Dear reader, my name is Joshan Mangroo and I am the motor(control) engineer of Eco-Runner Team Delft. Besides designing the custom motor specifications and motorcontroller hardware/software. I also designed and built the testing setup for the Eco-Runner. A key component in validating motor(controller) and fuel cell performance.
Eco-Runner Team Delft is a student team of the Delft University of Technology. Every year we try to build a vehicle that is as fuel efficient as possible. Next to that, our vehicle is powered by hydrogen. We are very close to our goal of a fuel efficiency of 888 km/kg petrol equivalent. During design and testing we need the proper equipment to do so. One of the ways we validate our designs is our dynamometer.
The dynamometer has various utilities. One of which is that we can test any track that we want at any moment. This is a great optimizing tool to use, as we normally can only test each component individually, it is now possible to test the whole system at once, and that is the most important test. In that way we know for sure what the limits of the powertrain are, as well as further convolute the best strategy during the race. High stress tests for emergency stops can be simulated, or the efficiency of the regenerative braking. The data is live represented and logged for later analysis. That can later be used for perfect tuning of the motor controller for example, and various subsystems.
The Eco-Runner is highly fuel efficient, but low power vehicle. This meant for the requirement of high precision testing equipment. This lead to designing and building our own setup, with as key component the RWT 410/420 Series torque transducers from Althen. This allows us to test our complete powertrain with high reliability and accuracy. With the transducer we can send the data to the computer for a better representation of the data and for storage. Althen’s support provided us with the necessary stand-alone support software for their transducers in LabVIEW. This allowed us to make a custom and modular testing system with easy implementations of the sensor.
The dynamometer will be used to simulate stress points that may occur during the race and evaluate if everything is up to design specifications and tolerances. Another custom function is that we allow for an added track simulation to test the expected dynamic behaviour. This allows us to not only optimize the powertrain, but tune our race strategy accordingly. For that, we are able to test generating and motoring conditions.
When our race track is known, we can simulate the track and evaluate certain points of interest while we validate our models extensively. Another key point was portability, we can test the whole car in our comfortable workshop where it is dry and clean, or even at the race track itself. In both conditions we are able to evaluate the entire powertrain without any limitations.
In conclusion, the dynamometer is crucial in the design and testing phase for our powertrain and strategy department. We would like to thank Althen for their sponsoring of the RWT 410/420 torque transducer series and customer support.