currently being done in the machine shop. Once this is finished the complete system will be sealed and checked for leaks outside of the aircraft. The flow rates of the pumps were tested this week. The results are not ideal, with the maximum flow rate each pump can provide being 60% of the stated value. Another problem encountered was the pump's lack of pressure. Because of this, three pumps output no more air than two pumps. Changes will need to be made to the design to accommodate this, such as using two pumps per wing. Even when using an extra pump, the maximum attainable momentum coefficient will only be half of the ideal coefficient. It is possible that other higher pressure pumps will have to be used.

E-Bike Year 2
Richard did some weld filling to the front of the head tube. The team traveled to Cycleworks and acquired parts for the new frame. Richard lathed a piece of donated metal to act as a holder for the seat post. Chase smoothed out the inside of the head tube after Richards earlier welding. Preston striped down the old bike for adding weld filler to the frame.

Smart Grid Year 2
With the addition of the coolers, the industrial building is now fully constructed, and just needs to be wired into the rest of the grid. The coding was overdue for some housekeeping, and we put some time into cleaning up the LabVIEW wiring and minor debugging. This will simplify future coding efforts and help organize the code into manageable sections. Progress was also made on the Compact RIO, which now is recognized by the computer and is successfully integrated into a test project tree (i.e. will interact with LabVIEW VIs in the tree). We also worked toward developing a method for measuring the state of charge of the photovoltaic battery. Moving forward we will move toward using the relay strip with the Compact RIO to manage both input and output signals. We will also place some focus on measuring PV battery state of charge. Additionally, we will be working to make sure that all of the team members are effectively familiar with the coding. Further research will be done for research book, and we’ll be developing layouts for the LED light diagram.

Battery Pack Management
As of today, the housing design is complete. This week the finishing touches were put on the model, it was reviewed, and potential future use problems were addressed. On the electrical side of things, Cong put together a test circuit for the hall effect sensor and tried to get it outputting data to a computer. He was unsuccessful as of today, and has been troubleshooting the code. Housing manufacturing will begin next Monday (2/23). Ideally, we can have the aluminum track assembly ready to be welded and the five walls of the housing and the five walls of the USB Box machined and glued, all by the end of the week. We also hope to receive the Atmel chips with their adapters attached next week, so that we can hook them up for testing.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week the team continued assembly of the model, making considerable progress on the physical side. Next week we should be able to finish or nearly finish construction. Depending on the progress James makes with the electronics, we may also be able to run some of the test procedures next week, or run a trial of the main test.

February 13, 2015
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week EBSCS continued to work on the construction of the structure of the solar charging station. The team has switched from using the Oxy-Acetylene welder to the MIG welder. The shelves for the interior of the component enclosure were finished. Welding will now begin on the main structure. On the electrical side, the DC to DC converter was inadequate as the output voltage of the solar panels was higher than expected. A new converter will be ordered and tested with the system.

Battery Pack Management
This week our team managed to solve our two main problems last week – getting the GPS to work and figuring out a way to connect the Atmel (chip was too small to hand solder wires to each port).The GPS is outputting location data to a computer through the Arduino successfully after much troubleshooting from Cong due to the various error messages we were getting and connection problems incurred. I found a “QFN-48 to DIP-48 SMT” adapter, which basically is a printed circuit board that you can solder our exact size IC to and it extends the connections to breadboard-pitch-sized pins that we can easily connect to. We have to mail our Atmel ICs to the company and they will solder them to the board for us. Robbie cleaned up the CAD for the housing, including increasing surface area for the welding connections at joints. He also spoke with the machine shop staff to determine the most effective manufacturing methods for the housing and rack. We have designed the USB removal feature and he will modify the CAD to reflect the design.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team received the donated pump from Grundfos and various sensors required for our system. We also picked up the materials for the base of our system from Cutler Repaving. We then welded the table together and set the condenser on top of it to test its abilities. The team then looked into each individual component’s connectors and began solving how to step up or step down the connector sizes since there is ½” tubing connecting all of the components together.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week we picked up with the challenges posed by our initial tests. As we mentioned last week, we found that our TMS was leaking from the bottom as the plates approached their upper limit in temperature of 80 degrees celsius. After some discussion, we concluded that this must be due to some expansion in the aluminum plates which may make the indentation larger, as well as the tape which is holding the thermocouples in place which already creates a small gap (prior to heating however, no leak was detected). This week we made some purchases to address this issues including some caulk to further seal the TMS, thicker thermocouple wire, as well as the 3-way ball valves mentioned in previous weeks and some other miscellaneous materials. With the caulk, thermocouples, and 3-way ball valves, we expect to answer several problems with the design. The thermocouples will address the problem with several thermocouples breaking very easily during construction. The 3-way ball valves will allows us to heat and cool the circulating baths prior to running them through the aluminum plates. This will allow us to have better consistency with each iteration of testing. Finally, although the larger thermocouples would be the gaps for leaking slightly larger, we believe that the combination of high compression between the plates and tubing, the pipe tape, and added caulking, the leakage problem should be address sufficiently. With these and other minor changes not discussed here, we hope to have address all major problems with the TMS to allow us to take proper measurements, avoid leaking, and allow consistency in various iterations of future tests.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week Blake and I received our car parts from the four orders that we placed online. We also kept up with the testing and completed the 3rd round of ten cycle tests. The fourth set of tests are currently underway. In previous tests the capacity of the batteries had not been reaching their rated capacity which was brought up this last week in our team meeting. To fix this problem we added a small voltage to our maximum charge voltage so that it could fully charge and reach its rated capacity. This seemed to have fixed the problem on the first test that this was implemented on and we will continue doing this for tests in the future. Moving forward, we will attempt to find the metal for the body of our model cars and start construction on those. Testing will also continue on the batteries and we are considering an increase to the number of Altec cycles that we run per test but first we plan on fixing the capacity problem first.

Active Flow Control
The delay from the actuators slowed construction progress, but they have now arrived. All of the arrays arrived in good condition, so construction can now begin. The basic connections for all the flow components have arrived and are beginning to be assembled. The next big step is ground testing the system outside of the aircraft. This will include testing the total flow rate of the system and the maximum possible duration of the batteries. The only parts that have not arrived are the batteries, because the ones on order were backordered. New batteries have been ordered. Once all of the components have arrived it will be possible to accurately measure the total weight of the system. If the system is overweight, there are at least a few known ways to reduce weight. One option would be to move from a 4-cell battery to a 3-cell battery.

E-Bike Year 2
The team attached the front cover for the old electric bike leaving only the process of smoothing the surface before it is sent off to powder coating. Brake lines and shift cables will be acquired so that they can be attached prior to the arrival of the motor for the electric bike. Richard continues to work on the new frame while Preston and Chase prepped an abstract for review by Dr. Depcik and to be published.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week we made some important strides in moving forward with our project. In construction we finished building the industrial building with the exception of the coolers which have not come in yet due to an ordering issue. We also spent some time rewriting our logic coding in order to make it more general and expandable. Additionally we added a state of charge evaluation to the coding so that the logic now decides power sources based on both price and PV battery state of charge. An important effort was made this week to really nail down the metrics and standards with which we would be evaluating both quantitatively and qualitatively the results and success of our grid. Now that we have these defined, it will help us really focus our efforts in testing and analysis. We also spent much of the week preparing our technical presentation which we then presented in class on Friday. Looking forward we will be adding the coolers to the industrial building and finish wiring it into the grid. We will hopefully be getting the Compact RIO integrated to replace the myRIO. The coding will be expanded to include additional factors. We should also have the solar panel mounted in the near future, at which point we will be able to evaluate some of our developed load profiles.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This mostly consisted of Jake and Alan working on assembling the blower by cutting the support for the pitot tube and servo motor, as well as ordering the (hopefully) final parts. James spent a lot of time working on the circuitry, mostly connecting the LCD to the Arduino. Next week we should be able to finish constructing the apparatus, and make significant progress on programming the Arduino, servo motor, and LCD screen.

February 6, 2015
E-Bike Year 2
The team took the bike to the shop to test alignment was true and fully weld the bike frame. The testing indicated that the wheel alignment was out by one inch. In response the team ground the head tube attachment location to adjust the angle of the front wheel. The head tube was welded back into place at a lower location. This allowed the wheel to rotate freely through roughly 350 degrees. Further testing showed that the wheels were as true as the team could hope to achieve with the tool at their disposal. The team was also able to order the motor to the new electric bike.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week we acquired/ordered all the necessary materials for making the industrial building. We will work to have this completed by the end of next week. We also worked toward integrating the CompactRIO and took steps to troubleshoot possible software problems. We also developed the coding to respond to dynamic pricing differences between the solar panel and the main grid power and will work next week to get the physical wiring of the relays to effectively respond. Next week we will be putting together our technical presentation.

Active Flow Control
The active flow control team has been preparing the components for assembly. The square tubing has been cut and is ready for the actuator arrays. Unfortunately, there has been some delay getting the actuator arrays from the University of Arizona. One was broken and it has taken a few days to repair, but they should be delivered next week. This delay means that the air supply system has not been assembled, as the arrays are the main components of the system. In the meantime, the flow rate from the three pumps will be tested. It is still not known if the pumps are providing their expected values, knowing the actual output is essential to calculating the actual momentum coefficient the system will achieve.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team finalized the layout design to incorporate the waste heat recovery system into the syngas rig. The team met with Jay from Cutler Repaving who said they would provide the team with any piping or steel. They went above and beyond as to what the team expected to receive from them. Not only did they order tubing for the system, flex-tubing for the exhaust, and metal for the table to mount the components. They even offered to provide the one gallon pressurized tank complete with fittings, and tapered connections for the system. On top of that, they offered to build shutoff butterfly valves for the heat exchanger to provide the capability to separate the waste heat recovery system from the syngas rig in the event that it would create a pressure drop in the engine.

Battery Pack Management
This week our team put in a lot of time towards figure out the redesign of the housing. After weighing 4 different options, we decided to go with an enclosure that we will manufacture ourselves out of PVC stock. Manufacturing provides more control for us, and is less costly. The PVC was cheaper and more easily machined that similar nonmetallic options. The housing will have a lip on the bottom which will slide into the rack, of which the redesign was also complete. The housing will lock into place with a combination slide bolt lock, which will also protect against theft. Additionally, the remaining parts needed for testing the electronics were purchased and received. It was verified that the Atmel will interface with the Arduino correctly, but due to its small size a problem arose with trying to connect wires to the Atmel. Next week we will complete the CAD of the housing and rack, including manufacturing instructions. We will figure out how to connect wires to the Atmel, and also test the GPS unit.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week Blake and I spent a lot of time preparing our technical presentation for class on Friday. We were able to create a first draft of our pamphlet that will be handed off to Altec at the end of the semester. Blake is making the first set of revisions and then we will send the draft to Ash for any comments that he may have for additions to the pamphlet. Blake and I are also on our third round of ten cycle tests for each of the batteries. For all of the tests that have been completed so far, we created an excel document with the test summaries. The capacity tracking table has been updated with each new test that was run and will continue to be updated. Moving forward, Blake and I will begin construction of our model electric vehicles once our parts arrive which should be within the next week. We will also complete the fourth round of ten cycles tests next week as well.

E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week the EBSCS team began constructing two shelves for the electrical box that will hold the battery and inverter. The six-inch legs were cut using the miter saw and the aluminum sheet metal shelf was cut using a hand saw. Since Jacob, Nathan, and Connor are all inexperienced with welding, we felt using the oxygen acetylene torch to connect the legs the the shelf would be good practice. On Tuesday Jacob went to the Hill Center to connect the lithium batteries to the Watts Up Pro and bike batteries to both charge and collect data. The lithium batteries unfortunately died during the charge, but data resembled the Watts Up data collected last semester. All the aluminum rods and sheet metal arrived this week at the Hill Center and we are spending this afternoon cutting the rods to their correct length.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week we have been addressing any final touches with regards to the initial testing we plan to conduct on Friday, February 6th. After speaking with Dr. Li and Dr. Depcik, we have decided to order a few more materials such as three-way valves, which will allow us to heat up and cool down the different fluids prior to running them through the flow channels, a lid to cover the ethylene glycol mixture, a funnel to add the fluids to the baths, as well as other miscellaneous materials. Throughout the week we have prepared the TMS for testing. After gathering the materials, we applied the thermocouples to the polycarbonate tubing allowing the temperature to be taken at three points around the tubing at three heights. Additionally, we intend to have thermocouples checking the temperatures at the inlet and outlet of each flow channel. However, in the application of the thermocouples, we found that they were breaking. We suspect that this is due to various sharp points in the TMS. To address the issue, we applied additional tape over the thermocouples. We noticed that this helped, however, the problem persists, albeit less so. Furthermore, we noticed that the thermocouple wires were too short to allow us to connect them to the Agilent multiplexer forcing us to move the device very close to our TMS to allow for any temperature measurements to be taken. This is another item to address. With these problems we intend to remake the thermocouples prior to any tests after Friday, as well as consider the use of thicker thermocouple wires. On Friday, we began the initial test. Below is a list of additional challenges not address in this update. We intend to address these issues as well as install the valves in the coming weeks, prior to any further testing.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week the team received more of the parts on our bill of materials, and revised and, for the most part, finished our testing procedures. We also met to begin construction on the test apparatus, and determined a few more items we'll need. For next week we'll continue constructing the apparatus, starting with the pitot setup and the guy wires, and James will work on the programming for the arduino and servo motor.

January 30, 2015
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
Over the past two weeks the EBSCS team have received the majority of our electrical components and began initial testing to ensure these work. It has been determined that the batteries, inverter, cooling fans, and charge controller work, although a new temperature controller will be needed due to a broken switch and inability to power both the heating and cooling components. The team began laying out the electrical components within the box enclosure and purchased a new temperature controller that can relay power to both heating and cooling elements, louvers, and an electrical outlet cover to shield from environmental hazards. Beginning early next week the team will connect everything from the solar panel to e-bike battery in order to ensure the system will work.

Active Flow Control
The AFC team has received the majority of the parts and has begun assembly of the system. Testing of components has started, and the performance of the pumps has been verified. The testing showed that the pumps will draw less current than anticipated, so battery life should be increased. The actuator arrays have been machined and should arrive shortly. Once they arrive the air supply system will be constructed and more testing will begin. After the air supply system is completed they will be installed into the wing for ground testing. In addition, the gap between the flap and main element has been filled.

Waste Heat Recovery
Over the past month the Waste Heat Recovery team was busy preparing a final report and presentation for the first week of classes. The team has received the expander, generator, condenser, sensors, and data acquisition system. The pump and the heat exchanger are currently en route. The team finalized the component layout in conjunction with the syngas rig at the Hill Center and hope to start assembling soon. Within the next month, the team would like to have a working LabVIEW interface.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week the group met to understand the current progress of the project and where to pick up. All parts have been purchased, delivered, and machined/built. Realizing that we have everything needed thus far, we see that we can begin the construction of the TMS and begin testing. First, we discussed how to add the thermocouples to the TMS for proper data collection. We decided to thread the thermocouples through the top and bottom of the polycarbonate tubing in order to suspend the junctions (which measure the temperature) at specific heights of the PCM. Furthermore, we will be taking inlet and outlet temperature readings of the flow channels as well as a reading at the top and bottom connecting plates. We then prepared the water-glycol mixture with a 1:1 ratio. We found that this mixture has a freexing temperature of -35 degrees Celsius, well-below our specified cold temperature of -10 degrees. Finally, we successfully tested the circulating baths through one of the flow channels to ensure that leaking would not be an issue. One challenge that we encountered was how to warm and cool the fluids prior to running them through the flow channels. Dr. Depcik made a suggestion to create a new network of tubing with valves to turn them between the circulating baths and the flow channels. This allows us to start the experiment the same way with each iteration. We will make this change prior to testing. With these preparations, we will be able to begin the testing in the coming week or two, giving us some preliminary data to consider.

E-Bike Year 2
The old bike is complete save rivets for the sifting cables and breaks, and attaching the front wire cover. As for the new frame the front fork and the rear triangle are in close alignment. The wheels have been added on and once tires are acquired the wheels alignment can be tested. We will attach a mount for the battery pack. Additionally, we will add mounts for the electronics and the shifters/breaks. On top of that, we will add a seat mount. Both bike should be ready for powder coating by the end of February. This past week we also gave our technical presentation.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week we met as a team to set some framework for the coming semester. We scheduled our technical and tentatively our midterm presentations. We talked about some short term goals and each of us proposed what we would have done in two weeks’ time (specifically by Feb. 11th). Also finalized our weekly meeting time to be 9:30am on Thursdays and discussed when to meet with Dr. Liu. Planned what we would do at next week’s meeting; watch our final presentation video from last semester. Discussed the feasibility, practicality, and willingness of trying to publish our team’s efforts this year. Enthusiasm for the idea was not unanimous, but decided to discuss more with Dr. D. Talked about our overall goals and the metrics we wanted to meet. Discussed exactly what questions we were trying to answer and how our model would be able to address them quantitatively. Discussed using the sustainability metrics as a base to start off of. Also we started additional research that will be pertinent to completing phase 2 and 3. Next week we will start construction efforts into the Industrial building, work toward integrating the CompactRIO, and move forward with the phase 2 coding.

Battery Pack Management
Since coming back from the winter break, our team has focused on the housing redesign and purchasing parts, while also figuring out some logistics, such as setting meeting times and finding a storing area and workspace for this semester. The old housing design was relatively heavy, large, and difficult to construct, so we thought we could do better. We haven’t finalized the redesign, but should finish over the next couple of days. The biggest difference is that the external housing, which originally was going to be attached permanently to the rack so that the main housing could slide in, is now being designed as the rack. In other words, the main housing will be able to be inserted into the rack itself. This makes more sense since the racks only function is to hold the battery pack, and eliminates unnecessary material, weight, and complexity. Apart from the housing, we created a timeline for the semester in order to organize our work. This should help us work through our design systematically and timely, so that we can finish in time with a working product.

Altec Battery Chemistry
To update you on our progress from last semester, we have finished one ten cycle test and one one cycle test for each of the four batteries that we purchased. Also, the model cars have been completely designed in a CAD program, ready for construction during this semester. From talking with Altec during our presentation and prior to that, we have created a summary table for the tests that we run that include five different metrics to be measured for each test when needed. These metrics include: max and min temperature, before and after capacitance, and Ah discharged during the test. We will also be tracking capacitance of the battery over time depending on how many cycles the battery has run. With these objectives in mind, over the last two weeks since school has started, we have run a ten cycle test on each of the four batteries and created a table to summarize the rated capacitance of the batteries. Also, we have ordered our parts for the model electric cars and we expect them to be delivered within the next week or two. We will begin construction on the cars as soon as parts arrive as well as assess if we need any more parts or scrap metal from Home Depot or the KU machine shop. Blake and I also plan to create a MATLAB program for easy output of the summary table without an hand calculations taking place.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
Our team finished ordering parts to build the testing apparatus, and in the mean time worked on writing various test procedures to ensure the apparatus is working properly and gives good results. We didn't meet at all this week outside of meetings with Dr. Dougherty, as this work was all done individually. Next week we'll likely have the test procedures finished or nearly finished by Wednesday and begin constructing the apparatus.

December 12, 2014
E-Bike Year 2
The team took each of the slides that they wrote for the research book and boiled the information down to create a 20 slide presentations. Additionally the team worked on updating and revising the final proposal. Items added to the proposal include the two theory elements of balance and center of gravity, updates to the construction that have occurred, and furthering of the design section.

Active Flow Control
Over the last week the active flow control team has completed their final proposal and begun preparing for their presentation on Tuesday. Multiple iterations of the actuator array have been modeled this week, and the final design has been chosen. It has been decided that the actuator array will be machined at the University of Arizona for cost reasons. The 3D model of the actuator has been modeled in Fluent and initial results have been gathered. Further analysis is needed to determine the exact pressure loss through each actuator. The funding from the grant has been received, so parts can now be purchased. In addition, the wings have arrived. Over the next week work will begin on filling the gaps between the flap and main element.

Battery Pack Management
This week our team submitted our final proposal report for the semester. All design decisions have been made except two: the materials to be used and method of construction for the housing. A CAD of the completed design was produced, but due to manufacturing limitations some changes may have to be made. If we use a 3D printer for the housing design we can have complete flexibility, but it may not be the most cost-effective solution. The other decision is related to voltage measurement. We have found three options for measuring voltage that seem feasible, but it was difficult for us to determine which method would be most effective without actually testing it out. Therefore, we proposed in our report to purchase hardware for the three options and test them on a three-cell scale. This will be the first task next semester. Otherwise, since last week two design aspects were completed. we realized that in order to write data to a flash drive we needed separate hardware to interface with the Arduino Mega. Arduino sells a USB shield for this purpose that is compatible with the Mega, so that will be used instead. Also, for pulse charging we will purchase a charger from batteryspace.com specifically for Lithium-iron and we will use a MOSFET IC to switch the current on and off. We have yet to receive our Li-ion batteries from batteryspace.com – a sales representative was asked about the status of the order and we’re waiting for their response.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
Over the past week the group has met a couple of times to work on the written report and to ensure that all materials tests are completed allowing the preliminary testing of the TMS over winter break. Currently, the thermocouples have been test and are functioning as desired, the parts have all arrived (except for replacements for the cover plates mentioned last week), and all machining has been completed. Furthermore, the circulating baths have been tested and seem to be functioning properly. However, there was a concern stated by Chad during testing. He stated that any contact made with the tubing which was pumping the liquid was affecting the temperature by a noticeable amount (about 0.5 degrees Celsius). With this observation, the team concluded to insulate the tubing, perhaps using the excess insulation purchased for the polycarbonate tubing. Furthermore, this check went along with the check of the flow channel plates. There was no noticeable leakage. However, the team noted that the leakage tests were done with the flow channels oriented with the largest plane facing up and down (that is, not sideways). This may be something to consider when conducting tests in the future which will include changing the orientation of the TMS. Additionally, this Monday, the team checked the TMS for any leakage. One concern of the TMS is that during the melting process, the PCM will leak which would skew results and potentially cause a hazard to anyone involved. In order to check for this, the team filled the TMS with water and fastened it. After some adjustments of the bolts and threaded rods, the TMS seemed to be holding the water without any leakage. The polycarbonate tubing needed to be pressed down to the bottom plate immediately to seal to the bottom O-rings. While there was no noticeable leakage, the team decided to leave the water in the TMS, mark the level, and return after a few days. This will show if there is any slow leakage from the tubing. With these and all previous tests, it seems that the TMS is ready for preliminary testing during winter break.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week, the main focus has been finishing the midterm proposal. Blake and I spent a large part of last weekend and Monday working on the report to turn in on Monday. We were able to add a lot of the new information we have gathered and finalizing our model car designs. The rest of the week has been devoted to finishing up the ten cycle battery tests for the LiCoO2, LTO, and LiNiMnCoO2 batteries. We will send results out soon as we have run tests for each of them but are still working on making the results table. Moving forward, Blake and I need to work on our presentation to prepare for our final presentation in front of classmates, Dr. Depcik, and Altec. Once next semester starts, we plan to create a MATLAB script to automatically find the results for us without having to make an excel formula sheet every time. We will also begin plotting the results once we have more for each of the batteries. We are looking forward to our presentation and meeting with Altec again to show them our progress so far on the project.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team started the purchasing process for some components of the waste heat recovery system. The pump will be donated by Grundfos which allows us to purchase higher quality components for our system by alleviating some of the cost. There are some promising leads for the condenser including: Cornelius, Southwest Technologies, Manitowoc, and Ice-O-Matic and one will be decided upon early next week. We should know the price of the heat exchanger from SEC Heat Exchangers by next week as well. Purchase orders were approved for the expander and generator and will be obtained shortly. The team has started drafting reports to be turned in during finals week for each component.

E-Bike Solar Charging Station
With the semester almost at an end it is critical for us to begin purchasing items now in order to start construction in January. Following our meeting on Tuesday, the EBSCS team went to the mechanical engineering office and purchased all the items on the budget except for the aluminum and sheet metal. This ensures the electrical components will be shipped by the end of winter break and testing will begin by the time the spring semester starts. The team's main focus this upcoming week will be on the presentation. Topics have been divided between each team member and we plan on meeting several times prior to the presentation in order to practice.

December 5, 2014
Altec Battery Chemistry
This week the team’s main focus has been on preparing the final proposal for class. We have been picking up Dr. Depcik’s comments from the first revision of the proposal and are almost finished. Once this is complete, we will beginning adding to the report. Many of the changes will come in the car design, results, and conclusion sections since these have changed the most since the last revision. Also this week, Blake and I were able to complete another ten cycle test on the LiFePO4 battery. I was able to make a summary table that includes the capacity before and after the test, maximum and minimum temperature, and the number of cycles the test completed. This will be a good segue into next semester so that we can immediately begin testing and gathering data for each of the batteries and summarizing it into this simple table as well as keep track of changes over time. In the next week we plan to finalize the testing and results for use next semester, complete our report, and prepare for our presentation for Altec.

Active Flow Control
Over the last two weeks the active flow control team has worked on finalizing the design and preparing to purchase components. One issue that needed to be resolved was the gap between the main element and the flap. Because the gap is only 1 inch and the maximum flap deflection is small, it has been decided that stretchable tape will be sufficient to cover the gap. In addition to this, the original wings that were ordered were found to be on back-order. It was determined that this only applied to a certain color of wing, so a non-matching pair of wings was ordered instead and they will arrive shortly. Furthermore, CAD drawings of the wings were located in order to fit check the actuator array. There was no interference, meaning that the actuator array can now be sent to the machine shop. The final design decisions have now been made, and ordering of hardware will begin as soon as soon as the grant funds are received.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team primarily focused on obtaining the four major components for the system. The four components include a heat exchanger, expander and generator setup, condenser, and pump. We are currently waiting for replies from the heat exchanger vendors which include SEC and Alfa Laval, and from the pump vendors which include Grundfos and Pentair. The expander vendor is going to be UAC and the generator vendor will be MOPS Electric. The potential vendors for the condenser are KeepRite and Emerson. The MATLAB model was updated once again to account for the expander compression ratio and the greater pressure change provided by the pump which increased the efficiency and the flow rate.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
Two weeks ago we acquired the final parts necessary for the construction of the thermal management system. We put the parts together to see what the overall TMS would look like once constructed. Furthermore, we created 10 thermocouples to begin familiarizing ourselves with the Agilent software. When we returned to the lab we found that the thermocouples were not made as well as they could have and several would have to be remade. However, 3 were functional and they were used to test the software, and were successful. However, when we recorded the initial test data (recording the temperature between two aluminum plates because of the aluminums small temperature distribution across a face) we noticed a small spike in temperature over time. While this temperature spike was less than one degree, it was a peculiar characteristic of the data multiple times. This will be kept in mind for future testing. Additionally, after the initial testing and after the break, we have made the remaining thermocouples again and they are prepared for future testing. Along with the thermocouples, we found that the cover plates are too thick for the proper conduction and we have ordered thinner plates and have edited the drawings of the indention which allows the polycarbonate tubing to properly set within it. Each of the dimensions involved will be cut in half (0.5” plate to 0.25” plate, for example). With these small changes, we hope to see a more precise experiment. Testing will continue this week with the circulating baths. We will be checking its flow rate and how the temperature of the fluids change (cold and hot) and determine if the unit is sufficient in order to order another from the supplier. Once this is checked and the new plates are ordered, we will continue with preliminary testing in order to have data on the PCM by the 29th. This is in order to submit preliminary data for the Energy Conference which is due by the aforementioned date.

Battery Pack Management
This week the team made some design changes and also finalized some design decisions. We are going with the Arduino Mega 2640 for our master controller, as it has the maximum amount of inputs available, as well as both 3.3 and 5 V power supply pins. Since it has a USB port already, instead of buying and integrating an SD card reader, we will just write the data to a flash drive plugged into the USB. The Arduino will be powered by a separate 2 AAA battery pack with a converter that will step up the voltage to the 5 V required to operate the Arduino. The GPS will be powered from the 3.3 V supply on the Arduino and will transmit serial data to a RX terminal on the Arduino. We are putting 2 ACS712 Hall Effect sensors on either end of the 12 cells, which will send Analog data to the Arduino, which has built in analog to digital converters. 10 thermistors are going to be placed in the pack. We have 2 rows of 6 cells and the sensors will be placed between the rows at both terminal ends of the cells. They will output a digital signal to the Arduino. Our main issue has been figuring out how to measure the voltage of each individual cell. This task has turned out to be much more difficult than anticipated. The most probable option at the moment is a microcontroller for each cell that has its own reference voltage, coupled with an opto-isolater and some other circuitry for balancing. The other problem is the charger. Due to a miscommunication we originally were trying to find a power supply that could adjust current or voltage without affecting the other. This isn’t really possible to do, and now that we know it isn’t necessary we are looking into pulse width modulation as a way to change a constant supply into a pulse profile.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week we made some important strides in the second phase of our project. We worked on mounting the solar panel and started integrating it into the main grid circuitry. We also created revised load profiles for testing and set up a template for building future profiles. The sensors required to read these loads were wired for the direct 12V power source and both units of house one. We programmed the software to measure the loads and display them graphically in real time. We looked into the feasibility of imbedding MATLAB code into the LabVIEW program for analyzing recorded data and developed a “big picture” outline of the factors that will influence the “smart” decision making. This week we also consolidated our materials into a single workspace and updated the necessary LabVIEW software for the lab computer. One of our members was able to attend a renewable energy conference where ideas were presented that our group had not previously considered. We also began revising our initial proposal. Our final proposal will need to be ready next week, and our updated presentation the week following. We be working to finish the installation of the photovoltaic system into the grid and continue investigating and then begin integrating our CompactRIO. Additionally, we will be researching and then developing a market pricing structure for our model. We will also be working on developing the finer details of individual factors that influence our smart choices and start structuring the code to incorporate these influences.

E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week EBSCS discovered that their solar panels were 24V DC instead of 12V DC. This created a problem as all of the other electronics and the battery pack were 12V DC. To fix this problem, a DC to DC step down converter will be used to convert the 24V DC power coming from the solar panels into 12V DC power, and output it to the charge controller. A Xantrex C35 charge controller will be used because of its adjustable bulk and floating voltages. It will also allow for future flexibility in 24V DC systems

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week our team communicated with HEMCO and set a date for the Final Design Review Presentation (December 10). We completed a rough draft of the powerpoint which will be presented. We also made significant progress towards finishing all the CAD renderings. Next week we will put the finishing touches on the presentation and CA renderings and then present to HEMCO. Following the presentation to HEMCO a final design report will be completed.

November 21, 2014
Active Flow Control
The final research book of the semester was completed this week. In addition, the design has been more or less finalized. One major design change was moving the actuator array from the flap of the wing into the main element. This was done because the array will not be able to fit in the flap due to the hinges that hold the flap to the main element. A presentation of the design is being given to Dr. Keshmiri today. This will ensure that there are no surprises when installing the AFC system into the aircraft. The main concern is making sure that the digital valve and flight scenarios are feasible for the aircraft lab to program into the autopilot. Also, scheduling will be determined, ideally the aircraft can be flight tested by early April in order to allow time to write the research paper.

E-Bike Year 2
The rear mount for the brake has been attached. The slides for the research book have been updated. In an effort to dismantle the rear gear set, which was planned on being used to replace the old one, it was found that the parts had rusted together. We then took an alternate gear set and sandblasted the teeth to give them a new and clean appearance. The sponsor list has been updated.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team spent Sunday through Friday finalizing our research book which now contains 59 slides that have been diligently compiled. Each team member also contacted an additional five sponsors for the EcoHawks in hopes to fund more hands-on and educational projects for the future. Pentair approved a grant for teammate, Kolton Stimpert, for $5000 which is huge boost in funding.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week the group began construction preparation and simulation of the flow channel plate. On Sunday the group met to work on FLUENT simulations together. Furthermore, Francisco intended on making the thermocouples. Upon arrival, he found that there was no soldering iron or welder and continued working on simulations. The team was struggling with simulations and, after Francisco left, Chad and Will decided it would be most effective to work on thermocouples and made 10-3 foot thermocouples. On Monday, the team presented the simulations found last week, provided by John Stark, to Dr. Li. He approved them and encouraged the group to continue further simulations and research. As of now, the group has calculated the outlet temperature by hand and has John Stark's velocity profile simulation which allows the team to have reference for their future work. These simulations and research will be necessary because of the news of the research paper's approval to the Energy Conference 2015. He also instructed us to begin temperature measurements with the thermocouple to ensure that they are functioning properly as well as to familiarize ourselves with the Agilent multiplexer. Additionally, the flow channel plate and cover plate are being machined by Charles Gabel. These are the final parts necessary for construction of the thermal management system. The plates should be finished by the next week or so, and construction will begin. Once this and the aforementioned thermocouples are ready, preliminary testing will begin.

Battery Pack Management
This week the team focused most of their efforts on updating the research book. Sections added include: the research done on sensors, GPS, and minor hardware such as connections and battery holding brackets; preliminary CAD drawings of the battery pack and; research on charging profiles. In addition, Arduino and Intersil were contacted about battery management systems. Intersil produces complete BMS products, while Arduino microprocessors allow us to customize our system to our specific needs.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week the Altec team worked a lot on the ten cycle profiles. We made all four of the profiles for each battery and began a test on one of the batteries. The test had not finished yet prior to today but we plan to check it sometime this weekend or early next week. The results will be sent to Altec for approval prior to testing any of the other four batteries. The team also worked a lot on our research book slides that will later be used for Altec notes. We now have notes for all four batteries as well as basics about batteries in general. Next week the team plans to continue work on our cars as well as testing.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week our team primarily worked to finish up the HEMCO Design Proposal Report. We split up the work based upon which sections we each presented during the presentation. This report will be sent to HEMCO on Monday (11/25). Next week we will work to firm up our final design and hopefully get a Final Design Presentation scheduled with HEMCO. Once the final design is agreed upon by HEMCO instrumentation and parts will begin to be ordered.

November 14, 2014
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week team EBSCS worked on design of the structure that will shelter the electric bike and the battery enclosure system. The design utilized a step-up roof to offset the back solar panel so that the sun will be able to hit both solar panels year round. The structure will incorporate the lattice weave design that the Hill Center uses. The structure is designed to hold one inverted u-shape bike rack, allowing for two bicycles to be racked at a time.

Active Flow Control
This week, the extended abstract for the AIAA conference was completed and submitted. The project is now fully funded by NASA, so pressure is on to complete the project, including flight-testing, by the end of May. The design has also been revised once again, and the problems regarding leakage through the joints of the trough have been fixed. The wings should arrive by the end of the week, and once they are received the dimensions of the flap will determine final design changes. Pumps will soon be ordered and once they are received testing will be done in order to verify their flow rates. In addition, the exit area of the actuators is being increased as much as possible in order to raise the momentum coefficient closer to the ideal 3% value.

E-Bike Year 2
On the old bike the rear brake mount is complete and needs to be attached to the rear triangle. Chase found research pertaining to roll response and a procedure for calculating the center of mass of a bicycle and rider. Chase and Richard acquired tools that will allows the team to remove the cranks and disassemble/clean the bottom bracket as well as remove the gear cassette from the old bike tire for replacement. Preston isolated the tubes that makeup the bike frame in the model and converted each of them into two dimensional drawings to improve manufacturing. The team was able to rough cut the piping for the new frame and acquire guides for the old electric bike frame.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team unanimously elected R-245fa to be the refrigerant used as the working fluid in the organic Rankine cycle for the waste heat recovery system. We had to then fix the model’s assumptions, using the new working fluid, to fit our current system. We were able to incorporated full RefPROP into our MATLAB model and obtain a new mass flow rate of 0.0111 kg/s and output of 371 Watts.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week we have received the final parts (fasteners and aluminum plating). The aluminum plating is now in the machine shop for the flow channel to be machined into it. With the plates machined, we should have all of the parts finished in order to begin building. While the plates are machined, the team will begin preparation which involves making thermocouples and preparing the LabView coding in order to acquire the temperature data within the system. Furthermore, the group has been continuing the theoretical analyses of the system. While we have run into some problems with computers, we have begun hand calculations and will continue with analyses in the coming weeks. These analyses will allow us to understand what to expect in the flow channel plating. Once we have estimates for the flow channel plating, we will be able to create a simulation of the phase change material (PCM) in the system and understand what might be expected in the tests. Once the simulation is fully developed, we hope for it to demonstrate the various characteristics anticipated of the PCM (conducting, convection, melting, etc). With the simulations complete and the data acquisition finished in the coming weeks, we will be prepared for assembly and testing.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week we completed tests for the LTO battery chemistry and got the discharge cycle approved for that battery. We also just completed the test and gained results from the LiCoO2 battery (see attached). We have finally gotten all of the single discharge cycle routines approved, so a plan was constructed moving forward. After talking to Ash and Dr. Depcik about different methods, it has been decided that we will set up a routine to discharge and charge the battery for ten cycles using Altec’s data that was sent to us. At the beginning and end of each cycle we will use the results to plot capacity as more tests are carried out. Arranging these cycles in sets of ten allows us to easily gather a lot of data without much maintenance on the testing as far as checking the machine as well as obtain results. We plan to summarize the data after each set of 10 cycles for Altec to view the progression. Blake and I have also worked on our cars and are continuing to making progress. The designs are mostly finished with some need for refining before the final design for manufacturing is complete.

Battery Pack Management
This week out team furthered the physical design of the pack as far as housing shape and hardware placement. We refined the CAD design, including the Cells into the pack, making the cover, and inserting fasteners, the connector placement, and the SD card placement. We sourced SD card readers down to a couple options, and selected a connector to use to transfer power from the pack to the bike, which we will press-fit into the front of the pack. The purchased BMS arrived in the mail, but with no user instructions, so next week we will try to figure out how the unit operates. Next week we will also investigate how to use Arduino code to format the GPS unit, and we will contact Arduino to figure out which board would best fit our needs in a BMS.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week on the hardware side we put some work into incorporating the new power source into our grid and did some research into the addition of the solar panel. From the software side, we concentrated efforts on writing the feedback loops as well as acquiring and storing data on power usage. Additionally, we generated new research book topics and made necessary revisions to our previous research book slides. In the coming week, we will be finishing the second draft of our research book. We will also be focusing on tidying up the loose ends of phase one while starting on the primary aspects of phase two. We will also be putting effort into developing a more in depth knowledge of some of the upcoming aspects of our project through research.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week our team met with HEMCO for the Design Proposal Presentation. Valueable feedback from HEMCO was received and it changed our design concept significantly. Based off of HEMCO's desired path moving forward we will not be using reducers/expanders but rather full lengths of pipe for each of the 5 diameters. Our team has put together a rough draft for the Design Proposal Report and that will be finalized this week.

November 7, 2014
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week team EBSCS worked on the design of the structure that will shelter the bike and the box that contains the batteries, solar charger, and inverter. It was decided that the solar panels will be on an adjustable mount to optimize the angle for three different positions. After the dimensions were decided on AutoCAD design of the structure began. Bike rack designs are being looked at that will be easy to incorporate into the overall design.

Active Flow Control
Over the last week the active flow team has focused on writing their extended abstract for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conference next June. The submission deadline is November, 13th. In addition, the team has continued designing the actuator array. The main concern over the current design is the joints between the aluminum array of actuators and the air supply tubing. We need to find a way to minimize air leakage, but at the same time it would be ideal if the tubing were removable so we can modify the fencing to help distribute the air flow. Now that we have found an air supply that is able to provide more than the required flow rate, we have room for optimization. If possible, we want our momentum coefficient to be 3%. The momentum coefficient increases with the exit area of the oscillators, so we need to find the maximum possible exit area that the air supply can handle.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team received responses from AirSquared about a possible expander for the system. They do not have anything that would work with the given parameters. We could change the parameters to reduce the temperature but the resulting pressure would be so low that the output would be negligible. That said, it was decided to switch working fluids. Changing fluids at this stage means that our research is now behind schedule. Component selection is put on hold until the team is able to find an environmentally friendly working fluid for the organic Rankine cycle. Kolton has been in daily contact with National Instruments concerning the data acquisition (DAQ) equipment. He is close to deciding on finalized DAQ components for the system but has discovered that finding a power meter is proving to be challenging. The team met with Khalaf at the Hill Center to help clarify how our DAQ system will hook into the current system.

E-Bike Year 2
For the old bike rear brake mount is nearing completion and will be placed back on it shortly. The model has been adjusted to optimize the frame with the given components that the team has acquired. Next, the team will tighten the bottom bracket on the old bike and replace its rear gear set. With regards to the piping at the hill center the team will mark the edges that will be cut out and rough cut the pipe into the member it will become. Additionally, design for the bike frame jig will commence. Research will be collected on the effects of center of gravity placement and the balancing reaction that occurs in the wheels.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week our team's primary focus was getting all of the battery's through a load cycle with data provided by Altec and getting the tests approved. After picking up Dr. Depcik's comments about discharging at the correct rate of mAmps and fixing each of the routines to reflect these values that were calculated, we were able to get the LiCoO2 and LiFePO4 batteries approved. We are still working on narrowing down the data so that we can find the correct part that Altec is interested in but that should be resolved before thanksgiving break. The model car designs are also expected to be finished around the same time as we have been working on those as well. Next week we plan to finish the initial battery tests and begin cycling the batteries in testing to begin getting results that can be sent to Altec.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week we seem to have finished receiving the final parts necessary to begin set up of the preliminary test. The only parts which we are waiting for are the aluminum plates in order to have them machined. We will be finalizing the flow channel plate in the coming weeks. Furthermore, our laboratory space (area and computer with proper programs) has been setup, and we know where we will be conducting this work. As we await the flow channel plates, we will go through with ANSYS FLUENT CFD analysis of various aspects of the thermal management system (TMS) we are building, as well as set up the other aspects of the system. These other aspects include the data acquisition system (including soldering thermocouples and programming), any tubing and fasteners, and any sealing preparation necessary for the TMS. Along with the setup preparation, the CFD analysis will allow us to know what to expect from any tests we will perform in the coming months. These analyses will demonstrate how the fluids in the flow channel will behave, how the heat pipes affect the flow, how the temperature gradient changes throughout the channels, how the new, lowered ribbing affects the temperature gradients, and how the PCM will behave when it is heated by the aforementioned flow channel plating. With these analyses and the set-up, we should be prepared to build the TMS and begin preliminary testing as soon as the flow channel plating is machined.

Battery Pack Management
This week the team mostly researched different aspects of the design. Cong drafted a CAD for the pack and housing unit, which we presented to Dr. Depcik. We determined that it would be preferable to keep all BMS components and the cells in one pack as opposed to keeping the BMS on the bike, since it is much simpler, so next week the CAD will be refined to reflect those changes. We also plan on adding a track system into the CAD as the way for the pack to be removed from the bike rack. Robbie continued looking into simplifying the data collection hardware through cell boards and IVT sensors that can take all the measurements we need with one unit. Most available products look to be for larger scale applications in research conducted up to this point. This week the team received the GPS unit in the mail, but we are having problems obtaining user manuals or instructions from the vendor. Next week we will continue to attempt to gain access to the GPS operation instructions. We will also layout the BMS design on a high level, incorporating all electronic hardware components.

Smart Grid Year 2
Smart Grid Year 2 is almost ready to start phase 2 of the smart grid. The physical grid wiring has been cleaned up significantly, it is now very easy to see what connects where. We also incorporated our new relay strip and are ready to add our upgraded power supply which came in this week. We worked the last of our bugs out of the code and improved the user interface to be a little more visually appealing. We are still working to incorporate some sort of feedback loop for more efficient heater and cooler control. We spent a lot of time this week developing, practicing, and revising our presentation. In addition to practicing alone, we also gave Dr. D an opportunity to give us “the look.” On Wednesday we had the opportunity to drive down to Overland Park for our midterm meeting with our industry sponsor Black & Veatch. We presented to them our current progress and intended future work. They gave us some very positive feedback. We will soon be working to incorporate our PV panel to the system. We will also be investigating the incorporation of MATLAB code into our programming in order to handle more intense calculations behind the grid’s “smart” decisions. Also, we will be refining the load profiles and developing the testing procedures for these. Big things are coming.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week our group determine the magnitude of the pressure losses in our blower testing system and we decided to use 8" PVC with reducers and expanders rather than using 4" PVC with reducers. This decision was made to reduce the losses from friction in the system. Responses were finally received from HEMCO this past week and we are now working on a very short time table to complete our design concept presentation. In our meeting Monday with Dr. Dougherty we will discuss presentation details and expectations. Wednesday at 9:30AM looks like it will work for our team.

October 31, 2014
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week, EBSCS worked on finalizing the heat transfer analysis for the component enclosure. With the results of this analysis, the temperature control system can be finished. Fans and heaters were chosen corresponding to the results of the thermodynamic analysis. A preliminary sketch of the structure was generated. Research has begun on building materials and processes.

Active Flow Control
This past week we continued to work on the design of the actuator array. A CAD model was drawn and shown to the machine shop on campus. They are not confident that they will be able to machine the parts we need, so we have started sending out our parts to machine shops around the area to get quotes. We have also considered other machining options, such as laser engraving and water-jetting. The laser engraving company we contacted said that engraving the entire actuator array would be very expensive, and recommended sticking to conventional machining. The primary drawback of water-jetting is that they can only cut in two dimensions, so we would have to split our array into two layers that we would then bond together. Unless this proves to be much less expensive than regular machining, we will likely stay with CNC machining. However, we are waiting to hear back from the CNC machine shops we have contacted. Tomorrow we should be making our decision on an air supply and a valve for the system.

E-Bike Year 2
Chase and Preston brought were able to strip down the old bikes for an array of parts included the rear triangle that will be used in the new build. Richard and Preston have started the adjustment to the rear brake. Independently Chase and Preston made up dates and modifications to the old model. Powder coatings for both the old and new bike have been secured. Moving forwards, the team will finish with the rear brake and fix the rear shifter. The CAD model will be used to outline the cuts that need to be made in the frame tubing to assemble the new frame.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week we have focused on finalizing the flow channel plates, the bill of materials, and begun research on ANSYS FLUENT. With regards to the plate, the plate has been redesigned to account for the Swagelok fittings which will be used to fasten the heat pipes as well as to allow the proper heat transfer to occur from the hot/cold fluids to the connecting plates. As of now, the flow channels are 0.5” wide and 0.75” deep. Furthermore, the ribbing between the channels will be 0.1” shorter than the outer edges of the channel plating allowing for cross flow between channels. We believe, through suggestion from the project sponsor, Dr. Li, that this dimension is small enough to still have the flow follow the channels but large enough to ensure as consistent of a temperature across the plate as possible. Additionally, the bill of materials seems to have been finalized, allowing the group to begin considering setup of testing. We will begin to set up data acquisition with thermocouple soldering as well as LabView coding. We will also determine lengths for the polycarbonate tubing as well as choose the hoses to connect the circulating baths to the TMS. Finally, this week the group got together to begin learning how to conduct CFD analysis through ANSYS FLUENT. While we are still in the preliminary stages of understanding the program, this will allow us to analyze the flow channel plating and allow us to understand what to expect of the flow channel plating. With these aspects of our project in process, we hope to begin preliminary testing very soon.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team worked on an outline for the team’s presentation. Major areas were covered in the outline and more will be discussed concerning the order and content of slides in our meeting with Dr. Depcik. Heat exchanger companies were contacted and pricing and sizing of the heat exchanger will be completed soon. The expander researcher has selected a potential company and should have information concerning that component soon. The condenser research will contact companies next week. The pump has been selected and will be donated by Grundfos.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week we made some substantial progress. We have essentially completed the construction aspect of stage one of the project and are just working on smoothing out some of the details. Both houses including coolers, heaters, and thermistors have been wired to the circuit, and the LabVIEW code has been expanded to encompass the additions. At this point we are working to clean up and simplify the wiring of our circuitry. We are also working to resolve a couple of bugs in the coding as well as to add feedback loops for more efficient heater and cooler control. Also this week we worked to develop our presentation. After completing and refining our outline, each team member worked to complete several slides. This weekend we will work to bring these slides together, make any needed revisions, and practice presenting. Furthermore, we spent some time researching typical residential load profiles and developed some initial ideas for possible example profiles that we can use our model to simulate. Moving forward, we will be working to refine these profiles and thinking on how they can be expanded to give variety in testing. Next week we are excited to meet with our industry sponsor Black & Veatch to show them the progress that we have made and what our goals are continuing forward.

Battery Pack Management
This week, our team identified a number of issues that need to be addressed through research conducted. Items accomplished included the team’s presentation outline and pre-ordering the battery cells (14 cells). From a purchasing standpoint, we will need to buy a charger soon. Also discussed was the purchase of a resistance heater, so that the batteries can be tested without having to use the bike. From Robbie’s research, we have identified some options for current and voltage sensors that can be used for monitoring cell parameters. From some initial sketches Cong drafted, we have identified some issues that need to be addressed related to how all the components and their functions will integrate with the BMS. We also debated how the pack will be removed- whether or not the BMS system will stay with the bike. Moving forward, the team needs to figure out how to integrate our ideas (GPS, charging profile) into the BMS, and what is realistically achievable.

Altec Battery Chemistry
After meeting with Dr. Depcik this week, we picked up the batteries that we purchased last week. They came much earlier than expected, which will be helpful in getting tests running on the different chemistries. On Thursday, we tested the LiFePO4 battery using the cycle profiles we made given Altec’s data. The test concluded today and we started another test. The results will be sent to Altec from the test of the LiFePO4 battery chemistry will be sent to Altec for approval regarding the cycle profile. Once we receive back any changes, those will be incorporated into the next battery tests. Going forward, we will continue testing the different battery chemistries for Altec and gathering results. Next week, we plan to run about 4 tests assuming we receive cycle input from Altec and we will also work on our car designs.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week our team made significant progress on presentation material for the design review with HEMCO. We created CAD drawings for the blower testing system, created the bill of materials, and finalized a cost estimate. Next week we plan on hearing back from HEMCO on a time for the design review presentation, as well as making more progress on the presentation itself.

October 24, 2014
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week the EBSCS team worked on finalizing each of the major components of the system, sizing the battery enclosure, and an outline for future presentations. The battery selection has been changed to a cheaper and smaller alternative. A charge controller and temperature controller were both chosen as well. With all of the components determined, the enclosure was sized. The box will be approximately 1’ x 2’ x 2’ (L x W x H).

Active Flow Control
The report was the primary focus of the previous week. Besides working on the report we met with a graduate student to discuss modelling our oscillator system in Fluent. Our goal is to have our model running in Fluent by the end of the month. In addition, more research was done on air supplies and valves. As noted previously, it appears that the air supply will limit the active flow control system. More research has shown that this may not be entirely true. One air supply found provides 135% of the required flow rate under normal operation. However, this is still assuming that the smallest exit area possible is used, limiting the momentum coefficient to lower-than-desired values. The high flow rate also draws more current than the other air supply options, this will have to be considered when selecting the capacity of the battery that will be used. Final decisions on the air supply and valve will be made in tomorrow’s meeting with our sponsor.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week we have continued our work after submitting our report. After meeting with Dr. Li, we have determined that we will keep our original designs for the flow channel plating with a few modifications, such as wider channels. These wider channels will accommodate the Swagelok fittings we have purchased in order to attach the heat pipes to the flow channel plates. Once our designs are modified, we will analyze them using CFD. Because none of the members have experience using CFD, we will be meeting together and going through tutorials to become familiar with FLUENT, a CFD program. With these skills, we will be able to analyze our new flow channel designs and understand the fluid mechanics which will occur within the channels during the experiment. Hopefully, in the future we will be able to use this same model to understand the temperature gradients we can expect. Furthermore, we have checked our bill of materials and will be making final purchases of parts such as the thermocouple wiring, fasteners, and any other miscellaneous items we may have overlooked in the original planning. Once our parts are in, we will then look to have the flow channel plates machined. As of now, research is being done to find a third party to machine our plates, allowing us to avoid the long lead times of the university’s machine shop. Once the plates are ready, we will be able to complete construction and hopefully begin our preliminary tests sometime in the next month.

E-Bike Year 2
This past weekend the team was able to put together the Midterm proposal. Additionally the old bike had a major change made to it. To the benefit of ascetics the wiring has been internalized with an exception of the junctions. During a bike promotion event the team took the old electric bike out to be shown to the populous. The old electric bike is get closer to being fully revamped. With an adjustment to the brakes, shifters, and holstering mechanisms to remove the zip ties, the old bike will be close to complete. That in mind, the team needs to start setting plans for building this year’s frame and frame jig.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team worked on a team proposal. The report went in depth on the various components that will be used to successfully recover waste heat using an organic Rankine cycle. A budget was included to give a rough idea of project cost estimates which should give the team incentive to find donors. The current cycle calculations were also included.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week we finished our report which took most of last week and Monday to finish. Meeting with Altec was very helpful as the loading cycle profile was explained and we gained a further understanding as to how Altec would like us to test the batteries. After the meeting I was able to purchase the batteries and they are on their way. The shipping will take about two to three weeks according to battery space's website. On Wednesday, Blake and I were able to create a loading profile that is similar to the data Altec sent us. We plan to use it for the first test for each battery chemistry that will be sent to Altec for approval before more testing occurs. Blake and I also created a preliminary schedule for the rest of the semester that was sent to Altec. Moving forward we plan to work on our cars and battery notes until the batteries are delivered.

Battery Pack Management
Our team experienced a heavy workload over the weekend and on Monday due to working on and completing the midterm proposal report. A majority of the work was done Friday through Monday, and the report was submitted Monday afternoon. Cong and Robbie covered technical material, while I covered initial and introduction material, transitions and conclusions, and other deliverables such as the budget. In addition to working on the report, Cong redid the GPS decision matrix, this time looking at chip units instead of external units, and Robbie continued research on BMS, including how to measure the state-of-charge of the battery cells through sensors. The team is also in the process of preordering the battery cells and receiving more information on the BMS we wish to purchase.

Smart Grid Year 2
The first half this week of our efforts were heavily focused on writing our initial proposal. Completing this allowed us to define exactly what goals we are working towards, and provided structure for progressing towards these goals. We were also able to develop a well-defined budget and order some of the needed materials. The second half of the week we have mainly concentrated on working toward phase one of project. At this point we have nearly completed the construction/wiring of a single house, and have developed a working code to manipulate this isolated system. The latter half of the week was also spent developing an outline draft for our proposal. Both of these goals will be ready by Monday. We also set up our next meeting with Black & Veatch where we will give a presentation and possibly a demonstration of the actual working grid.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week our team worked to determine the optimal design parameters for our air blower test apparatus. Based off of this design we determined what additional requirements were necessary in order to be compliant with AMCA standards. Both designs will be presented to HEMCO for their choosing. Our team met 4 times total this week. Our team began a rough draft of the design review presentation which will be the main focus for next weeks work.

October 17, 2014
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week the EBSCS team enjoyed fall break for the first part of the week. A midterm proposal is being written and edited. The last of the major components of the design have been chosen. A revision to the battery choice is needed and will be worked out. It was decided that two of the existing solar panels will be used in order to create a more robust design.

Active Flow Control
The primary focus of this last week has been the report that is due Monday. We divided the report equally and hope to finish the majority of it this weekend. Regarding the project, our team is meeting with a graduate student today who has agreed to help us with the pressure drop calculations using Fluent. Our hope is that we will be able to closely estimate the pressure drop using a crude oscillator system and equivalent piping in place of the oscillators. With some luck, we should be able to confirm whether or not the air supplies we have found will be able to adequately pump air through our oscillator system. Once this is done, we will likely order one of the air supplies we have found that provides around 60-70% of the needed flow rate. With this we will experiment with over speeding the motor in order to see if we can reach the total flow rate needed.

E-Bike Year 2
Chase and Preston brought more bikes to the EcoHawks building on Tuesday. A series of wiring combinations were considered for the old electric bike. In the end an internal and external wiring structure were created to be proposed to Dr. Depcik. In meet with Dr. Depcik it was determined that the internal design would be used. After the meeting the whole group went to the EcoHawks building and replaced the rear tire, and adjusted the gearing and seat. The research book has been started.

Battery Pack Management
In this shortened week, our team focused on research and assembling our proposal/report. Robert has been researching battery management systems in order to better understand how they work, which aspects of the design will be most challenging, and how we will be able to integrate the GPS unit and a charging control system into one. Cong has concentrated on writing the section of the report about the battery cells, including summarizing how batteries work and different battery chemistries, and explaining how and why we chose our battery. He also is working on GPS research. I have been concentrating on writing various parts of the report, mainly the introduction, which has included doing research on the current state of the industry and the outlook for electric bicycles.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week we have worked diligently on our midterm proposal. We have met as a team three days this week, after Fall Break, in order to fully complete the report as best we can. Our original plan was to complete the report by Friday, however, we have determined it would be a better choice to finish it by Monday instead. With our introduction effectively complete, we have been discussing at length about the important of this project. We have seen how emissions standards are driving the development of electric and fuel cell vehicles which has been driving research in this area. We now understand more deeply how this project can improve the future by hopefully making electric vehicles more efficient. As far as the work on the project itself, this week we spoke with a Swagelok vendor to determine the best way to attach our heat pipes to the flow channel plating. We have realized that the heat pipe we have purchased is not the correct size for the fittings our vendor sells, and thus will need to reorder heat pipe. These fittings will also force us to edit the design of the flow channel plating because the size of the Swagelok fittings being larger than the current flow channels. This has brought about new ideas for our flow channel plate which may edit the plate from containing channels to containing a “maze” of barriers within the plate which leads the fluid to the outgoing flow. We will create a new idea and will be creating a model to be analyzed by FLUENT, a CFD program. By running into this problem and having the added challenge of the report to complete, we have had to slow down our plans for this week. Only when we complete the tasks we have just described will we be able to finish this week’s task of ordering the final parts. With these final parts, we will hopefully be able to have a firmer grasp on our final design to have analyzed on FLUENT and then begin preliminary testing.

Waste Heat Recovery
The Waste Heat Recovery team’s primary focus was to complete a research paper this week which will outline the design, goals, and budget of the project. Fall break slowed efforts on the paper and the team plans to recoup the lost time by meeting this weekend to write the research paper with a more in-depth knowledge on the various components. The team would like to thank Ash Shadrick, for welding a thermocouple into the exhaust piping this week to allow for more precise monitoring of exhaust temperature.

Altec Battery Chemistry
Although we had fall break this week, the team was still able to accomplish a little bit. Blake and I confirmed that the temperature reading system is working on the Vencon machine. The reading system gave a nice plot of the temperature throughout the test that was run last week. With the time scale on the bottom, amps, volts, and temperature in degrees celsius is plotted with it’s own y-axis making it very legible to differentiate between readings. This will be very helpful in analyzing the different batteries. We have also been working hard on our report which is due on Monday of this coming week, so that has taken a lot of time and will continue to over the weekend. Next week during our meeting with Dr. Depcik we are going to go over the battery list and the Altec data to confirm that our battery choices will or will not work and hopefully be able to purchase them in the near future to begin testing. We will also continue refining our car designs until we have the batteries in our hands for testing. Not much this week but next week should be productive by hopefully ordering some batteries finally.

Smart Grid Year 2
With fall break this was a short week for us. We worked to get the myRIO software compatible with the lab computer and wired a relay to function as a test circuit for verifying that our LabVIEW code correctly interacts with the myRIO to send an activation signal. We also did additional research into articles for our literature review. We met with Dr. D where he helped us clarify and focus our goals for the design into a three tier approach. The first step will be a conventional, or status quo, approach to the distribution of power defined by the control of a single power source, our wired “grid” including various relays, and two model houses. The second stage is to expand on this with the integration of a renewable energy resource and a centralized energy storage unit. The final stage will incorporate a third structure, modeling an industrial building, with a localized energy storage unit. This will allow us to relate each phase to the functionality and efficiency of a smart and microgrid system. With this in mind, we have outlined and begun working on our proposal. By Monday we will have our framework, goals, and approach for the coming semesters “finalized.” Our immediate next steps are to complete the construction/wiring of one complete house, develop the code to manipulate this isolated system, and successfully control it.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
This week our team made significant progress. We identified two feasible designs; one design is AMCA compliant but somewhat expensive and the other is not AMCA compliant but is rather cheap. These designs will be presented to HEMCO in the preliminary design review next month. Our team met a total of 3 times with one of those 3 meetings being on West Campus to get acquainted with the work area. In the future I believe a good portion of our team meetings will take place on West Campus so more hands-on work can be done. Next week our team will begin an outline of the presentation we will give to HEMCO next month.

October 10, 2014
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week Electric Bike Solar Charging Station (EBSCS) worked to address the thermal management issue of heating and cooling the box that will hold the battery bank, charge controller and inverter. After doing a heat transfer analysis it was decided that a minimum of 500 CFM will need to be supplied by the fans to keep the temperature below 110 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to supply the correct CFM, two inlet fans will likely be used along with two exit fans. For the heating system, the heater will run when the temperature drops below 20 degrees, and will need to supply 219 watts. An electric wire diagram is in the process of being made that shows the wire flow and the corresponding gauges used.

Active Flow Control
This week we focused on pressure drop calculations. We have found values for pressure drop through the piping. As long as the number of bends in the piping is minimized this pressure drop should not be significant. The problem arises when calculating the pressure drop through the small inlet of the oscillators. We are currently working on modeling the system in Fluent to try to get an accurate value, but hand calculations show that we will need to find an inflator with a higher output pressure than anticipated. Regarding the flow rate problem from previous weeks, we have now found inflators that provide around 60% of the minimum flow rate needed. One solution that has been proposed is to either replace the motor in one of these inflators or to over speed the motor in order to increase the flow rate.

E-Bike Year 2
This last week we individually refined the materials for slides. After refining the materials we made our slides. Preston put together the research book and filled in the gaps. We contacted sponsors and received donations. This upcoming break, Chase and Preston will head to the machine shop to learn how to weld. Also during break the team will get together and collect all the parts to fix the old bike, funding paperwork allowing, and fix the battery rack. Preston will update the CAD model.

Battery Pack Management
Contrary to last week, our team accomplished a number of important tasks in week 6. We decided on which battery cell we are going to use, a battery from batteryspace.com that has enough capacity that we will not need to combine cells in parallel, so will only need 12 cells in series. We also researched and selected which BMS system we will purchase, which will help us learn more about how they work. Specifically, we developed specification matrices and then Cong synthesized the information into standard decision matrices on a 1-10 scale in order to compare options more easily. The largest portion of our work this week was dedicated to making our research book, which was completed and turned in on time. It summarizes our how our project is coming along, what we have done and what we plan to do. As a note, our team contacted 15 sponsors, 5 each. I have heard back from Tenergy, a battery company in California, followed up, and am awaiting a reply. Next week our team will tackle the report. We will also contact batteryspace about the availability of the battery we wish to purchase, as it is listed as out-of-stock until the beginning of November. Finally, we will conduct further research on BMS and GPS. We will reference Dr. Fang for BMS information and Dr. Chao (Aerospace department) for GPS information.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team worked on validating the MATLAB model and completing the research book. Inefficiencies of the various components were included to attain a more accurate model. A thermocouple should be installed soon to achieve more precise temperature readings from the exhaust when Khalaf runs the engine on the different types of gas. Given the initial model findings, most of the team was able to size and find a list of components that could potentially work.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week we have been reaching a milestone in our research project. With midterm coming at the end of this week, we have put together our research book with the information thus far. This week we have begun finalizing the preparation for manufacturing of the Thermal Management System (TMS) apparatus. First, there are parts that still need to be purchased: the aluminum plating, insulation, all fasteners and connectors. We are also finalizing the flow channel plate design. We are investigating various designs which take into account machinability, the proper heat transfer focused in the proper area of the plate, the flow rate, and the effect of adding heat pipe. The heat pipe may either be installed within the channels themselves or in the surrounding channel walls. We must consider contact resistance and proper thermal conductivity among other factors when making a decision on the heat pipe. In the coming weeks we will begin manufacturing the TMS apparatus which includes setting up data acquisition, additional peer-reviewed research on similar experiments, and brainstorming of any troubleshooting we may encounter in the future. We expect to finish gathering and machining our parts in the coming weeks so that we can move forward on theoretical analysis and begin our experiment.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week was mostly spent on making our research books for class but they will be very helpful in the future for making battery notes to give to Altec. For now, we have chosen three batteries to focus on in our notes and plan to add more later. The three batteries were LiFePO4, LiNiMnCoO2, and LiCoO2. We researched them through peer reviewed literature provided by KU's libraries and found a lot of good information to start with more to come later. The team also began drafting and budgeting the cars we will make by the end of the semester with our chosen batteries. Moving forward, we will write our report which is due next Friday, continue optimizing our cars, and verify our battery choices will work now that we have Altec loading data. Once that has been accomplished we are looking forward to purchasing our batteries and getting the tests under way. Next week will be a short week for us with fall break on Monday and Tuesday but we still plan to make more progress on our project.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week SGY2 made a lot of headway into actually getting our hands dirty. We started taking apart previous grid efforts. We realized that it would be nearly impossible to actually learn the process of making the grid without actually wiring it ourselves. We were able to develop an understanding of the function of relays and how they could be applied within the system. We used this to draw up a theoretical circuit for powering a cooling fan that incorporated LabVIEW and the myRIO. We then built the physical circuit and after some modification were able to get the cooling fan to respond when sending a placebo signal into the relay. This same setup is applicable to heating units as well, thus in the coming week we will be working to get a LabVIEW program generated that communicates with the myRIO to send a true signal to the relay. We also sized the power source that would be needed for our system, now and in the future. We planned for a smart grid that would be at least twice the size of the one we plan to construct this year. In addition, we worked to complete our first draft of our research book. We also contacted a number of potential sponsors in order to support the EcoHawks program.



October 3, 2014
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week the Electric Bike Solar Charging team further researched batteries and compiled an Excel spreadsheet to compare several lead acid and lithium ion phosphate batteries that were found for sale online. Based on this data we decided to go with lithium ion phosphate due to its high life cycle, and ability to charge and discharge when subject to varying temperatures. Our next step is to consider using an intake and exhaust fan in combination with a DC Heater to further control the temperature of the batteries, charge controller, and inverter. A temperature sensor will be used to turn the fans/heater off and on when the temperature breaks a certain threshold.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
The team has begun compiling a list of parts needed for the experiment. Dr. Li has already ordered a majority of the parts; the remaining parts will be ordered once some information is clarified by vendors. The device that the team will build consists of 3 aluminum plates on either side of a tube which will store the phase change material. One of the 3 plates on either side will have a larger thickness to house the channels which will allow fluid flow from the hot and cold baths. This will simulate the fuel cell becoming hot, as well as the cold winter temperature it may experience. The other two plates will be used to seal the channel plates and the tubing. A challenge that we have encountered after a discussion with Dr. Depcik is the location of the heat pipes with regard to the channels. We must find a pattern for the channel that will allow the plate to reach the proper temperature as well as not be restricted by heat pipes protruding into the flow of the fluids. Perhaps, instead of straight lines going back and forth on the plate, we will create a curved pattern for the channels. We will continue to look at this and other challenges as we refine the idea for our PCM heating device. Along with the building of the device, we are beginning the analysis of the heat transfer it will undergo. We have gathered the data for the PCM that we will be experimenting with which should allow us to begin analysis sometime this weekend or early next week. The analysis will give us a general idea of what to expect for the experiment, allowing us to make better plans when the experiments take place.

E-bike Year 2
Tuesday our team met at the EcoHawks building and inspected three bikes for potential use in our project. Chase and I conducted research on electric bike emissions, passenger vehicle emissions, mass transit emissions, and transit usage. Richard developed a spreadsheet for tracking the parts that we need, the parts that have been donated, and the cost to buy parts from various suppliers. The machine shop was closed delaying the fixing of the bike rack but now that we are adding a new wheel the delay is negligible because we would have had to refit the rack anyways. This weekend we will meet to consolidate our findings and start making our slides for our meeting on Tuesday.

Altec Battery Chemistry
Last week our team successfully completed two full battery tests for practice to become more familiar with the Vencon machine. We are feeling more and more confident using it and seem to be getting good results. After our weekly meeting with Dr. Depcik we went to the lab to make sure our test from last week ran. The test ran successfully and we also found that Ryan O'Malley, a graduate student helping with our project, had set up the temperature reading system on the Vencon machine. He started a test that should report results including the temperature and we will check back for those next week. Other tasks we have started this week are making our research books for class which will later be incorporated into our final pamphlet/deliverable that will be sent to Altec with battery information. These are essentially notes on different types of batteries and other research we have done. We have also started designing and sketching our cars for next week and will continue to work on those until loading profiles are received from Altec.

Active Flow Control
Our main task for this week was to better understand our air supply problem. The one air compressor that was originally thought to provide the required flow rate actually only provides a hundredth of what is needed. Inflators seem to be the solution to this problem—if they can provide enough pressure to supply air to the entire system. Pressure drop calculations are currently underway and will ultimately decide whether or not the system can be designed within the initial given parameters. Because the air supply pressure will likely be a limiting factor, we are currently designing our plumbing system to be as efficient as possible. This includes maximizing the diameter of the tubing while minimizing the number of bends in the system. We should have the general layout for the plumbing completed within the week. In addition, we contacted the machine shop about machining our actuators. They had no concerns regarding machining the actuators, and the quote we were given for the machining was no more than expected. However, it has been recommended that we look into less traditional methods for machining our actuators--such as photo chemical etching. This could potentially save us money.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week the Waste Heat Recovery team figured out some possible mockup locations for the heat exchanger, turbine, condenser, pump, and working fluid storage tank. The storage tank shall remain on ground level; the turbine, condenser, and pump will be located above the testing room; and the heat exchanger will be located in the testing room with the engine where it will pull directly from the exhaust heat.

Battery Pack Management
This week, in order to gain some support, our team started reaching out to companies for potential sponsorships. Cong and Robbie both contacted multiple companies, but as of yet have received no replies. As a team, we did not accomplish as much as we’d hoped, which we plan to make up in the following week. Our team plans to meet Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday at a minimum, where we will put together a short list of potential batteries to use. This list will factor in the configurations needed with each battery to produce specifications required for the motor and bike. We will also do research on battery pack management systems and additional components we are adding, such as a GPS unit. Additionally, we will contact Boston Power to get a free evaluation battery pack, and we will do some preliminary battery pack designs, which should incorporate some potential pack shapes and sizes, as well as the exchangeability feature. The most important aspect of the battery options will be weighing performance characteristics, number of cells needed, and total cost. From these choices, appropriate management systems (able to handle the loads) will be easier to narrow down. From there, the design options will readily be created, based on cell geometry and pack configuration.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week Smart Grid Year 2 struggled to meet the goals we hoped to achieve. The issue of the myRio refusing to work with Labview still presents a stubborn problem. We have been working throughout the week with a National Instruments technical support engineer to troubleshoot the problem. After much work, we have made progress. The drivers and myRio are now recognized by the program, but when we attempt to run the code it responds immediately with an error. Over the phone there is little more that our contact at NI can do to help us, so we have sent him our code to see if he can’t identify the root cause. Having these issues earlier, rather than later, is a good learning experience however, and will hopefully allow us to approach these problems more confidently in the future. In the meantime, we will be turning our focus toward addressing hardware needs. This week we were able to identify and order the proper wire for our system. We will soon use this as we start breaking down the current setup in order to rebuild in a way that we will understand more intimately. We plan to first build a single, robust house that responds to heating and cooling demands placed upon it.

HEMCO Centrifugal Fan Energy Analysis
The team met 2 times this week. Comments were received back from HEMCO regarding the problem statement and some suggestions and clarifications they had. Concept generation was the main focus, as well as putting together a preliminary HOQ. The team is meeting Monday morning to finalize the HOQ and combine the potential design concepts.



September 26, 2014
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week the Electric Bike Solar Charging Station (EBSCS) team concluded testing on the existing battery pack from the old bike. Using a Watts Up Pro, we determined several characteristics about the battery including the power required to charge it. A battery comparison analysis is being started on 12, 24, and 36 volt battery banks. Several different inverter configurations are being accessed as well. A 12 volt series configuration appears to be the best choice so far due to price and battery capacity. Lead acid vs lithium batteries are also being compared. Lithium batteries offer a much longer life cycle and a cost savings over the long term, while lead acid is less expensive in the short-term.

E-Bike Year 2
Saturday and Sunday we researched and drew up a sketch for our bike design. On Monday I drafted the Bike frame design, Chase found materials for the frame, Rich researched bike motors and potential deals. On Tuesday we all went to the Makers Place meeting and talked with the people there building connections. We also meet with Battery Pack team and talked about potential battery placement. Wednesday each of us did research/company contacting to get donations. Thursday we meet with Dr. Depcik and planned for future advancement in fixing the old electric bike and getting material from the human powered vehicle team.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week our team narrowed down our battery list to four battery chemistries that we plan to purchase and test. After ironing out the specific batteries that can be purchased and would be applicable for testing, we will begin testing them now that we have the beginning of a loading profile from Altec. Our team also successfully conducted two battery tests and we are getting much more familiar with the Vencon machine and how we will use it to test batteries. Going forward we plan to work on the temperature reading system through the Vencon machine now that the parts are in our possession. We also plan to start making sketches for our battery powered cars that we will race at the end of the semester and start writing notes on our chosen batteries that we will incorporate in our final product that will be given to Altec summarizing our research. Over the weekend, we will incorporate Dr. Depcik’s comments to our final battery spreadsheet and send it back on Monday for further review.

Active Flow
This week we focused on refining our calculations in order to begin our preliminary design. In order to get an idea of the flow rate we need, we first found the absolute minimum flow rate for the system. For this we used the smallest actuator size and the minimum number of actuators. This gives a flow rate between 5-20g/s for the system, depending on the jet velocity. Further research on compressors shows that we will be limited by the air supply—the highest flow rate found for a compressor of reasonable size was 40 cubic feet per minute. This flow rate equates to about 15g/s. While this imposes an unforeseen limitation on our system, we are still optimistic that we will be able to design our system to fit within the initial parameters. Initial weight estimates for the air/power system are within the max payload of the UAV. This would leave anywhere between 20-45% of the available payload for the plumbing system and actuators. Over the next week we plan to begin designing the plumbing required for the system. The main challenge for the plumbing will be ensuring an even distribution of air flow across the actuators.

Waste Heat Recovery
This was a highly productive week for the Waste Heat Recovery team. We were able to set up a first meeting with Khalaf who is in charge of the engine that we will integrate our system into. He was able to provide us with some valuable knowledge on the system. We discussed, in detail, how to actually integrate our waste heat recover system into his internal combustion engine. It was quickly realized that it would be ideal for Khalaf if we installed a valve to direct the flow of the exhaust between the muffler and our waste heat recovery system. This is to prevent his research being affected if our system were to fail. Next we plan on installing thermocouples in key places in the coming week.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
This week we each began to research what parts we would need to setup the experiment. After meeting with our sponsor, we had an idea of what to search for, however we needed to specify what to purchase and why. For example, justification of the insulation and thermocouples was necessary, as well as comparisons between vendors to justify which water baths (cooling and heating) to purchase. The thermocouples (Type-K) and insulation (Foam rubber with k=0.25) were chosen by looking at the possible temperatures considered in the experiment (-20 to 100 C) as the primary factor. We have formed a bill of materials containing the parts we have determined to be necessary thus far. Furthermore, we will begin to create CAD models of the parts we will machine ourselves in-house. Once these models are created, we will begin analysis (by hand and perhaps with CFD software). We will also need to begin to write the LabView code to record data from the thermocouples and activate the water baths. By analyzing the theoretical data, setting up the LabView, and gathering the parts, we hope to be able to get started with the setup as soon as parts begin to arrive.

Battery Pack Management
This week our team accomplished a number of things. We met with the bike team to talk about design features that will affect both groups. We determined that the battery will be put on top of a bike rack, and requested that the rack be designed to be very stable. We put together a battery chemistry decision matrix, which pointed towards lithium iron batteries. Specifically, our group is leaning towards A123 system's AHP 14 Lithium Ion Prismatic Cell is a really good battery. It would easily insert in to the system and save a lot of space. But, based off of Dr. Fang's recommendation, we are going to do another matrix for specific battery models before making our final decision on chemistry, as there is s large variance between different companies and models for the same chemistry. Additionally, the team has begun battery company research to buy products from, as well as recruitment for potential sponsors. The sponsor email document has been written for this reason and will be sent to several companies that produce Li-ion type batteries. Finally, management systems were researched to begin the controls aspect of the pack.

Smart Grid Year 2
This week Smart Grid Year 2 took a few strides in the right direction, focusing our efforts on the hardware and software of last year’s model. We generated a new code to replace a previously missing subVI. Early in the week we succeeded in getting The MyRio, Smart Grid Circuit, and LabVIEW code to communicate with one another. At the moment the smart grid can read temperature changes and the relay switch controls cause the grid to have some response. Different Controls and Relays to the heating and cooling of the house were identified and the wiring form the houses to the power source were found. The next step in the process is to find the wiring or hardware problems. In learning the Smart Grid this week we were not able successfully run the houses heat and cooling simulation. We think this could be due to a short circuit but we are not entirely sure. Most of the research done this week was focused on learning the SGY1 history. We went through their past research book to determine what we can take form their project and how we can expand on it to create a comprehensive design focused deliverables for this year. In the following week we plan to gain enough insight on last year’s model to generate the first design ideas for Smart Grid Year Two and create a draft for our literary review. We will be setting up another meeting with Black & Veatch in the near future to discuss the scope of our project. Additionally, we have the M2SEC computer pretty much up and running, and have what we believe to be the proper software to run the myRIO currently installing. Hopefully when this is done we will no longer have to carry the grid back and forth between M2SEC and Learned.

September 19, 2014
E-Bike Solar Charging Station
This week the E-Bike Solar Charging team completed initial research for the main components of the solar charging station. A Watts Up Pro was acquired in order to gather data on the existing battery for the E-Bike. A time was coordinated with the bike team to have access to the electric bike on Monday to conduct the battery test. The battery will be drained and then recharged while measuring current and voltage using the Watts Up Pro. From there, the battery bank for the charging station can be evaluated and sized.

Active Flow
With our proposal for sponsors completed, we are beginning to contact companies for funding. In addition, we have started a Matlab program that will be used to optimize our design. While the values this week were not accurate due to questions regarding the dimensions of the UAV, they gave us insight into the relationships between the variables. Over the next week we plan on refining our initial calculations in order to see how the volumetric flow rate through the oscillators is affected by different variables. The most important of these variables will be the exit area of the actuator, the desired flight time of the UAV and the velocity of the oscillator’s jet. We also made it to the airport to see the UAV for the first time, and took the necessary dimensions for our project. Besides working on the flow rate calculations, we also plan to look into the required hardware this week in order to get initial estimates for the weight and power needed for our design. The primary limitation of our design will be weight, with 10lbs. being the maximum payload the UAV can carry.

Altec Battery Chemistry
This week we focused on exploring more battery types and documenting their specifications. We also met with Ryan, a grad student, to get a better understanding of the Vencon battery testing machine. We ran a test and came back a couple days later to find out that it had failed due to someone unplugging things from our computer. We figured out how to run our own test but ran into an error again due to the connections being messed up. We plan to meet with Ryan again Tuesday to get it working and start practicing running our own tests. Next week we plan to have chosen 4-6 batteries that we would like to purchase for our own testing. We also hope to run a few more practice tests to get the hang of the Vencon machine so we are ready for real testing after purchasing batteries and getting the loading profiles from Ash.

Thermal Management of Battery Packs
After meeting with Dr. Li early this week we found that we were making some changes to our approach to the experiment. He presented to us a new approach to the setup and gave us specific assignments to prepare before meeting him next Monday. This new approach will include a hot and a cold temperature controlled source on either side of a clear polycarbonate tube. We will then need to look into insulation for the tubing and how we will record the data (thermocouple types, LabView setup, etc.) We took this idea and our own personal questions to Dr. Depcik. This discussion was very valuable because it gave us a fifth person to point out any flaws or concerns to address. After the meeting, Will, Chad, and I spoke together and went to Will's lab to look at equipment (heater/cooler and thermocouples) that is being used for another professor. This allowed us to begin discussing any preferences we will have when making purchases, as well as discussion over vendors. Will has already submitted a list of vendors for heat pipes and PCM's. By being able to look at the equipment and discuss it with something tangible, as well as beginning a list of vendors, we seem to be on a steady pace to continue our work with Dr. Li on Monday.

E-Bike Year 2
On Tuesday we cultivated a contact that will hopefully provide us with most if not all of the unique bike parts. In addition to this contact we will be working on a couple more for getting scrap material for the frame and more possible donations for unique parts in case we can’t get all for our first source. This weekend we will go full force at tackling the design for the bike ergonomics and design. We have split the responsibility for the design in three ways to complete with greater speed while working independently.

Waste Heat Recovery
This week has proven to be productive but challenging for all members. Not only did we individually calculate the overall Organic Rankine Cycle Waste Heat Recovery efficiency for an internal combustion engine, we also had each member choose a component to do more research on in the coming weeks. Once decided, we split the team into two groups to improve upon productivity by adding in extra meetings on top of our regular Wednesday meetings. On Mondays the teammates handling the heat exchanger and the condenser will collaborate and on Tuesdays the teammates working with the turbine and pump will join forces. We look forward to collecting data from the exhaust of the system so we can start researching potential components to purchase.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities Year 2
This week we wanted to get the smart grid hooked up and running with LabVIEW. While we couldn’t get through all the program bugs initially, we’ve already taken steps to rebuild the code, specifically in understanding the temperature reading thermistor VI. Next week we’ll need to have the code at least running if we don’t want to get behind. It’s essential to have a functioning workspace so we also got a team account and LabVIEW downloaded onto our lab computer. Our technical advisor would like us to have an initial report of our findings when we meet with him, so we have started with the introduction and plan to have this document drafted my midweek. Some additional technical research was completed this week, but we need to ramp up our exploration of the subject matter to ensure we’ll have a strong knowledge base.

Battery Pack Management
This week our team developed a list of design options and features, and discussed which options to select and features to add to the battery pack. Robbie concluded that the basis of the design is that the pack has a good stable mounting, battery type, and wiring configuration. Consistency and stability helped our e-car win the competition, so we wish those aspects of the design to be strong. Cong did research on battery chemistry and compared potential candidates. Next week, we plan to develop a decision matrix for battery types. Cong concluded that lithium-iron chemistry seems like the best option, but we need a formal analysis to make a design decision. We will select the battery we wish to use, and confirm with Dr. Depcik and Dr. Fang. We also plan to research and then contact companies which might be interested in donating batteries or a GPS unit (Dr. Fang’s recommendation). We will craft a standard message and have it reviewed by both of our advisors as well. Lastly, we have scheduled a meeting with the e-bike team to discuss design features of the bike that will effect both groups, such as the rack, wiring, connections, and displays.



May 2, 2014
Electric Bike
An aluminum plate was cut and welded to the rear triangle that would serve to hold the rear rack at angle parallel with the ground. Two holes were drilled into the plate and the rack was able to be successfully bolted into place. A rear wheel came in and was fitted inside the the rear triangle, the seat tube had to be filed back to allow clearance for the tire. The team went to TCCP and was donated both a crank set that fit the bike perfectly and a bike stem that would allow smooth turning of the heavy front wheel. A chain was then able to be attached, and now the bike is capable of being manually pedaled. A cage was made on top of the rear rack that would be used to house the battery pack during travel and lastly, batteries were tested to ensure they were capable of being charged in five hours time.

Biomass Pellet Burner
The device in its entirety was tested this week. The glow plug ignition proved successful, and the flow controller program worked just as expected. The on-board PID for the flow controller might need some slight tuning to alleviate some steady-state “wobble”, but no major problems were recognized with it. A large issue that was seen was the thermocouple readings not being communicated properly. Otherwise, everything looked good. A couple of final pieces are being ordered to complete the connection between the combustion tube and the FTIR. When they arrive, the device should be complete. A testing procedure needs to be formalized so that any other users will know how to operate the device properly.

Urban Concept Vehicle
The UCV team traveled with Uncle Kevin to competition in Houston. Right off the bat, the team was amazed with how many teams were finishing construction at the event. I would say beyond 75% were performing major work to their vehicles while we sat bored. The team entered inspection shortly after arriving, waiting for the inevitable failing of technical. The Shell technical advisors were really trying to push us to alter the vehicle to pass, but this proved impossible as no machine shops were able to turn-around the work on the axle in a day. But, the team passed all of the technical that was expected to pass, and a few minor changes were necessary to pass safety. On the first day of competition, only 10 UCVs were ready to run the course. Of the ten, probably 5 broke down on the first attempt, and a few more than once. Uncle Kevin ran roughly 25 miles with no problems at all. The Chapter 1 rules provided by Shell are very unclear about many things. An example of this is allowing vehicles to accelerate, turn off the engine, coast, and then restart, accelerate, ect. The rules read like it is illegal to use the starter at any point after the start line. This should greatly change next year's team design, as the vehicle will need to be reduced of all friction, mainly from brakes, to provide the best possible coasting methods. The team achieved greater than 90 mpg on its best run, besting some of the regular diesel vehicles. Of the three GTL UCVs, we were the only one to get on the course and complete a run. We spoke to the organizer and tried to convince him to accept one of our runs as official, but this attempt fell short. KU EcoHawks representation could be something truly special, by using a new vehicle each year of the program. All of the programs looked to use the same vehicles each year, making changes to the engines and body to improve efficiency

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
The GEM is now up and running. So far, it runs well. The brakes may need to be checked and the motor is not aging gracefully, however. Once a few cosmetic refinements have been made regarding the state of the cab (reinstalling the dash and cleaning), the only remaining task is to complete vehicle testing. One possible consideration is depleting the batteries a little so that charging can be troubleshot. You will find Team GEM Saturday at noon troubleshooting charging and possibly range testing the vehicle.



April 25, 2014
Black & Veatch Smart Communities
This week the team redesigned their program from the ground up. After state machine theory was researched, the team decided to rebuild their program. The program is now split up into different tasks (or states) that are switched between based on logic the team designs. This is a large step forward in understanding how automation and control works for any electronic system. The team was able to display energy usage of a house in real time, along with setting a temperature tolerance for each house. Below are updated images of both the front display panel and the code behind it (displaying temperature reading task). Next week the team aims to wire in the solar component and finish testing their system for different energy usage scenarios.

Electric Bike
The team welded a front plate onto the end of the top tube. Different sizes of wheels and tires were tested out to ensure that the wheel arriving next week will be able to fit. The team is looking for a tie to get the bike powder coated. The old rods on the rear rack were cut off and new rods were welded on to give the rack the clearance it needs to sit over the rear wheel.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The team met with Dr. D on Monday to discuss their project standings and then went out to Studio 804 to meet with Dr. Gore. After speaking with Dr. Gore, it was decided to contact the electricians again. Dr. Gore purchased some conduit and wires and we were going to ensure that these were going to work based upon electrical standards. On Wednesday the electricians came out and gave the ok to use the materials. The team met with Dr. Gore again on Friday and decided to head out to the studio this weekend to begin installing the electrical system. So hopefully by the end of this weekend the electrical system will be fully installed allowing for the construction inside to begin.

Biomass Pellet Burner
Testing this week showed that the fixes to the control programming were successful and work just as they were intended. Also, the high-temperature sealant was successfully applied on Thursday, and can be expected to be fully set by Sunday. Unfortunately, the glow plug is experiencing some issues. When attached to the power source, it gets very hot instantaneously, but the power source turns itself off due to a safety feature. Whether or not this can be circumvented is unclear. Even if it can be circumvented, the prudence of disabling a safety feature on an electrical device is questionable at best. Other options are currently being considered.

Urban Concept
The team started the week preparing to leave on Wednesday to competition. Once we arrived we unloaded the car and rolled it to our paddock area. We had the car complete, so we went ahead and jumped into technical and safety inspection. As expected, we failed technical because of the wheelbase width. We also needed a new tire, more secure chain guard and fire extinguisher, and to trim the corners off of the fiberglass panels. Tyler was able to get a tire donated and we finished everything else this morning. We passes safety and passed half of technical. We took the car out on the track and ran the full course with no problems. By passing half of technical, we will be able to run the official race with an unofficial result. We are one of three GTL teams. The UH team blew their clutch and may not compete and the other showed up with half a completed car, so we could be the only GTL competitor. We will run one additional practice run and prepare for our real runs on Saturday and Sunday.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
The GEM has come to life. The battery pack is connected, though the battery management system (BMS) and battery charger are absent. While connected, the vehicle can turn on and the accessory systems of the GEM can work. The battery pack, with the exception of the lid, which will be changed out for a less brittle plastic, is complete. The battery pack is now strapped into the vehicle by a ratcheting strap and lightweight insulating foam has been added with the additional feature of supporting the BMS cable. With the connection of the BMS and charger, the vehicle should be running or extremely close to it.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
For the week, the work being performed has been strictly working on the presentation. Last presentation went well but there were still small changes that needed to occur, with the next focus being on practicing as much as possible. The date and time has also been agreed on by all parties involved: May 6th at 5 PM in the ME Conference Room in Learned Hall. The remainder of the work left is on writing the final report which has been worked on throughout the semester.

NREL Wind Turbine
This week the NREL team focused largely on construction and electronics. Andrew fashioned new brackets and the final base plate for the competition turbine. He has also been working on the alignment for the disc brake. Michael has worked on the code for the controller, and Evan and Michael determined better ways of voltage and current measurement and identified additional necessary components. On Thursday Evan did some initial testing of the IGBT with a function generator. This weekend Evan and Michael will perform more testing on the IGBT and the entire circuit, to get an idea of what parameters to use as inputs for the micro-controller. Next week the team will finish construction and programming of the micro-controller, and test the turbine in the wind tunnel to understand its final performance before taking it to competition.



April 18, 2014
GEM Swappable Battery Pack
Team GEM is nearing completion of physical construction tasks: water drainage holes have been made, the battery drawer has a handle, and the battery drawer now has a lock to prevent it coming out while driving. The majority of recent work has been done on the electrical sections: attaching the BMS with the batteries, configuring the charger with the BMS, and determining SOC displays on the dash. Our next steps will be purchasing a ratchet strap to keep the battery in place, cut holes for wires into the battery pack, purchasing insulating foam to keep movement in the battery drawer to a minimum, and continuing electrical work.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
This week the team spent their time configuring the voltage and current sensor in order to determine the charge left in the battery. The team realized by placing the the sensor after the double throw relay, total power and voltage consumption for each house could be obtained with high accuracy. In addition to the sensor, the team also decided that their second house model was constructed poorly. The second house was reconstructed in order to obtain similarity to the first model. This weekend the team plans to get their program working with both housing units. When this is complete, the team will be ready to make final energy usage tests for the community.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
As the final calculator has been created, the Altec team has been focused on fixing any issues that Altec sends back us. So far one revision has been sent back and the team is currently waiting on approval for the final calculator or for further fixes to be performed. The team has also completed the final research book and submitted for grading. The only remaining tasks are to complete the final project report and to perform the final presentation.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
On Monday, the team went out to Studio 804 to meet with electricians from KU who will be helping the team with the electrical system for the trailer. They met with them for about an hour and worked to develop a preliminary idea of how the electrical system will be set up inside the trailer. The electricians have said that they will come and assist in the installation process, but want to see the team do the majority of the work. The team has been working this week to finalize the electrical system design so that they can move forward and purchase the necessary supplies. Once the supplies are in the installation of the system can begin.

NREL Wind Turbine
Over the weekend the AE team made a decision regarding the size and market of the market turbine. Because it will be a 400 W turbine that employs the same generator, it will be necessary for the generator to spin at close to 34,000 rpm at rated rotor speed. This means the gearbox must have a gear ratio of 19:1. To quickly accomplish this, Evan modified the old gearbox to fit with a purchased planetary gear drive that screws directly to the generator, resulting in an overall gear ratio of 19.35:1. The result is a market turbine that closely resembles the competition turbine. The team continues to progress on power control. On Tuesday Evan ordered a controller, analog to digital converters, resistors, batteries, and other components, and talked to Michael about the requirements of the control system. Michael has since been working on the micro-controller code.

Biomass Pellet Burner
This week, the issues with control programming were mostly solved. The signal noise and deep troughs in the voltage reading were eliminated, and a fix for the current signal issue was proposed. The support structure for the combustion tube was machined and is to be welded to the plenum by the end of the weekend. A new combustion bed of appropriate size was purchased, along with vulcanized silicone sealant to make the connection between the plenum top and the attached plate airtight, along with securing the combustion bed better. A power source was purchased for the ignition system. Things appear to be going according to plan and on track to finish on time.

Electric Bike
The foam for the battery pack was cut out. The battery connection were made. Plugs were purchased and wired through that could connect the batteries to the motor. The motor was tested. The crank was machined down to fit on the bottom bracket. A rear wheel was ordered from Sunflower and rim brakes were bought from CycleWorks. An extension piece was made to fit the brake to the front fork.

Urban Concept Vehicle
The chromoly for the luggage compartment was welded together and then welded to the frame. This compartment was covered in fiberglass panels and is used to hold the ballast in case of an underweight driver (>150 lbs). A box was made to fit the compartment and has been inserted into the luggage compartment. A lever for the exterior shutdown mechanism was purchased, but a delivery date of May to August led to a change of direction. An old emergency brake was found that had the required red coloring. The brake was designed to be side mounted, so the bracket was beat flat with a hammer and bent 90 degrees to allow the appropriate mounting. A U-bolt was used to mount the brake around the chromoly skeleton of the vehicle. The lever was still rotating when pulled with a decent amount of force, so a secondary bolt was added to alleviate this. The gas pedal was fully pressed to measure the appropriate length of steel cable required. With the throttle fully opened, the steel cable was cut to fit between the throttle and the lever. The exterior shutdown mechanism functions properly. Next was the task of setting up the fuel system. The original fuel tank was removed from the engine, and the fuel lines removed from the fuel filter. With a total of 3 fuel lines, we took the cover off the head and removed the entire air filter assembly to trace them back. It was found that one line was the main fuel line, and the other two were vent lines from the injector fuel pump. The tank provided by shell was mounted on a bracket that we made out of sheetmetal and chromolly bar stock. A 1/4" line was necessary to attach to the tank, and the original line size was 3/16". The first attempt used a "T" that attached the vent line to the center inlet, fuel line to the bottom inlet, and the top to the fuel tank. After testing, the pressure released by the vent lines was not allowing fuel to flow into the fuel line; the pressure was pushing the fuel back into the tank. A two inlet coupling was purchased with the main fuel line feeding into the bottom inlet and the top to the fuel tank. A hole was drilled on the fuel tank cap the exact size of the vent line and inserted into the tank through the cap. A small hole was drilled next to line on the cap to allow pressure to release. After testing, this method of implementation proved effective and allows the vehicle to function properly. The next task was taping all of the panels together with heavy duty Gorilla tape, to minimize any flapping in the panels. All of the electrical components were taped off/removed and the windows removed. The vehicle was then painted. The two front wheels were purple and grey, so those were painted to match the rest of the wheels. The vehicle was allowed to dry overnight. The rules dictate that we have a red arrow on a white background pointing to the external shutdown mechanism, so a square was taped and painted white, and then a arrow was taped inside and painted red. Arrows were also required pointing to any latches, so both the door and rear hatch latches were indicated by a red painted arrow. We were able to finally obtain some biodiesel, so testing began to determine the best driving method. Runs hold a constant velocity of 15 mph were ran with both fuels. The coasting and acceleration methods will be tested next. The scale model received its wheels and axles this week. Next week the motor and circuitry will be mounted.


April 11, 2014
Altec Well-to-Wheel
For this week, the team finally finished the calculator and sent the final calculator to Altec to be reviewed for any changes. Jordan included electricity cost information and the final emissions information was merged into the main calculator. Currently the group is implementing changes that Altec sends back and fixing small issues that arise.For the next weeks the team will ensure the calculator is fixed to Altec's needs and continue writing the report.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
During the beginning of the week, the team configured battery storage into the house circuit. The single pole double throw relay was used to switch the source of power from the 12 vdc power supply(grid) to the battery(alternative energy storage). After this was accomplished, the team ran a cooling test to compute energy usage.The team also had a poster presentation this week in which they had to prepare. The team hopes to continue working next week on cleaning up their program and wiring both housing units together.

NREL Wind Turbine
The team has made a lot of progress on electronics this week. On Monday the turbine was tested in the wind tunnel with a 5 V DC 35 A power supply, with a rheostat to vary load resistance. In addition, the AE team was able to locate a hand-held anemometer, which could be used to measure wind speed. The team measured and plotted power versus shaft speed for several wind speeds. The turbine is capable of producing the minimum 10 watts, but still suffers from high cut in speed. Upon further discussion with Dr. Allen, Evan determined that the best route to take is to control the shaft speed using an insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) in place of the rheostat. The duty cycle of the transistor will be controlled so as to maximize turbine power output, and also control the turbine at rated power. Another IGBT can be used to initiate an electronic brake automatically upon load disconnection. Parts for this control system have been ordered, and next week Evan and Michael will use Michael’s propeller microprocessor and development board to implement the control system.

Urban Concept
The UCV team started the week off by installing the bulkhead. A foam insulation material was used covered with a fire retardant aluminum foil. By choosing this material, quite a bit of weight was reduced off of the original estimate of 10 lbs. the foam totaled 2 lbs and was attached to the roll at with Liquid Nail. The cockpit side of the bulkhead was sealed using an insulating foam. Chromoly bar stock was cut and used to mount a skeleton to separate the driver from moving components in the front of the vehicle. A spring was added to the door latch to eliminate the latch moving from vibration of the vehicle. The fuel tank was removed from the engine and the team began implementing the Shell competition tank. A bracket for the tank was using sheet metal as a holder and chromoly for the support. This was welded at least 5 cm from the top of the roll bar and spanned the width of the vehicle. This will also serve as support for the bulkhead. The bolts connecting the fiberglass to the body were cut to reduce the hazard to those working/using the vehicle. The emergency brake was implemented. A mechanical caliper was used for the brake. A mount was welded to the frame, and the caliper attached. A hole needed to be cut to allow the brake lever the necessary motion to activate the brake. The scale model of the design frame was also completed and looks identical to the original. Next week the team will finish everything necessary for competition and hopefully are allowed some time for testing the UCV.

Electric Bike
The crank was machined down so that the bolt could fit in place. A hole was drilled in the battery pack so that the electrical connection could be wired through. The group went to Cycle Works to purchase a rear derailleur, 26" tires, a chain, and a nut for the crank. Then a trip to TCCP was made to pick up a front wheel.

Biomass Pellet Burner
This week, some adjustments were made to the design to add support for the thermocouples and combustion tube. Specifically, two long steel bars will be welded to make basically a long piece of angle iron, to which hose clamps will be attached, which will hold the tube and thermocouples more securely than they currently are. Some work was also done to fix issues with the flow control. Currently, the LabVIEW-controlled PID has been disabled to avoid issues with it competing with the on-board PID in the flow controller. Time will tell if this allows for proper set-point accuracy. Otherwise, time this week was spent working on the paper to be submitted to ASME and preparing to present the project on Friday.



April 4, 2014
Altec Well-to-Wheel
This week the team was able to finish the first draft of the poster for the presentation on April 11th. Final changes to the calculator are being finished, with the database of different fuel types being created, only needing to be implemented into the main calculator. Next week, Jordan and Alejandro will meet to ensure all emission information goes into the main cost analysis calculator and finally finish off the draft to send to Altec for revision.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
Since the presentation on Wednesday, the team has reviewed the notes and has generated a plan of action. The most important immediate goal that the team has taken away from the presentation is to establish a baseline test case. Baseline tests will allow us to define how our proxies represent energy consumption in our community. With a baseline test defined, battery storage can be incorporated and defined by a control allowing the team to test for savings, or an increase in energy efficiency. Today (Friday, April 4th), the team has begun wiring the battery storage proxy into the smart community. It is important for the team to clean their program as they continue forward with the project; that is, establish clarity on how each addition node can easily be wired into the program. Next weeks baseline test results will be sent Friday.

NREL Wind Turbine
Michael and Andrew machined a new base plate for the turbine, and Evan re-attached the gearbox and generator to the new base plate, before modifying the wind tunnel test stand to accommodate the new base plate. Michael also researched and identified methods of attaching the base plate to the future turbine “tower”. This week has also seen much progress in the electronics part of the project. With new parts in, Evan spent Wednesday preparing a replica of the 5 V DC “power sink” that will be used in the competition. After overcoming a few hang-ups the circuit worked, and the team hopes to test with it soon, as it will allow the team to understand how the turbine behaves under competition conditions. It will also provide insight into weather the team needs to develop a control system to improve performance or not.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
Team GEM has finished welding the battery drawer and attaching it to the vehicle. The battery box has been plastic coated and will be fitted with the battery cushioning material. While the space between the drawer slides is tight, the battery drawer does fit, has been screwed into place, and can handle well over the weight expected of it. A handle will be placed on the battery drawer, the drawer locking bar will be attached, and electrical work will ensue next week.

Electric Bike
The head tube and seat post were machined down with the lathe for a better fit. The hole for the head tube was filed to hold the head tube at the correct angle. The head tube was then welded into place by Ash. The ends of the rear triangle obtained from TCCP were cut and filed to fit the seat tube. A jig was then built to hold the frame and Ash was able to weld the on the rear triangle to complete the frame.

Urban Concept Vehicle
The UCV team has UCV1 very close to competition ready. The electrical components (headlights, starter light, turn signals, brake lights, wiper) have been installed on the vehicle and functioning properly. After researching a proper material for exhaust tubing, the decision was made to use copper tubing. Doing such eliminated the need to bend a continuous piece of tubing by using couplings to branch individual pieces. The pieces were soldered together and attached to the frame by metal straps. To attach the wiper, a piece of sheetmetal was mounted to the frame and the wiper bolted to it. The wiper was then fit to a simple switch for operation. The tires were a little flat and filled to the proper levels. A door latch was installed that can be accessed both inside and outside of the vehicle. Side mirrors were also attached to UCV1 allowing the driver to see behind the vehicle. Extra tabs were welded to the frame at areas where the fiberglass body needed more support. Components for the remaining requirements have been purchased and should be in early next week. A solution to the bulkhead was found to be a lightweight foam with a light-weight aluminum foil serving as the fire retardant. This will be purchased and installed next week. Weighing the vehicle after all alterations yielded 446 lbs, leaving 6 lbs to competition maximum. The UCV2 frame was nearly completed, but additional aluminum is necessary. From this point forward, small alterations to UCV1 and testing will begin, as well as mounting brackets on UCV2 for easy hardware transfer from UCV1 to UCV2 after competition.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The whole team went out to Studio 804 last Friday to visit with the design team and see their progress. The design students were working on stripping off the outer layer of the aluminum skin to allow for the trailer to be polished. The team met with one student to work with him on the generator placement. On Monday the team met with Dr. D to discuss their progress and to receive suggestions about their poster which will be presented on April 11th. Following this meeting, Matt and Constantine traveled out to the studio to meet with Dr. Gore to see how the trailer was progressing. The end of the semester is nearing so construction of the trailer is going to be ramping up in the next few weeks.

Biomass Pellet Burner
The combustion tube arrived this week, and appears to be in good condition and fitting as expected. Some amount of instability was noticed in regards to how it is seated, so we decided we need to add some sort of support structure. An idea for an upright support welded to the outside of the plenum appears to have been decided upon, but other options are being considered. Also, it was decided that there should be some sort of secure storage for the combustor tube while it is not in use. Different options are being considered for this. Otherwise, everything is as expected and very close to being ready for use.



March 28, 2014
Altec Well-to-Wheel
The KU Altec team is now nearly finished with the cost analysis calculator that will be sent to Altec for revision. An addition of electricity costs and emissions is still being finalized and should come to completion in the next two weeks. Focus for the week have been the presentation (today at 2:30 in the ME conference room, 3rd floor of Learned Hall) and the poster creation for the April 11 Senior Design Poster presentations. After today focus will remain entirely on finishing the calculator as soon as possible so Altec can revise and recommend changes and additions.

Electric Bike
The team filed the frame to fit properly and ash welded the frame together. Holes were cut for the bottom bracket and the head tube. A stem was purchased, and electrical components were ordered. TCCP donated handle bars and seat tubing. An aluminum plate was cut out that would be used to hold the bike seat tube in place within the frame's seat tube. Ash and Charles welded the bottom bracket into place; then Ash then welded the bikes seat tube into the frames seat tube.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
In the past week, Team GEM has been working on the battery box, the battery drawer, and connecting the angle beam, battery drawer, and drawer slides to the vehicle. The bolt holes for the battery drawer and C-beam have been drilled through the angle beam; once the bolt holes have been drilled in the C-beam and the battery drawer has been welded, they can all be put into place underneath the vehicle. Welding will take place Saturday, since it will not be raining and we will have the welding tips that we need. The welding jig has been put together. The battery box handles have been coated with plasti-dip. After gluing the battery cushioning material into the box, it will be finished.

Urban Concept Vehicle
The UCV team have gotten UCV1 closer to being competition ready. Cory came out over the break and got the majority of the UCV completed. The body has been completed along with the polycarbonate windows. The torque conveyer was changed to allow engagement at 1400 rpm vs the factory 2200 rpm setting. The rear sprocket was replaced yielding a new gear ration of 5.8:1 from 8:1. These changes have allowed the vehicle to hit a velocity of 27 mph after previously hitting a maximum of 21. The increased velocity allows the team a broader range to operate the vehicle at its maximum fuel efficiency around 2400 rpm. The ignition was moved to the cockpit and the vehicle is now easily started. Electrical wires were wrapped in electrical tubing for protection and aesthetic purposes. After modifications to the sprocket, the chain began making contact with the frame. The engine was removed and the contact area was grinded to alleviate the problem. Work on the scale model of the UCV was also started. The beginning of the frame has begun to be welded.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The team spent the weekend fixing up their presentation which they would be giving on March 28th. They also spent time drafting their poster to present to the ME Department in a couple weeks. On Monday, Stephen and Matt went out to Studio 804 to meet with Dr. Gore to see the recently purchased furnace and also to discuss the generator with him. Dr. Gore requested that the team supply him with some specs about gasoline generators and the team sent them to him. They informed Dr. Gore that they strongly recommend a diesel generator for quite a few reasons. On Wednesday, Stephen and Matt again went out to the MoCoLab. This time they were out there to finish removing the rest of the old electrical system. Now the trailer interior is completely bare which allows for the architecture students to mock up their design using cardboard sculptures. On Friday, the whole team went out to the studio to meet with Dr. Dent who will be helping the team to remove the dents in the trailer.

Biomass Pellet Burner
Construction is almost complete on the combustor. The only pieces that have to arrive before final assembly and testing can begin are the combustion tube and thermocouples, all of which have been shipped and are to arrive in the next week. Minor unexpected issues have arisen in the control and data acquisition programming, but temporary workarounds are in place and seem to work effectively. These issues are to be addressed by working with one of the graduate students who has experience with such things, hopefully resolving them in the next week. All in all, everything seems to be progressing as smoothly as can be reasonably expected, and the build is all but complete.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
This week the team spent their time working in LabVIEW in order to obtained automatic temperature control for their model houses. To their delight, the programming was a success. The team successfully incorporated solid state relays and thermistors to build an automated HVAC system controlled by LabVIEW. The coding, shown below allows users to input a desired temperature for each house. The program then provides power to either the heater or cooler depending on what temperature is desired. With this step accomplished, the team now sets out to, run the smart community from either their power supply or battery(determined by program), read out energy usage data in real time and incorporate solar energy via theoretical data simulation. Below are images of the visual interface and the coding behind it.

NREL Wind Turbine
The last couple weeks have been busy but productive for the NREL Wind Competition Team. Andrew has completed a prototype of the brake actuation system, tested it, and determined that it works. Evan has worked with aerospace engineering team members to perform testing in the big wind tunnel with the gearbox, rotor, and power electronics. From these tests it was concluded that a transformer will be necessary for adequate performance. However, to truly understand the turbine’s performance, it must be tested under competition circumstances, which involves connecting it to a 5 V DC Power supply connected in parallel with a 0.2 ohm resistor. The team intends to construct final aluminum braces and structural pieces (former mockups were created out of plywood) and develop a safe power electronics test bed that will replicate the competition setup, before testing again in the wind tunnel. The turbine will first be tested passively; if performance is deemed inadequate, the team will consider hardware options for implementing a variable load control system.



March 7, 2014
Electric Bike
The team began to file and touch up the cuts that were made to the frame tubes to get them to fit together better. The argon gas finally came in and the team was able to start practicing welding with the aluminum. Companies were contacted for powder coating as well as possible heat treatment. Ricky worked out stress analysis on the frame and Payden looked more into what will be needed for making the battery pack.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
This week the team finished the construction of both model houses. Both houses now contain all the electronic components (sans relays, they are on order). The team also finally received their MyRIO (usb interface allowing data acquisition and control). With this all accomplished the team now needed to figure out how they would wire the model. Next week the team aims to begin controlling the house’s electronics by using the relays purchased and the MyRIO. Once that is complete, the team will incorporate the use of their temperature sensor, allowing for our program to make heating and cooling decisions.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
Generator data was analyzed and graphed to obtain the fuel consumption data necessary for emission analysis. Before data is run through validation needs to be performed to ensure that results are acceptable which should be completed by this weekend. Jordan updated the group with a nearly complete version of the cost analysis calculator. The team will meet today to go through to understand methodology used and fix any issues. Once data is validated, the team will begin to run data through the calculator and make any additional changes. For the coming week the team will focus on finishing all data analysis and calculator work as well as working on midterm report.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
The battery box materials are now cut into the correct sizes so that they may be assembled using the brackets and nylon screws bought at Westlake Ace Hardware. The aluminum battery drawer will be welded together once the slider attachment holes have been drilled into the sides. The bolts necessary to connect the angle bracket to the frame have been ascertained and early this coming week, the CALB batteries will be picked up from West Campus. The power cables purchased will need to be replaced since they likely will not be able to reach the battery terminals.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The team spent this week finalizing their research regarding the MoCoLab’s heating/cooling system. Following questions from Dr. Gore, the team analyzed the costs and benefits from using three different heating systems. The team feels they have shown that the best choice for their application will be having an A/C unit and a separate propane furnace. This solution is both economical and will keep the trailer at a comfortable temperature. The team hopes to be able to purchase the generator, a/c unit and furnace by the end of the coming week.

Urban Concept Vehicle
The UCV team started off the week welding tabs around the skeleton for the fiberglass body panels to mount to. Next the team started making the fiberglass sheets for the body. We started using two fiber cloths on the first 11, and will use 3 fiber cloths on the remaining sheets for more durability for the parts that require it. Next we removed the old bracket for the brake pedals and decided on a design for the front and rear systems to be worked through one pedal. After measuring the material and drilling holes to mount the master cylinders, Tyler got in the UCV to locate the pedal for maximum comfort. The brackets were then mounted and all master cylinders attached. The bolt connecting the master cylinders is a little to pliable, so we will need to reinforce the design. We then attempted to bleed the front brakes and get them operational, and will continue with that today. Lastly, we continued on the journey of getting the starter to work. Through many trial and error attempts, we had a mistake that led to the car starting. This lead to the system having a grounding problem and was finally solved. The UCV can now be started through key ignition.

NREL Wind Turbine
This week the team finished construction of the second gearbox prototype. The new prototype is smaller, lighter, more precisely aligned, and turns much more smoothly. The new rotor also came in, and has been fit to the shaft arbor that will be used for testing and competition. Evan researched electronic components, and consulted with Dr. Allen and Wes on properly selecting resistors, transformers, a rectifier, and rheostat. He also came across a paper describing a novel approach to controlling shaft speed via a variable additional load. Such a possibility could easily be tested with a rheostat. The team intends to consider this option after ensuring that a fixed speed machine that employs a step up transformer can or cannot function well. Andrew ordered parts for the brake lever assembly, and tested his design once the parts arrived. He identified shortcomings and flaws, and has adapted his design plan accordingly.

Biomass Pellet Burner
This week, much of the remaining construction was completed, leaving only small details. A hole was drilled into the inner metal tube for the seating of the glow plug, leaving only the welding to be done before the plenum is fully completed. The air intake system was attached to the plenum, with only a small, easily-fixed hiccup in fitting sizes to be resolved. Otherwise, everything fit perfectly. Also, it was discovered that the flow controller automatically produces a 5V DC output during operation, meaning we do not have to purchase a power source for the glow plug. Data acquisition software was written for the thermocouples, which are to be ordered Monday, and is ready for approval then testing as soon as the thermocouples arrive. It seems as though everything will be ready for operation as soon as the final pieces arrive.



February 28, 2014
Altec Well-to-Wheel
Generator testing using the automate DAQ system was finally performed. The team met at the Hill Center on Friday the 21st and purchased two different fuels for testing, 1 gallon of gasoline and 1 gallon of E10. Each load (heater) was measured to ensure that amperage was constant and testing began. For each fuel, the generator was started with only one load and a subsequent load turned on after a certain amount of fuel was consumed. Load cell data being constantly recorded and saved. Testing lasted about 4 hours and final data is yet to analyzed. For the following week, the team must analyze data and depending on results the team must either begin more testing or move on to creating and using the calculator for emission calculations as well as cost analysis comparisons. For deliverables, team is meeting today to go over a final edit of research slides due at 5 PM.

Electric Bike
The team came up with a new design for the bottom bracket junction to better hold the bottom bracket. The frame was then redesigned to incorporate this change and the angle of the top tube was changed to give it better support. The frame has been cut for the new design.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
While at the Hill Center this past week, Team GEM has removed the old rear battery tray using the cutting wheel and the grinder head which was especially helpful for removing the welds on the frame. Once the vehicle was off of the lift, the power cables were put into place. It was determined that they are too short and so an extension method will be devised. However, the AC power cable was an easy replacement. The only materials yet to arrive are the batteries.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
This past week the team completed both the energy analysis and the heat transfer analysis which allowed them to effectively size the furnace, a/c unit and generator for the trailer. The team attended the first design proposal meeting for the architecture students. At this meeting, each student presented their own design and how they came up with the idea. After everyone had presented, Dr. Gore asked them to come up with another design for Friday’s studio. The EcoHawks hope to be able to attend this meeting.

Urban Concept
This week the team focused on finishing up the skeleton on the vehicle so that the team can begin laying out the fiberglass that will go on as the body. Two of the more important areas of the skeleton that the team worked on were the door for the driver and the rear hatch that will allow access to the engine. The team also finished getting the correct length for the tie rods on the steering system. Once the tie rods were installed the team determined that the vehicle will have enough of a turning radius so that it will pass competition specifications. New brake lines for the front brakes were purchased as well as new master cylinders for the rear brakes. These will be installed next week so that the team will be able to start driving the car. The battery is also in the process of being wired to the starter on the engine so that the vehicle will be able to be started with a key.

Biomass Pellet Burner
This week, the combustion tube was finally ordered, with a projected three-week lead time. While that is a long wait time, it is much shorter than the projected seven weeks from the previous company. The plenum was constructed and more parts are being ordered/received all the time. We have been getting to the point where we are selecting the specific minutiae and troubleshooting small, unforeseen issues. Control and data acquisition programming is progressing nicely as well, appearing as though it will be completed by the time it has enough supporting structure to make testing possible. If no unforeseen issues arise, the burner appears as though it will be ready for use as soon as the combustion tube arrives.

NREL Wind Turbine
Evan spent the past week researching voltage control methods. He spoke with Dr. Allen of electrical engineering, Wes Ellison, the AE Lab Director, and Dr. Wetzel. While sophisticated methods exist, they are difficult and potentially expensive to build. To first ensure that the team has a turbine that can be taken to competition, and to establish a base for comparison, the team will select a transformer to allow the turbine to run at one fixed speed. Andrew went to Sunflower bike and got a part that could constrain the bicycle cable housing to the base plate. He also tested a modified brake actuation system, and identified shortcomings to be addressed. Michael corresponded with Kansas Manufacturing to get the gearbox plates machined. The team now has all parts for the next gearbox prototype, at the same time that the AE team has the new rotor. The team will hopefully be able to test again in the wind turbine with the new prototype next week.



February 21, 2014
Electric Bike
The team created two models for the design of the bottom bracket: One modeled with the two tubes meeting at a cylinder and being welded to the cylinder and another with both tubes meeting and being directly welded to each other with a hole drilled in the middle for the bottom bracket. Both designs were brought to Charles and the direct tube welding design was chosen. FEA was performed on the model.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
Team GEM commenced their busy build season at the Hill Center. The BMS, battery drawer material, drawer slide, heater, defogger, and electrical cables came in. To allow the battery drawer to slide out, a rectangular section of the rear bumper was cut out. Team GEM tested the vehicle lift and will be able to use it for future work. Work will be expeditious, anticipating the arrival of the batteries about the first week of March. Optimistically, part of the tray for the lead acid batteries will be removed, the electrical system will be prepared, and the battery drawer will be installed before the batteries arrive but there are bound to be unforeseen issues

Altec Well-to-Wheel
Testing for automated DAQ scheduled for this Saturday. Michael picked up additional instrumentation from Mr. Kiewig to prepare for testing. Jordan picked key up for EcoHawks facility from Dr. Depcik and all additional testing equipment is already in the center. Pictures from testing on Saturday to be included in next week's update. For documentation, five slides from each person has been completed for peer reviewing and editing from Alejandro with a due date of Feb. 28.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
This week the team collected all of their remaining materials for the final house design. With the material collected, the team can finish the construction by the end of this weekend. This week the team determined the structure of their program. A general overview of the structure is as follows. The team will design a user interface allowing users to create an energy profile for each house. This profile will consist of a variety of energy consumption settings such as; temperature schedule, general electric consumption(motor proxy) and connection to smart community(toggle). With these inputs determined, the team has begun designing the thermocouple input VI. When this VI is complete, the next step will be to use it to control the proxy HVAC system installed in the models.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
Constantine and Stephen started the week off meeting up and working on the heat transfer analysis. They reached a point where they needed more clarification and so they talked to Dr. Depcik in the weekly meeting and have formulated a new strategy to complete the analysis. The team trekked out to Studio 804 on Wednesday to help the architecture students finish gutting the trailer by removing the mechanical systems which included the furnace, water heater, power converter and air conditioner. With all of these removed, the trailer is now fully gutted and the design of the interior can commence.

Urban Concept
The team started off the week by continuing work on the skeleton. Latches were purchased and welded to the frame for what will eventually be the rear hatch. The frame was grinded and nearly all of the rust removed from the UCV. This improved the vehicle aesthetically as well as preparing the frame for welding. The rear brake caliper bracket material was purchased and cut to size. A magnetic framing square was used to hold the bracket in the proper location and spot welded. After the location was ensured correct, the brackets were welded down and the calipers mounted. The discs were then center aligned in the calipers. The turning radius was hindered by contact with the steering column. The brackets on the steering column were extended and the tie rods resized. The initial cut on the tie rods were too long, and rain ceased our progress on the task. The brakes were also tested for functionality. The master cylinder for the rear brakes use plastic caps with a rubber seal. One cap was broken and the other stripped, so pressure is unable to build in the master cylinder. Replacements will need to be purchased/installed. The front brakes have a leaky line. A grad student told us about a local brake shop that may be able to cut the line down to size for us.

NREL Wind Turbine
Evan spoke with Dr. Allen on Tuesday about the need to design an active control system for the wind turbine. Dr. Allen told him that the team should be able to accomplish this by selecting/designing a DC-DC buck converter that can be controlled to correct to a maximum power point relationship with a micro-controller. On Wednesday Evan had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Wetzel to discuss this update. Dr. Wetzel suggested that it might be a good idea to attempt to design a fixed-speed turbine electric system first, to ensure that we can take something to competition that will certainly function. After that, modifications and attempts can be made at optimizing performance for variable speeds through the design of a control system. Michael spoke with Kansas Manufacturing, who agreed to machine the gearbox plates, possibly at a reduced hourly charge. Andrew continues to work on emergency brake actuation, identifying possible ways of mounting the brake lever. The team hopes to finish the gearbox next week in time for the arrival of the new rotor. The new pieces can then be tested again the wind tunnel.

Biomass Pellet Burner
This week, testing was performed on the control system and programming. The tests did not proceed as planned and gave results that were clearly not proper models for actual behavior. The results did show that the reaction of the control was qualitatively correct, but the testing setup was flawed in a way that did not allow truly indicative results to be obtained. A different testing procedure has been proposed and is to be implemented soon. The plenum materials were inspected and seemed to be acceptable, save for an incorrectly-dimensioned base that requires new bolt holes to be drilled for security. The manufacturer of the fused silica tube was contacted and said that if we needed them to machine holes in the tube, there would be a seven week lead time. Since that is an unacceptably large lead time, we are currently in deliberations to attempt to get it much sooner. Other options include local businesses, but we have been informed that at least some of them do not take liability for broken products.



February 14, 2014
Electric Bike
The team has made paper cut outs marking where the aluminum tubing will need to be cut for the necessary angles of the frame. The tubes have been cut to the decided lengths. Practice angles have been cut into the spare metal for later welding practice. A bottom bracket shell was ordered and when the argon gas arrives the team will be ready to start welding.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
With the exception of the battery pack materials and fasteners, all materials have been ordered. Battery pack materials will be ordered posthaste. The majority of the parts should be arriving soon so vehicle deconstruction and reconstruction will recommence. Team GEM has also finished the abstract for the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress. Once the GEM is in working order, the information from the KU accounting department can be supplied.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
The focus for the week was the cost analysis calculator. As testing with automated DAQ begins we will need to begin construction of the file. The group met on Friday to discuss necessary information to be added or removed, necessary information from Altec, and a rough timeline for its creation. Testing should begin once area is clear of snow as it could be dangerous to work with snow on the ground. Group will visit the EcoHawks facility to evaluate the situation and move along as much as possible.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
Last week the team discovered that their original house design was too large for the heating and cooling proxies to induce a temperature change. In order to solve this problem, the team scaled the model down to where the dimensions would now be 8 X 8 X 8 in. In addition to scaling the house down, the team decided to construct the house out of smoother, moisture resistant plywood. This material will allow a closer fit for the walls of the house, minimizing the heat loss to the environment. The team began using National Instruments’ student database for training in LabVIEW. The tutorials given were an excellent help in learning about the specific syntax LabVIEW operates by. This weekend the team plans to meet and map out the goals that the final program will aspire to. With these goals established, the team will be able to begin programming as much as possible before their data acquisition board(MyRIO) arrives early March. Also, the team will be constructing both model homes next week and performing heating and cooling tests on each.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
Following our team’s weekly meeting with Dr. Depcik, the team traveled out to Studio 804 to meet up with the students from the School of Architecture and Design. Dr. Gore introduced us to the students and gave them a brief overview of what we were working on last semester. There are approximately 20 students who we will be working alongside for this semester. They are beginning the design work this coming week so we are going to be making weekly trips to Studio 804 to help them wherever possible. Along with meeting the other students, the team has been working to finalize their heat transfer calculations. They are expecting to have results from this analysis by this Sunday.

Urban Concept Vehicle
The UCV team had a productive week. We started out by shoveling the snow in the work area. Tyler and Cory then picked up the materials for the skeleton and front axle from the UPS hub in Lawrence. On Wednesday, the team cut the aluminum for the front axle, and drilled the frame to bolt the axle to the frame. The knuckle that was purchased to replace the previous design did not prove to be usable. There was no place to mount the bracket for the brake calipers, so we reused the previous design. After that the wheels were mounted. The axle was cut to reduce the wheelbase to be inline with the frame to be helpful in mounting the skeleton and to reduce weight by using less material for the axle. In doing so, the length of the tie rods to the steering column has changed, so the team will need to find the correct length to reattach. The skeleton was started on the rear of the body. The team met and discussed what possible techniques could be used to access the engine compartment for both repairs and during inspection. We will attempt to make a hatch that covers the entire engine bay. The team was finally able to weigh the vehicle and were hoping to place somewhere in the 420 lb range to have a chance at making weight for the competition. As seen in the picture posted on Facebook, we trimmed the weight of the UCV down to 394 lbs. That is nearly 60 lbs lost!

NREL Wind Turbine
This week the team finished CAD drawings for the new gearbox, and determined methods of press-fitting bearings and constraining the rotor shaft. Evan also had the opportunity to meet with the Aerospace students and Dr. Wetzel, and got some feedback on the electrical system, and how to go about designing it. Dr. Wetzel gave us an idea of how we can collect data on the final rotor and drive train to design a control system that will help the turbine optimize its power output. Andrew spent Friday afternoon working on the brake actuation in the machine shop. He determined that the method should be feasible, but will require some modification and re-engineering. The team hopes to start gearbox construction next week while continuing with brake actuation modification.

Biomass Pellet Burner
This week, the controller for the air intake system was programmed. The program was sent to a graduate student with experience in LabVIEW to ensure the program would work as expected and that the failsafe measures in place would function properly. If the program is approved, preliminary testing and tuning may begin early next week. A machinability test was also performed on Friday afternoon to make sure the fused silica would be easily machined. The results made the team apprehensive, and other avenues are currently being researched with haste to attempt to find an alternate, safer solution. It may be the case that the original plan will be followed and run the risk of damaging the fused silica tube. The pieces for the plenum were also received Friday afternoon, so assembly may begin shortly.



February 7, 2014
Altec Well-to-Wheel
Work has begun on the calibration of the groups load cell to begin testing. Last Friday the group met at the EcoHawks facility to begin calibration but day was mostly spent troubleshooting as our signal seemed to be very small. Michael through the week fined tuned the process and we are closer to testing as soon as possible. In the meantime, Jordan and Alejandro will be working on the cost-analysis calculator by beginning to set up what exactly will be displayed and work on ways to calculate and display the necessary information. Goals for the following week are to ensure calibration is correct in order to begin testing and to set up a structure for the cost analysis calculator.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
Team GEM has been shipped the entirety of the Orion Battery Management Kit from Evolve Electrics which is currently staying with Jeff Severin for us to retrieve. Team GEM has also sent our request for the purchase of the battery drawer materials and the aluminum angles. In the meantime, fasteners need to be decided upon, though ultimately, space restraints will be the deciding factor. The abstract for ASME 2014 IMECE has been written.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
To start off the week, the team began with testing their heating and cooling proxies in the model house. It was found that the heating and cooling devices were not powerful enough to overcome the effects of heat loss for the house. At this time the team decided to reduce the size of the model house. Reducing the scale to about an eighth of the original model caused the heating and cooling sources to be effective. In addition to having a working HVAC proxy, the physical model of the project will become smaller and easier to display. The next step for the team is to build these new models with highly insulated material and continue working on the LabVIEW programming for the Smart Community. Below are pictures of the work conducted this week. Original temperature test(far left). Temperature test with new scale(middle+right). Note: the testing model shown in the middle and right images was for testing only. The actual model will be built with a different material.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The team had their first meeting with Dr. D this week. They discussed how they will stay in contact with the students working from the School of Architecture and Design. Starting next week, the team will be going out to Studio 804 to introduce themselves and present the work that they have already accomplished. This past week Constantine began putting together an excel file for the heat transfer analysis that will help the team to effectively size the A/C unit and furnace. This file will take into account different types of insulation, as well as, different environmental conditions. Matt was working to add a few components to the teams excel file that compares the units selected by the team and also working to fix slight formatting issues. He was adding a couple of items that Dr. Gore and Dr. Criss had suggested, such as the Apple TV unit. Stephen was working on finding a suitable generator to supply the trailer the 5000 Watts that the team calculated it will require. The team is making good progress towards their finished Airstream MoCoLab.

Urban Concept Team
The UCV team spent much of the week researching to prepare for the coming week. The weather affected much of the work the team had planned for the week. Also, the team is still awaiting materials for the body and front axle, argon for welding, and the knuckle for the front wheel assembly. The parts are all expected to be in at the beginning of the week so that construction can resume.

NREL Wind Turbine
For the last week the team has focused on re-designing the gearbox to reduce cost, weight, and inertia, while maintaining strength. Evan modified the CAD files to accommodate for a 5 mm diameter shaft and ball bearings that could be press fit into the gearbox plates. He also ran calculations on the shaft and bearings to ensure they would be sufficient to support the power being transferred. On Monday Evan met with Julian and James of the AE team to talk to Wes Ellison, the AE Lab Director, about the electrical characteristics of the project. Wes was in agreement with Dr. Allen on the methodology for achieving the desired voltage regulation, and provided some advice on selecting the hardware. Gearbox parts were ordered on Thursday; hopefully they will arrive next week, and the team can complete the second gearbox in time for testing with the new rotor.



January 31, 2014
Altec Well-to-Wheel
With the semester starting back up, the Altec team is pushing to begin work on the automated data acquisition system. Generator and all sensors have been moved into the EcoHawks facility and as of Thursday the 30th we have received all of our parts to begin putting together the system. Today will be our first day in which work begins. Goal for the following week is to have the data acquisition system running to begin calibrating and troubleshooting.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
The first matter of importance to address is that the team received news informing them that the device they will be using to run their created control system program (NI MyRIO) will not arrive until the end of February. However, the team plans to counter that in the following ways. First, the team will finish the construction of the second house, complete with the installation of all heating and cooling items. Upon completion, both houses will be fully wired and manually tested to ensure all components are functioning. At the same time the house construction is finalized, the team will be actively working on their program to ensure that they fully understand the goals they need to accomplish in LabVIEW by March 1st. As soon as the MyRIO arrives, it will be a matter of applying LabVIEW principals learned in the upcoming month to model we have created. Next week the team will have finalized their algorithm for the first stage of the program allowing users to have temperature control over the first house. In addition to the algorithm, the team plans to run a manual temperature test for the heating and cooling devices this weekend.

Electric Bike
The group met at the Hill Center twice to practice welding together steel. The ends of the aluminum tubing that will be used for the bike frame were sawed off. The battery casing was taken apart. The group also talked to Charles about how to go about cutting our aluminum tube.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The team started off the semester by contacting their sponsors to make sure that the project got going in the right direction. Dr. Gore informed the team that the design students will begin their work the week of February 10th. The team is going to attempt to make it out to the trailer as much as possible once the design students have started their work. We also got together on January 31 to begin the energy analysis on the trailer. The team began summing all of the energy demands for the different components to allow for proper sizing of the generator. We hope to have a successful semester and feel like we got a good jump on things.

NREL Wind Turbine
With the AE designed rotor now complete, the team started the semester off strong by testing the combined aero and mechanical components in the wind tunnel. Results indicated that there are simple yet crucial design changes that both teams can make that should dramatically improve performance. Evan worked with an electrical engineering student to better characterize the generator output, which has enabled the team to identify a potential way of addressing voltage regulation. In the coming weeks, Andrew will focus on modifying and finishing the emergency brake, and Evan and Michael will work to get a lighter, less-expensive, yet still robust gearbox produced as soon as possible. The team intends to use a pinion and arbor salvaged from a purchased gearbox, selecting a shaft and steel spur gear that will fit these, and re-designing the gearbox plates to accommodate changes in geometry. Once this gearbox is complete and the new AE designed rotor is complete, the team will again test the entire apparatus in the wind tunnel.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
To overcome the setback of the original batteries not being in stock, Team GEM has determined to pursue Electric Car Parts Company as our battery supplier. Team GEM has also recently requested the 32” drawer slide from Ovis. The battery drawer materials and support will be purchased before proceeding to the battery pack materials, which require more precision.

Urban Concept Vehicle
The UCV team started out the week cutting excess support beams from the frame. All cuts were then grinding/sanded to smooth the surface. The team practiced welding on chromolly to get better accustomed to the technique. Canopies were hung at the Hill Center to protect the workbench and welding table from the elements. The rear axle was poorly aligned by the previous year's team, so pieces of chromolly were cut to create a new mounting surface. The rear brake brackets were cut from the frame using a cutting torch so that the chromolly plates could be mounted. The chromolly pieces were welded over the original bolting location. The rear axle was then carefully measured to insure proper alignment, and chain tension was gained by wrapping a strap from the axle and around the frame alleviate slack. Once everything was lined up, bolting holes were drilled. The rear axle was then mounted and the rear wheel assembly was put on after. Lasty the wheels were applied. The team then set to wire the electric starter. There was no documentation, so resistance was taken from each terminal to figure which was the ground/positive terminal. Once properly wired, the engine turned but the battery had insufficient charge to start. The team then got all of the electrical components functioning properly. The latter part of the week was dedicated to completed all of the technical documentation required for Phase II of the Shell Eco-Marathon registration. Submission has been completed and the team will wait to hear from a Shell representative as to whether the current design is acceptable.



December 9, 2013
NREL Wind Turbine
Last week the team worked diligently to construct the gearbox and brake system as designed. On Monday, Evan took the rear plate of the gearbox to the machine shop, where Charles Gabel modified it to accommodate the new bearing. Evan and Andrew spent Wednesday morning fabricating brackets to mount the disc brake caliper and master cylinder to the base plate. Evan also identified where to best place the holes for these mounts using Autodesk Inventor. On Saturday, Evan and Andrew drilled these holes in a piece of plywood, assembled the system, and tested the brake. It functions, though the team needs to bleed more air out of the system. Michael spent the week considering ways of mounting the brake cable to the brake lever. The team will spend the next week assembling the system onto the actual aluminum base plate, testing the system, and finishing the final report.

Biomass Pellet Burner
Over the past two weeks, all of the design decisions have been finalized until construction begins. Many of the major components have been ordered and are beginning to arrive, and construction is due to begin over the winter holiday. If all goes well, the burner will be built and ready for testing once the holiday is over. Currently, Bob is in contact with a metal fab shop, giving them the plans for building the plenum and has ordered samples of the combustion tube material for testing. The air supply components have arrived, and are to be attached in the coming days. In addition, the output module has arrived, meaning programming can begin soon, and the flow controller is to arrive in about a week.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
A couple weeks ago Matt and Stephen met with Dr. Criss, Dr. Gore and Dr. Depcik to cover the decisions that they had made up to this point in the project. They presented the research book to the sponsors and received feedback about the choices that the team had made. The sponsors requested that the team put together an excel file that summarizes our decision making process. Each team member will be responsible for filling in the table with the components that they have been researching. Before the meeting with the sponsors, Constantine met with Jeff of Jeff's Audio Video to receive his input on the components that the team has selected. Jeff and Constantine prepared a rough budget that the team can refer back to. Moving forward the team is working to complete the proposal and the excel file by the end of this week and will give their presentation on Thursday next week.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
The team is making final revisions to the final report and our presentation. Our focus is to complete the final report that will accurately detail the progress made this semester. We have approximately 65 percent of the paper done. The team will continually meet until the paper is complete. We will not settle for anything less but perfection, even if it demands 24 hour work days. Once the final report is done, we will refocus on perfecting the presentation in 2 weeks. The team has an outline that has continually been revised by Depcik. We will make the finishing touches as soon as the report is done.

Electric Bike
The team redesigned where the batteries would be located and decided the batteries could rest above the wheel on a rear rack. TCCP donated the rear rack that will be used to hold the batteries. To encompass this change and create more stability a rear triangle was added to the design. TCCP donated a bike frame as well that the team will get the rear triangle from (see below). The group made some changes to the seat height and is deciding on how to lift the handle bars. Other than that the group has been working on editing the proposal.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
Focus on the week was to add finishing touches to final presentation and the continue work on final proposal paper. Proposal was worked on from when it was returned but more work is necessary. Paper was divided in thirds with each member handling one part that they are required to take to writer's workshop for additional revision after changes have been made. Final presentation has been scheduled for Friday December 20th at 10:30 AM and arrangements are being made by Jordan Powell to have the presentation streamed to Altec. Presentation practice is scheduled for this coming weekend to prepare for Friday.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
The overwhelming majority of the design work has been completed. The exceptions are the connections between battery pack and the battery drawer as well as how the cables will be connected to the batteries with the interference of the drawer cover. These, and a locking mechanism for the drawer, can be easily integrated after construction and assembly. Ideas have already been formulated but it is best to remain open at this time. Team GEM would like to thank Jeff Severin and the KU Center for Sustainability; our batteries and their accessories have been ordered. Team GEM will be ready to order the rest of our larger components soon.

Urban Concept Vehicle
Urban Concept Vehicle Update: The team ordered the Aluminum 6063 T-52 from HME in Topeka, KS. With the design that the team has come up with, it was decided that 120 feet would be a sufficient amount to build the vehicle. Team members Cory and Tyler went to pick up the aluminum and brought it back to the Hill Center to be stored until the team begins the building process. The team also decided on a material and design for the skeleton that will hold up the body on the vehicle. This design will involve having the front of the vehicle to resemble a truck in order to fit the Shell Eco-Marathon rule of having the axles covered. The team will begin to construct the skeleton and the frame during the time off from school for winter break.


November 25, 2013

Electric Bike
Payden figured out a battery design that would work with the motors. Ricky has started to build the rear rack in SolidWorks as well as looking into new designs for the current drawing. The team finished slides for the second research book and the bike pump was received from Planet Bike.

Urban Concept Vehicle
The UCV team are awaiting arrival of ordered materials to move forward in the construction process of both the competition and design UCV. The knuckle with 5/8” axle has been narrowed to 2 parts, and more research is being done to make sure that the selection is ideal. The previous knuckle did not have the depth necessary to mount the 2x2 inch square tubing at a practical location. Both of the selected parts allow for a stable mounting location, but offer a difference in the height of the knuckle. A knuckle with a greater height will allow for more versatility in manipulating the height of the vehicle by using spacers to set the height of the front wheel. Information about the weight and material of each knuckle are necessary before a final decision can be made. Both retailers have been contacted and awaiting response. FEA analysis was attempted on the design frame, but issues did not allow the design to be properly analyzed. The team is attempting alternate routes in designing the frame in CAD software that will agree with the FEA software.

Black & Veatch Smart Communities
The team found an equivalent replacement for the DAQ board and relay switch module. The replacement will be a compact MyRIO with a relay switch extension. The team chose to pursue this route because the cost of the two devices will be less than that of a DAQ board and relay switch module. In addition the team has completed their assign research slide. We are working to finalize the final report and have started to create small programs in LabVIEW. The team did not complete the attachment of the Plexiglas because it was not purchased. By the week we will have an order put in for the Plexiglas, MyRIO, and relay switch extension.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
Using the dimensions of the underside of the vehicle, Team GEM has decided to go with 32 inch sliders. Hettich provides sliders with ¾ inch width, slimmer than the competitors that have been reviewed thus far. Based on the space left with the addition of sliders, the battery drawer was designed. The drawer design is currently 32” x 14.5” x 12” with 1/8” wall thickness. A preliminary battery pack design was also created from which the team will sample different connection techniques. The recent changes will be featured in the current research book.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
The week was spent mostly on the necessary work. A guide to using ANL GREET in order to attain the necessary emission values for the updated cost analysis calculator was updated to be more concise. The group is also preparing to update Mike Moore and Mark Greer at Altec with the progress of the semester and where we will be taking this project for the next semester. Work on the research book was also done this weekend, with work on the structure being done today and tomorrow. All testing for the semester has been completed, and the group is moving towards setting everything up to creating the automated data acquisition system. Team member Mike Wickersheim is headlining the automated aspect and filled the team in about precautions and hurdles we will face next semester as we begin to put it all together.

NREL Wind Turbine
The NREL Wind Turbine Team spent most of last week modifying the gearbox design. Charles Gabel assisted the team in welding one of the shaft collars to the spur gear, thus creating a permanent way for the gear to be mounted to the shaft. He also recommended consulting Industrial Bearing and Transfer for bearings. Andrew and Evan visited IBT, but they did not carry small flange-mounted bearings. They DO carry a variety of un-mounted bearings, so if the team decides to press fit a ball bearing, they can purchase that bearing from IBT. However, Evan found a flange-mounted bearing on McMaster that should be small enough to fit with the other gearbox components. On Monday when the network was up again, he drew up the modified gearbox in CAD to verify that everything would fit. The hydraulic brake kit came in, and it looks like it has much potential to be modified to work as an emergency stop brake for the wind turbine. The team hopes to determine those modifications and order any other necessary parts before Thanksgiving break, so that after break the team can immediately start building.

Biomass Pellet Burner
This week, many decisions were finalized. The air intake system’s design was completely determined and purchase orders were written up and signed. Fortunately, everything except for the flow controller and output module that was needed could be made with relatively inexpensive parts that are readily available. Unfortunately, due to unexpected network issues, parts have yet to be ordered. Time was spent researching more into thermocouples, thermocouple wells, and ordering fused quartz samples, and these decisions will be made shortly. The plenum design was completely finalized and a decision was made to seal the plate flange to the top of the plenum with silicon caulk in addition to bolts to keep an airtight seal, but be able to remove it in the event that became necessary.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The team has been working on writing their second edition of the research book. The different slides were divided up. Some of the new components being looked into come from input received at the meeting held a couple weeks ago. These include a weather station, recording equipment and Microsoft Surface tablets. The team has worked to find suitable components to fill the needs of the professors who will be using the MoCoLab. Constantine met again with the audio visual expert and they have come up with a budget for the interior and exterior audio visual system. The team is getting very close to being able to purchase some of the components and is planning on meeting with all of their advisors to go over some of the decisions they have made within the next week.



November 24, 2013
A couple of the JimmE-V members created a small video illustrating how to test the cell boards on the vehicle. See below for how it is done!



November 18, 2013

Electric Bike
Design for the battery rack has been started. A date was arranged to pick up cables, cable housing and bike tubes from Bike America. A Sponsorship was worked out with E-Bike Kit and a bike pump was found that will be able to be donated.

Black and Veatch Smart Communities
The team continues to make progress this week. We found a suitable solution to attach the Plexiglas to the top of the prototype house. The team will use a hot nail and continually apply pressure to an area to melt a hole. This will prevent the cracking of the Plexiglas opposed to screwing in a nail. The next task the team will focus on will be to confirm all future devices will compatible with the initial set up. We will first verify that the devices the team wants to purchase will work with a secondary adviser. After the conformation is made the team will put in the order to purchase the devices. In addition the team is working to finalize all future materials so we may transition to the next semester with no down time.

Urban Concept Vehicle
The UCV team spent the week finalizing material decisions and getting things in line to order all parts before Thanksgiving break. The team had decided on T6-6061 aluminum, but Cory contacted a sponsor and was offered a free material 6063 T-52. The 6063 is about half the strength of 6061, but for a maximum vehicle weight of 650 lbs, with the driver, it should be more than suitable. After speaking with Dr. D it was decided to move forward with the 6063. With such a light-weight material, additional members may be added to compensate for weak areas in the frame design with minimal weight gain. The team also decided on the material for the front axle. A square aluminum tube of dimensions 2x2x1/8” will be used and bolted to the existing frame. Aluminum was the material of choice because of the weight benefits over steel and chromoly. A change in the material restricts the use of welding, so drilling through the material and the frame and mounting with a bolt should be a sufficient alternative. The team has narrowed the knuckle selection for the front wheel assembly, and will be going to the Hill Center the following week to use visual inspection to ensure optimal part selection. It should be noted that the plan for the UCV team is to replace the knuckle on the competition UCV, but to reuse the current part for the design UCV. There was no problem with functionality of the setup, but had to be rethought for weight purposes and simplicity with mounting to the new front axle. With all materials and major components selected, the team is staying on pace to finish the vehicle with a enough time to do extensive testing. The team also plans to construct the canopies at the Hill Center next week, as materials have been selected and soon to be ordered.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
The wires running between the batteries and the motor, for the past system, have been labeled and measured so that the current gauges and lengths can be deduced. If the GEM is to carry lead acid batteries in the future design, the size of the batteries requires that two of the batteries remain in the initial space designed for them while the other four will rest on the tray. The batteries that are intended for the GEM are to be purchased this week, and after some deliberation on details of the battery pack and the tray, those materials should soon follow suit. Below is an illustration of the enclosed cargo carrier on the vehicle and the relevant structures that will be in direct contact with, or otherwise immediately affecting the slides and the battery pack tray dimensions.

Biomass Pellet Burner
This week, the group discussed the physical connection of the air intake to the plenum, especially considering the desire for the flow controller to be detachable in the event that it needs to be removed for transport or some other reason. The current proposed methods are a hard line from the flow controller featuring a union or a quick disconnect joint between the flow controller and the plenum. Until modeling is done and the effects may be more clearly seen, the most favored idea seems to be the first method. Group members have also started making models to put together to show how everything comes together. I checked out the combustion lab and found out there is already an air line dryer connected to a pressure regulator set at 80 psi. Some calculations show that this pressure change will not affect the functionality of the design. Bob also worked more on thermocouple selection and finding out how to set up the glow plug.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The team met with some of the professors who will be using the completed MoCoLab on Thursday. The team was able to talk to these professors and showed them the current design for the lab. A questionnaire was handed out and the team is still waiting on some of them to come back. There were three suggestions that the team has decided to add to their design. A few attendants at the meeting had mentioned that they would like to see a recording station inside to allow for the users to record interviews. Another new idea was to include some sort of tablet computer to allow for data to be collected. Moving forward with these suggestions, the team has divided up the new items and is researching the ideal component for their needs. The team also began some physical work on the trailer over the weekend. They began by working at the back end of the trailer trying to remove the septic system in the back. The items in the rear of the trailer have been removed allowing for access to the septic system. The a/c system is also going to be removed from the trailer to allow the team easy access while looking for a solution to repair the problem.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
For the week, the team gathered the results from the two tests that have been completed and turned them into digital copies for better usage. The weekly meeting with Dr. Depcik was cancelled but we were instructed to have the results ready to present in this weeks meeting along with a write-up and GREET emission data. This will be completed by the time of the next meeting and will have taken advantage of information from Bryan Strecker's research paper on emissions. More fuel types will be burned and data update as the week progresses. A meeting with Mike Moore at Altec has been arranged for Wednesday November 27th at 1:00 PM.

NREL Wind Turbine
On Thursday of last week Michael attempted to machine plates for the gearbox. However, his drill press broke, so in the interest of time he took the sheet metal and drawings to a machine shop that volunteered to donate machining for the plates. Andrew researched methods for mounting a brake disc onto the rotor shaft, and found a hub with a setscrew that could be bolted onto the brake disc, and attached to the shaft with the setscrew. On Monday, Michael delivered the machined plates to Evan, who assembled the gearbox. The gearbox works, but requires a second bearing to maintain good tooth contact. In addition, the use of shaft collars to hold the gear to the plate has proven less than completely reliable. The team will spend the next few days figuring out how to mount a second bearing in the tight space provided, and how to most easily and cost-effectively permanently mount the gear to the shaft.



November 11, 2013

Black and Veatch Smart Communities
The team has reached a major mile stone this week. We have completed the construction and testing of each electrical component. Each device has been proven to work with the battery pack and the power supply. We also constructed an initial electrical circuit where we manual turned on each device. The next step will be to incorporate the relay module so the team may use LabVIEW to control each device. Currently the team is in the process of purchasing the relay module and is expected to receive the device in one to two weeks. While the team waits for the relay module, we will begin working with LabVIEW. Below are pictures to illustrate the progress achieved with the construction of the prototype.

Electric Bike
Payden got the GEM program to work for us. Ricky got a new wheel from TCCP. The group met to make a model of the bike in Solidworks and Ricky put the model together. Ben edited the Proposal. Payden talked with E-bike Kit about a sponsorship.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
After the first test procedure last week, the team met to discuss a new setup method to gather data from the generator. The method brought up by Mike involved taking volumetric readings from a clear tube that would measured beforehand. Through calculations the group would find mass flow rate and take the energy readings from the Kill-A-Watt sensor. At the weekly meeting with Dr. Depcik it was brought up that it would be ideal to utilize the original gas tank and weigh out a specific mass and take periodic readings to get mass flow rate information. This is the method used for the two days of testing that occurred during the week. On Friday evening the group met to conduct the first series of tests with the new setup. Experiment ran smoothly but only for a short period due to working in a residential area. Sufficient results were gathered but another meeting would take place on Sunday afternoon for longer tests. Sunday, Mike and Jordan met to conduct the longer test and received similar results. For now, the group will go through Bryan Strecker's paper on GREET and take the gathered data and run it through GREET to receive well-to-pump and pump-to-wheel emissions. More tests will conducted at different loads and with different fuels and eventually the calculator will begin to be created. Below is a picture of updated setup.

Biomass Pellet Burner
This week saw many small advancements. Brian confirmed that the design of the plenum is, in fact, quite safe and currently seems to need no further revision. Bob finished selection of thermocouples, and is looking into sheaths. He is also considering which thermocouples need sheaths, as there is the possibility that the ones further from the combustion front will never see temperatures significant enough to damage them. I looked at the pinout diagrams for the flow controller and made sure to know exactly how every wire would be connected and exactly which adapter to use. Bob and I also started to work on the data acquisition program and briefly discussed the possibility of signal noise reduction. We decided it would be a good idea, but we don’t immediately know how to do that and we don’t even know if our signals will show a lot of noise to begin with, so it is a secondary priority unless something compels us to believe it is necessary for reliable data.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
This week the team is going to go to the meeting with the professors who will be using the MoCoLab when it is completed. Because of this, the team has been working to make sure that the handout is complete and reflects the information that the team would like to communicate to the attending professors. The team met up on Sunday evening to start to combine all of the different parts of the handout, as well as, to review the other sections of the handout and provide revisions to clarify different points. The team is going to meet with Dr. D on Wednesday to get final approval for the handout.

NREL Wind Turbine
The NREL Wind Turbine team met with AE students on Wednesday to present the gearbox design and research on brakes and voltage regulation. The AE students also presented on their rotor and nacelle design, and everyone received feedback from Dr. Wetzel, Katrina, and Dr. Hale. We received specifications on the RC car disc brake set, but found that the disc diameter for these brakes is too large for the AE designed nacelle. Andrew continues to research RC car brake sets that meet requirements of size and low cost, while also looking into other options. These include the possibility machining a brake disc to accompany purchased calipers, or simply using an off-the shelf bicycle brake. Evan researched possibilities for replicating the power sink that NREL has specified will be used for the competition, and Michael continued with gearbox machining.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
Further progress on the designs of the tray and battery pack are contingent upon the ability of the eighth inch C-Beams to support the full load of the tray, batteries, and battery pack if applicable as well as the sixteen inch width available between the C-Beams. In our meeting with Dr. Depcik, Team GEM discussed using Rhino Liner to coat the tray to avoid conductance through the tray but other plastic coating may also be used. The battery packs may be made of acrylic or other strong transparent plastic to mitigate conductance. Team GEM is brainstorming methods of assembling the package in a way that is secure, adaptable, and easy to handle. Concomitantly, the electrical connections are being planned and work will be done on labeling, removing, and organizing the current wiring of the vehicle so it can be replaced.

Urban Concept
Cory completed the preliminary CAD drawings for the UCV frame. The design was verified by Dr. D, but a light-weight material would be necessary. The team made a design decision to use 6061 aluminum for the frame of the UCV. After speaking with Dr. D, he offered support of the idea and delivered the team with supplemental documents to aide in proper material selection. The document confirmed the team chose the correct metal and are making plans to purchase materials. Alex helped present our case for FAC funding and feels there is a good chance that financial support, for materials, may be given to the UCV team. The team continues to try and find ways to cut weight from the competition UCV, and have focused on the wheel hub assembly. Square tubing will be used for the front axle and a complimentary knuckle is necessary to attach the wheel assembly to the steering/axle. Dr. D met the team at the Hill Center and went over the wheel assembly and offered his advice. The team decided against manufacturing our own knuckle as the cost of purchasing is low. The low cost does not make the time necessary for production practical. It was found that the program does not currently have a TIG welder, but Cory thought he may have a cheap solution. Regardless, Dr. D insisted that we stick with aluminum for the frame. The team will continue destruction of the competition UCV with every decision focused on shedding weight. FEA analysis and sketches for the body support are next on the agenda.



November 6, 2013
The President of General Motors, Mark Reuss, visited the Hill Center and got a test drive in the JimmE-V. Read more about his visit here.
Mark Reuss going for a ride
General Motors President Mark Reuss getting ready for a ride in the all electric JimmE-V



November 4, 2013

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The team has an event to attend on 11/14/2013. The purpose of the event is to allow the professors who will be using the Mobile Col-Laboratory a chance to offer their feedback into what they would like out of the MoCoLab. The team will use this event as a chance to get some feedback on what they intend to do with the Airstream. Dr. D met with the team and they discussed possible handouts to present to the attendees. The handout consists of sketches explaining the layout of the trailer and a components list describing all of the features of the various components. The team also put together a questionnaire to distribute to get specific feedback from the attendees. This handout along with the final presentation has been the team's main focus for the past week. Matt and Stephen have both been working on the sketches and Constantine has been brainstorming questions for the questionnaire. The team will finish compiling the handout this week and will seek final approval from Dr. D at the meeting.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
From our meeting with Dr. Depcik, Team GEM now has a better idea of how to construct the presentation and on what the slides should focus. Changes will be made to present a broader picture and show how the project with benefit the customer. The team has also received discounts on batteries, bus bars, battery management systems, and charging cables. More potential sponsors will be added soon. The subsequent group focus is on the design and materials required for the tray and battery pack designs. Tray insulation has been researched but it is not yet clear if the best choice is to go with plastic or metal.

Biomass Pellet Burner
In this past week, diesel glow plugs were obtained as a donation from Volkswagen. We are currently attempting to make sure we have a good plan for safely grounding and supplying power to the glow plugs. Also, we are trying to get samples of the fused silica to give Charles some practice machining the material and ensure the material does not lose too much transparency during heating. We have also contacted the manufacturer to see if we could get some sort of discount. In addition to this, a mass flow controller has been selected. It is to be an Alicat MCR 500 SLPM with high accuracy calibration. This gives us the best possible accuracy across all foreseeable flow ranges with a small enough price increase to be justifiable. The cost of the controller and power source (with 5% education discount) will be $2285. An output module was also selected. It will be an NI-9265 0-20 mA output module and will cost $402 (before any discounts we may or may not get) with necessary safety accessories.

NREL Wind Turbine
The NREL Wind Turbine team met with AE students to discuss emergency brake options for the wind turbine. It was decided that the AE students would look into the possibility of furling the rotor out of the wind, and ME students would look into mechanical brake options. Andrew worked on researching disc brakes that fit the scale of the wind turbine. With the help of Dr. D, a disc brake set for a mini Baja RC car was discovered. Additional information still needs to be found on the brake set but at this point it looks like it should work ideally with the design. Michael reviewed milling machine use in preparation for machining parts for the gearbox. Evan worked with the AE testing team to further characterize the generator power curve. The team hopes to complete gearbox machining and order parts for the mechanical brake and voltage regulation soon.

Urban Concept Vehicle
The UCV team dedicated the week to finding possible materials to use for body support. The team bounced around ideas of using a light-weight metal (such as aluminum) or a solid-plastic square tubing. Problems with using aluminum when welding two different materials together, and deciding on whether the appropriated time to do so would be worth the effort would need to be decided prior to committing to the design choice. With the plastic tubing, mounting was the biggest hurdle. While meeting with Dr. D, he suggested using a combination of plastic and metal. The metal would be used for mounting points that the plastic would be bolted to. This seems sound and would still offer the benefit of saving weight over using strictly metal support. The team also narrowed the options for the Chromoly square tubing for the design UCV. Cory designed the preliminary sketches for the design frame and CAD drawings are to follow with FEA analysis. Due to poor weather, the team was not able to complete some of the construction to the competition UCV. The team will go out next week and continue removing/changing the frame to save weight. The entire team attended the Hill center to assist in touring the 7th graders around the facility and educating them on some of the projects. Also, Alex went to the Hill Center to receive delivery of the pipe bender.

Electric Bike
The team started to make edits on the midterm proposal and added more information to the presentation. The GEM program was looked at more but some problems arose that will be later discussed with Jake Meeth. Payden and Ricky went to the Hill Center to cut out a section of the hollow metal bar to be used for analysis.

Black and Veatch Smart Communities
The team completed the construction of the first proxy house. We have the base built along with attaching the cooling, heating, and general electric consumption device in the house. An issue was brought up while the proxy house was being constructed. The base of the house has a gap between one of the adjacent wall. The team addressed the issue by applying insulation tape to the gap to prevent air leakage. Lastly the team tested each device for assurance that they are in working order. In the subsequent week, the team will construct the circuitry to power the devices. We will work to power the devices manually and debug any issues that arise before constructing the circuitry that will allow LabVIEW to control each device. The team has also acquired a laptop dedicated for the needs of the project throughout the year.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
After borrowing a Kill-A-Watt sensor from the GEM team, the group finally began its first round of testing. Team member Mike Wickersheim created a a guideline of steps the group would follow for testing which included safety procedures for working in the shop. Setup was composed of a plastic burette feeding into the generator that would be monitored at set time intervals to measure fuel consuption. The Kill-A-Watt sensor was attached to the generator power output and this would measure all other vital information like power consumption and voltage. In the first trial, the burette shattered from what the team believes to be too much stress from the system used to attach it away from the generator. Testing had to end as we only had one burette but the group was able to run the generator once for about two minutes to get a small amount of data we could use to practice with GREET. Testing will resume once we obtain a new burette and once the group has come up with a new holding setup for it. Team members Jordan Powell and Alejandro Velez maintained photographic documentation along with all written experimental data for the night.



October 28, 2013

Black and Veatch Smart Communities
This week the team has gathered all the necessary devices and materials for stage one of construction for one house. The team has completed the separation of the thermoelectric cooler unit from the cooler itself. We plan to proceed with the construction of the proxy house with hopes of completion by the end of next week. In addition the design team has been talking with an adviser to sort out which relay module to purchase in the future. The team has narrowed its focus to a particular relay module but want to verify that the voltage and current output will be sufficient to power the devices.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
This week Team GEM has been revising the research book and minimizing its content into a presentation format. A few potential sliding mechanisms have been determined to support and move the tray and a diagram has been drawn, illustrating the battery arrangements and how the batteries will be connected in series. The battery packaging and insulation will be soon designed in greater depth given some key concepts have already been chosen. A complete budget and parts list should be near.

Electric Bike
The team finished the midterm proposal. The front wheel and front fork were measured and the team discussed dimensions of the bike. Payden emailed a possible motor company about donations and lastly the group was able to get together to finish an outline for the presentation slides.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
For this past week, the team finished and turned in the midterm report to Dr. Depcik. On Tuesday, the group reorganized some minor responsibilities to ensure equal work for all. It was also decided the group would begin work on low-cost data acquisition system. The coordinator for data acquisition will be Mike so for the week Mike will set up some sort of presentation for the group on how to move forward. Jordan and Alejandro will handle presentation slides so Mike can focus on DAQ. For the following week we have planned to begin hands on work with generator and DAQ.

NREL Wind Turbine
With the first gearbox prototype deadline approaching quickly, the team has been busy finishing up on the gearbox design. A meeting was held with the aerospace nacelle team over how the gearbox would be incorporated into the nacelle design. The main objective of the team after this meeting is to get a gearbox constructed so sizing and dimensions can be forwarded to the nacelle team. Parts for the gearbox were ordered on Friday with hopes they would arrive early the following week. Once the parts arrive, construction of the gearbox will begin immediately. The meeting with the aerospace team also brought up the subject of emergency braking. The team has hypothesized several ideas such as disk braking and adding a substantial resistance to the generator. Both these ideas will be investigated more thoroughly in the upcoming week. A second meeting with the AE nacelle team has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 29 to talk specifically on the emergency brake design.

Urban Concept
The UCV team spent a lot of time getting the team registered for Phase I of the Shell Eco-Marathon competition. The KU legal team looked over the required waiver form and found problems with some of the language. They made revisions and the result was sent to Shell’s lawyers to go over. The deadline for registration of Phase I was 10/25, so Shell was contacted and asked how to proceed. After contact, it was agreed to complete registration with the revised waiver form to hold our spot in the competition. The waiver form was then signed by the Associate Dean and submitted for approval. This will be an ongoing process while KU and Shell’s legal teams try to come to an agreement. The UCV team will move forward as if we are entrants until we hear otherwise. The team took delivery of the workbench, welding screens, welding supplies, car covers (for tables and UCV), and the oxygen tank for the cutting torch. The team will not be able to move forward modifying the design of the competition vehicle. The team will search to remove more weight adding components by cutting and modification using both welding and cutting techniques. Initial frame designs have begun, so material selection will need to be made within the next couple of weeks for both the competition vehicle(body support) and design vehicle (frame).

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The team has spent sometime coming up with a preparing a tentative layout of the interior of the trailer. The school is hosting an event to allow the potential future users of the Mobile Col-Laboratory a chance to provide their input on what they would like to see and this layout will allow the team to present what they have come up with at this point in the design process. Research is continuing on finding components for both the interior and exterior of the trailer. The team is nearing purchasing some of the larger components for the trailer. The team hopes to receive some new insight into the project from the meeting.



October 23, 2013
One of the EcoHawks, Evan Reznicek, is featured as part of the KU Student Spotlight for his undergraduate research efforts. Read More.


October 20, 2013

Black and Veatch Smart Communities
This week the team and I primarily worked on the mid-term report paper. Will was assigned with writing the sustainability section, Nathan wrote the construction sections, and Matt wrote the introduction, conclusion, and theory section, while Tommy wrote the design section. As a whole, the team worked on future works, appendix and polished the paper. An additional task the group accomplished was creation the base of the proxy house. Nathan is the main contributor to the creation of the house but the team agreed that Tommy, Will, and Matt would focus more of the analysis portion of the project. The analysis portion deals with designing the control system for the control. The analysis members have gradually been researching different equipment in order to convert analog data to digital data so LabVIEW can process it. The team as a whole has made great progress and will continue to build off existing work and by next week an initial circuit will be constructed. No guarantees can be made but our plan is to debug the initial circuit so the team can manually control the devices within the house.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
Team GEM has determined that given the tray rests underneath the enclosed cargo carrier, twenty four LiFePO4 batteries of either 70 or 40 Amp-hours may fit in various arrangements. If necessary, this space will allow for lead acid batteries to be used. Battery packs will also range in size, requiring varying amounts of surrounding material. The team also worked diligently on the midterm project proposal.

Electric Bike
The Team finished and turned in the Research book. A lot more research was done on the different motors and necessary parts for the bike. Two hollow steel rods for the frame and two trunk hinges for the handle bars were obtained from Pick-N-Pull. A front fork, seat, seat clamp, rear wheel, crank set, gear cassette, pedals, frame mounted shifters, and rear derailleur were acquired from TCCP. Each group member did research and worked on different sections of the midterm proposal then was able to get together to compile and complete the assignment.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
For the past two weeks, the group's effort has been focused on the research book and the midterm proposal. For research book, each member had to create at least five slides covering their perspective division of work (Mike with data acquisition, Jordan with cost savings model, and Alejandro with GREET). Team leader was then responsible for merging and creating a final polished product for Dr. Depcik. Following the research book, the group began work on the midterm proposal. Division of work for this project was as following: (Jordan with abstract, introduction, and team statements; Mike with design, construction, and theory; Alejandro with results and analysis, sustainability, and conclusion and future work as well as handling the appendix, editing, and merging of work). All members completed their share of work for due date on October 21st. Also, last week Mike and Jordan had the opportunity to travel to the Altec facilities for a chance to tour the grounds, interact with the products, and to have the chance to ask questions face to face with some of the members of the Altec team.

NREL Wind Turbine
The NREL Wind Turbine Design Team has spent the last couple weeks synthesizing information for the Midterm Research Book and Midterm Report. The team also met with Professor Allen of the EECS department to discuss voltage regulation. In addition, the first few parts for the gearbox have arrived. The team has drafted initial drawings for the gearbox, and expects to begin fabrication by the end of the week. After a meeting with AE students, a tentative schedule for designs and prototypes has been drafted for the rest of the semester.

Urban Concept
The Urban Concept Team began destruction-construction of the UCV this week. The front suspension was completely removed along with the wheel hubs. The wheel hubs are heavy, so lighter alternatives will be found for replacement. Suspension is not a requirement of the Shell Eco-Marathon competition, and was removed from the vehicle to save weight. The team is currently brainstorming on options for replacing the front axle. The suspension box that was built into the vehicle frame was cut into equal upper/lower parts, leaving a remainder for options on bolting the new front axle. The height of the UCV is beyond the competition requirements, so the team decided to move the rear axle from underneath the vehicle frame to above it. There were concerns on whether such a move would allow chain clearance, and after deliberation the only method to remedy the concerns were to physically move it and see. Moving the rear axle allowed for chain clearance and lowered the UCV nearly 6 inches in total height. The team is gearing up to continue destruction of the UCV once the proper equipment is received.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The team spent a significant amount of time working on the report in the past two week, but that is not all that was accomplished by the team. Matt met with Dr. Dent out at Studio 804 to see if they could provide us with assistance repairing the dents. Dr. Dent informed the team that the major dents could not be repaired and that the panels would have to be replaced. He also informed the team that he would provide assistance for the other repairs free of charge. Constantine has been continuing his research on the audio/visual systems for the trailer as well as performing research into the theory for the HVAC system. His research will provide the team with the number of BTUs required by the furnace to heat the trailer. Stephen has continued his research into Airstream trailers. The team is making good progress towards the end goal of a successful mobile col-laboratory.

Biomass Pellet Burner
The majority of the group’s time working has been spent on the midterm proposal. Sizing of the plenum has been changed multiple times due to ineffective communication, specifically with explaining the concept of a standard volume being a mass. I believe this issue has been resolved, but a plenum design has not been decided upon as of yet. A recent calculation also showed air flow through the air intake hose to be extremely rapid. It is unclear at this point if that velocity is correct or if, in the event that it is correct, what problems that may or may not cause. This issue has been made a priority. Otherwise, all is going well and we are right on schedule.



October 7, 2013

Black and Veatch Smart Communities
The progress made this week is substantial. The team and I got the base of house cut and ready to construct the prototype but, we have run into a problem. The problem is that no one is willing to pay for the materials themselves. They want the department to pay for it so we are at a stalling point as of right now. But I will admit it is partly due to the teams fault because we failed to generate a worthy proposal for the materials we need along with calculations that the materials will work with the power source. Once the materials list is approved we can fit the components to the boards the team and I cut to begin an initial prototype, where we will check if the box is heating and cooling with the components we bought. At this stage we are only worried about being able to cool and heat the box at reasonable rates. We are not concerned that the rates do not fully match that of what would be a scaled down house but we want it to be within a reason where it does not cool or heat too fast or slow. Winding down to the end of the week, the team and I have resubmitted our materials list proposal along with a summary of the budget report.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
This week we dimensioned the underside of the vehicle to determine the space available for the batteries. More pictures were taken of the vehicle: the underside, under the hood, and of specific components. Our approximate recycling pick up routine was determined, our model was sent to other teams, and drawings were made to portray the space allowed for the batteries. Currently, the GEM dash has been disassembled so we can reach our twelve volt systems.

Electric Bike
Different companies were emailed about donations or discounts. Cycle works, Bike America, TCCP and Pick-N-Pull are all willing to donate parts for our project. Payden did more research on different motors. We started looking into batteries and designing a frame for the bike. Ricky drew up a rough sketch for a possible frame design. Ben formatted Power Point Slides for Research Presentation.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
At the beginning of the week the group had contacted the majority of the required sponsors and had either responses ready to report or were waiting on responses. In our weekly meeting, Jordan presented a marked up version of Altec's calculator that explained its different functions and methodology used. Mike presented the group with two different DAQ systems (a low cost method and a higher cost one) that we should consider. These were presented at the weekly meeting with Dr. Depcik and it was suggested we work with both systems, time permitting and with our initial focus on the lower cost method. Division work for the research slides was created with group deadline being Tuesday October 8th to polish and iron out all details. A uniform PowerPoint template for the group was created and placed in the team Dropbox for everyone to use. If resources are attained and required work is completed, the team will like to begin work on the generator in close to three weeks.

NREL Wind Turbine
The NREL Wind Turbine Design Team has spent the last week working with AE students to better define the parameters of the project. With the help of AE students and Dr. Wetzel of Wetzel Engineering, we have determined a rotor tip speed ratio that we can use to estimate gearbox input speed. We have also determined from our own generator testing that the gear box output shaft speed should be at maximum around 10,000 rpm, to provide the 5 V necessary for the competition. This 5 volts will be regulated with a power electronics system; we plan to meet Professor Chris Allen of the EECS department later this week to better define what this requires. The team has also ordered parts for a preliminary gearbox prototype. Construction should begin once parts arrive.

Urban Concept
The Urban Concept Team solidified team roles and made a timeline for both the current and future design of the UCV. Each member and their roles are: Alex(electrical/rules/axles), Tyler(body), Cory(frame), Jordan(suspension), Robert(motor and brakes). Dr. D let the team know that they are falling behind, so frame design will begin immediately. The team hopes to have a tentative design within the next two weeks. After, CAD models will be generated and FEA analysis will be done to make sure it is in compliance with the Shell EcoMarathon rules. Each member hopes to be able to involve themselves in as many aspects of the car as possible, as it will be beneficial to gain some knowledge of different systems. After the frame is constructed, Cory will be free to help in other areas and so on. The hope is that by the time we get to the body, most of the team will be available to contribute.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The main goal of the team this week was to contact companies to see if they would sponsor the team. Constantine and Stephen went to Massachusetts Street to talk to some local companies. Stephen contacted Airstream Inc and Mark Evans of airstreamguy.com. Matt called Dr. Dent, a company that has worked with the EcoHawks in the past, and discussed the possibility of them removing some of the dents in the trailer. They said they would be willing to help us, so we are going to keep in contact with them so that we can give them a call when we get the inside of the trailer gutted. The sponsors contacted should be very helpful to the team. Constantine set up a meeting with a home theater system expert and the team is going to go to Studio 804 to meet with him to discuss the possibilities.

Biomass Pellet Burner
In the past week, Bob met with Dr. Frahme to discuss the material selection for the combustion tube. It was determined that borosilicate was a very poor choice and fused silica was chosen instead due to its much more desirable resistance to the temperatures we will be subjecting it to. The glass getting hazy is a concern at those temperatures, as is the machining of the glass. The solution to this is to get a small sample and test if it gets hazy after sitting at about the expected temperature for an extended period of time and also use the sample to see if the drill bits we order will, in fact, work properly. Brian contacted suppliers and got a price for a flange from one company and is awaiting quotes from other companies. Meanwhile, I contacted Chenaniah Langness about the setup we have in the lab and discovered a need for an output module. There is only one available from National Instruments that is compatible with our CompactDAQ chassis, so that leaves no room for selection. This output module is incompatible with the mass flow controller I had selected, so a different one will have to be selected.



September 30, 2013

Black and Veatch Smart Communities
This week the team and I worked on editing the materials list. We checked which items were needed, not needed, and items that had better alternatives. After we made revisions to the list we talked about the volume our prototype house would have. We initially agreed on a volume of one cubic feet but that would change later in the week as we got more input on how we should decide the volume. One problem that arose during the week was that some members on the team were focused on another aspect on the project instead of what truly matters. But Depcik resolved this matter quickly and gave us input on how to calculate the volume of our model based on the output wattage of a heater and cooler. By the end of the week we had a good initial materials list and with Depcik’s approval of buying materials, the team and I went out to buy them. After the materials were bought we spent a couple of hours constructing the base of our prototype but no wiring was done. As soon as the prototype is done we can begin working on the control system.

GEM Swappable Battery Pack
The GEM team will be compiling a list of potentially necessary parts based on the research we will be doing on lithium ion batteries and connecting them. The information in the parts and repair lists will describe the current electrical system setup; this information is now on dropbox.com. Our current energy estimations will be updated with the accessories’ requirements: approximately 1410 Watts. Based on which parts we decide on, the companies that sell those parts will be contacted.

Electric Bike
Payden did research on hub motors and emailed some motor companies about possible sponsorships. Ricky emailed different bike companies about donating either bike helmets or bike pumps. Ben talked with Pick-N-Pull about donating car parts. We all took a trip to Topeka to visit TCCP and talk with Andy Fry. Pick-N-Pull sounds like they might be able to donate car parts and TCCP sounds like they will be able to donate bike parts.

Altec Well-to-Wheel
This week, the group finally held its teleconference with Mark Greer and Mike Moore from Altec to gain a better understanding of the direction of the project. The meeting confirmed that our original vision was mostly in line with what Altec has in mind as the goal. This project should improve the emission data that Altec currently provides as well as provide data on the savings that come from using the battery-operated fleet. This information is currently not being reported by Altec. To advance the emission data, the group spent the beginning of the week going through the ANL GREET software. We learned about how it provides path specific and fuel type specific well-to-wheel and pump-to-wheel emission data. To gain a wider understanding the team will use the generator to create a sort of guideline on how to attain vehicle data, run it through GREET, and receive the necessary results for presentation. Independent research from each member has also become more defined as we have a more detailed scope on what is needed and specific questions have gone out to Altec to help us perfect this scope.

NREL Wind Turbine
This week was spent further testing the generator that has been specified for competition use. The team used a cordless drill to turn the generator, which was held in a vice. The motor was connected to a 1-ohm resistor in the first test, and two 1-ohm resistors connected in parallel for the second test. Current was measured with an amp clamp while voltage was measured with a multi-meter. Results indicated a linear relationship between voltage and rpm, and a cubic relationship between power and rpm. The maximum power output achieved was about 10 Watts at 5500 rpm; this was primarily limited by the possible power that the resistors can dissipate. This week the team hopes to purchase a resistor that can dissipate more power, and also start designing a mini-motor dyno test set up, in which power and rpm input will be provided by another motor and controlled by a LabView Program. Once the generator power curve is well established, the team will start designing the wind turbine gearbox.

Urban Concept
The Urban Concept Vehicle’s focus for the week was set on research and acquisition of storage for welders, workbench, canopy for workbench protection, sawzaw, and welding screens. All items were found and have/soon will be purchased. Each team member contributed to the decision of which pieces of equipment would be most cost effective and durable for many years of Ecohawks members. After the go ahead was given, Alex and Tyler went out to the hill center to measure and ensure that the welders would fit inside of the welder storage. The decision to get some physical work started on the UCV was made the previous week, so Cory, Alex, and I went out to the Hill center and removed the springs from the vehicle. After the spring removal, the vehicle was no longer stable. This gave us the opportunity to brainstorm effective ideas to replace the current suspension system with a straight-axle system. The team was directed to spend as much time as possible to figure out the best method so that the front end of the vehicle will be completed in a timely manner. Also, while working on improvements to the current design, it is recommended that we keep our own design in mind, using the current mistakes as guidelines as what not to do.

Mobile Col-Laboratory
The Airstream trailer came in this week and the team made the trip out to Studio 804 to view the trailer and to take some pictures of the trailer to document the starting condition. The team hopes that they will be able to start gutting the trailer some time this week. Stephen is going to be emailing Dr. Gore and Dr. Criss in order to get their approval to start working. This past week Stephen performed research on Airstream trailers and found a website, airforums.com, that the team is going to make an account on to receive input from the Airstream community. Constantine has done some research on the type of tv that is going to be purchased for the trailer. He has done the cost/energy comparisons and has selected a few tv's that the team will present to the sponsors for final approval. He has also been researching a sound system to use in the trailer. Matt has been working on finding a solution for lighting the interior of the trailer and he has also been looking at different options for the HVAC system. The team is going to look at the HVAC system that is in the trailer to see if it can be repaired rather than purchasing a new one. The plan from here is to try to start the actual work on the trailer and to continue researching the components to install in the trailer.

Biomass Pellet Burner
In this past week, the group ran into several issues that warrant a reconsideration of our designs. Most of these currently seem to be simple enough to overcome, but whether or not that is the case remains to be seen. Bob discovered that we will be working with a flame whose temperature exceeds the softening temperature of borosilicate glass as reported by ASTM. The solution we are considering most right now is to use a fused quartz tube instead. Brian researched flanges and steel pipe in an effort to get an idea of what would be easiest and most cost-effective. He hasn’t returned with definite results, but has shared many thoughts and considerations that have been very helpful to me in making a working model of the burner in Autodesk Inventor.