Monday, January 19, 2009

Howdy folks! Those of you that have been paying attention despite my constant attempts at boring you to death may have noticed that I've been 17 for roughly a year. This train of thought would eventually lead to the conclusion that I'd have to turn 18 sometime soon. Rather than keep you all wondering, I might as well just admit it: I'm finally 18!

In addition to me just wanting to brag about having survived another trip around the sun, I might as well bring everybody up to date. College has, oddly enough, been time-consuming! Nevertheless, I've managed to get a little work done on EV-related projects every now and then. I've been doing quite a bit of electronics work, and have succeeded in getting a few gadgets up and running with varying degrees of success. I've built a few motor controllers of various types on the small scale, digital voltage gauges, and a few other non-ev-related items that I am equally unrightfully proud of- digital clocks, stepper motor controllers, that kind of thing.

Anyway, right now my main focus is on the motor controller side of things. Mainly, I'm working on scaling up a motor controller that can handle 6A to something that can handle 600A. I'm probably going to be building either a single- or double- IGBT controller, to save space and boost efficiency. The main goals of the project are to keep size, weight, and of course, cost to a minimum while maintaining capabilities suitable for road-going vehicles.

One of the coolest things about a project like this is that it allows you to do something about everything you didn't like about the production stuff you used before. For instance, the throttle sensors used by most modern controllers really suck. Even my Raptor, which is supposed to have auto-sensing capabilities for throttle positions, requires a lot of tinkering to get it working to its full potential. My controller will have a programming mode that requires some setup beforehand, but can be calibrated to just about any throttle setup.

Well, that's about it for now. As always, I'm going to try to keep everybody a little more up to date, but as we've seen in the past that doesn't always work out as planned. Nevertheless, some pretty big developments might be coming out of the GreenflightEV lab (aka "the dorm room") in the next couple months, so stay tuned!