Andy Sovol, Eng ’08, Grad ’10, shows Dr. George Corliss wiring for the gas pedal.
Students work to check functionality of the motor controller.
May 1, 2010 There was significant progress made toward installing the air conditioner, as well as the battery carriages. After designing five battery carriages to hold all of the batteries, two were able to be installed. Nov. 20, 2010 The team worked on the new AC/ heating unit and is now 95 percent complete with the installation. The control switches were taken off the unit itself, and we wired the switches through the firewall so the driver can control the unit ... The one remaining task for the AC/heater is to have it charged with refrigerant. The team also spent some time troubleshooting the motor controller. The team was able to communicate with the motor controller but still did not have any luck getting the motor to spin up. The team plans on making contact with the motor controller vendor to have some questions answered. ... The team also took out the battery carriage frames that were installed last year so they can be outfitted with additional hardware to support the specific batteries that were purchased this year. Dec. 18, 2010 The team is happy to report that the HVAC system in the front of the vehicle is now operational. The main purpose of this system is to provide
19 // Laboratory on Four Wheels
windshield defrosting capabilities. ... The team is now on semester break, but the work does not stop here. Over break, the new battery carriages will be built in anticipation of installation in mid- to late January when classes resume. Jan. 9, 2011 The eLIMO team is back at work, finalizing parts to be ordered for the new battery carriages. The team has also received the DC-DC converter and charger from our vendor. Since no alternator exists in an all-electric vehicle, the DC-DC converters are needed to take the high voltage from the main vehicle batteries and step it down to 12 volts for the vehicle subsystems like the lights and the HVAC unit that was previously installed. Feb. 1, 2011 One big step the team has taken early this semester was to secure shop space on Marquette’s campus. While MATC South was a good place for the team to work, the logistics of only being able to work on weekends for a max of 24 hours per semester were not ideal. Editor’s note: The new Engineering Hall provides space for projects such as the eLIMO. Feb. 3, 2011 Since the project began, the question has always been how to provide power to the vehicle. Well, today, batteries from Valence Technology have arrived. Within the next few weeks, these batteries will be tested and installed into battery carriages. Feb. 10, 2011 The team has completed installation work on the devices that take high voltage from the batteries and convert it into the 12 volts used by the regular vehicle systems. The team also has created a basic graphical user interface that will display all the necessary information to the driver. Feb. 20, 2011 The two main battery carriages were installed. After the original installation, the carriages were removed to be painted and will not be installed until the team is confident in the performance of the batteries. The new vehicle
wiring is about 75 percent complete. All highvoltage lines have now been run and are waiting to be connected to the battery system this week. The charger has been integrated into the vehicle and will be one of the first items tested when the batteries are connected. Also, all the control lines that switch on and off the high voltage to the vehicle have been installed. Feb. 27, 2011 After almost four years of hard work from at least 40 different students and a number of Marquette faculty members, help from MATC, MUSG, the National Wildlife Federation, the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence (now the State Energy Office) and Wisconsin Clean Cities, the eLIMO now runs on its own! The team’s primary focus now shifts to the user interface. While our team has been working on this problem since the beginning of the year, actual testing could not be done until power was applied to the van. April 27, 2011 The eLIMO’s user interface was finished yesterday evening. Displayed on a seven-inch LCD monitor embedded in the dashboard are a digital speedometer, odometer and battery charge gauge. Also included with the UI are several warning indicators to detect events of component overheating and/or low battery charge and display them accordingly. The interface was coded using the C and Java programming languages. May 4, 2011 The eLIMO has now been successfully insured by Marquette and re-registered by the state of Wisconsin. June 5, 2011 The team and the university have many high hopes for the van. We hope that by taking passengers around, more students will begin thinking about electric vehicles as a greener alternative to gasoline vehicles. The van will also be used as a recruitment tool at local high schools.