Once again, Team A+ members split up to complete the many projects they had taken on. The first group worked on Galileo, preparing the tower pieces for repainting. While two students worked on sandblasting the metal pieces, two other students struggled to straighten the iron beams that had sustained damage. This proved quite a challenge, but sweat and muscle and determination prevailed.
Coating the turntable with black rust paint
While some group members were working on the metal pieces used for Galileo, other members operated on the throttle and controller for the electric motorcycle. After a successful dry run using light bulbs and a 50K potentiometer, heavy gauge wires were used to replace the thinner wires used for the bench test. This replacement is necessary to enable the connection of the motorcycle motor to the controller. This motor draws a lot of amps. The size of a wire is correlated to the amount of current it can carry.
Another task worked on by Team A+ was creating a prototype mount on the bike for securing the motor, batteries and controller. This task included carving different pieces of wood that would help secure the motor, batteries and controller.
Mounting the motor to the bike frame
The final task on June 8th, 2010 was rebuilding and testing the front braking system. After connecting the brake lines and refilling the brake fluid, the pistons appeared to be seized with rust. One volunteer will work on this problem exclusively until it is solved. After all, safely stopping the motorbike is as important as running it.
On June 3rd, 2010 Team A+ group members split up into two groups to complete two separate projects. One group worked on the Electric Motorcycle, while the other group worked on Galileo (The Turning Tree).
Bench testing the motor controller
The first group invited Bob Martin from Windsor Starter’s Powerhouse to advise them in wiring the controller. Bob Martin had been a part of the project since its inception, and the students working on the motorcycle learned a lot from him. Bob answered crucial questions about the system, and now Team A+ is wiring the controller to light bulbs to bench test it. If the controller works properly, Team A+ should be able to control the dimness and brightness of the lamps. A powerful DC series motor will replace the light bulbs in the final project.
Loading the trees onto the trailer
Team A+ also packed up all the trees that had been removed from the on top of the turning tree into a trailer and in Noel’s car. The trees are being transferred to Guelph, where they will be replanted on top of the Galileo once it is rebuilt. Team A+ experienced difficulty while attempting to replace the V-belt when Galileo was fully assembled. The team is working on a solution to this problem so that the V-belt can easily be replaced once Galileo has been reconstructed in its new home.
Detail of an Electric Throttle
The electric motorcycle has increased in popularity within the last few years, due in part to a drastic increase in gas prices. Also referred to as the green bike, electric motorcycles are environmentally friendly, and a big money saver!
Putting together an electric motorcycle can be a bit challenging. One problem facing the Green Corridor students A+ Team is diagramming the controller/throttle and installing it on the electric motorcycle. The motor controller delivers and regulates the energy from the battery to the motor. Think of it as a transmission and gearshift. The throttle is a mechanism that sends electrical signals to the controller which then determines how much energy to deliver to the motor.
Because the majority of electric bikes don’t have gears or a clutch, one must be very careful with the throttle. Electric motorcycles like the Zero S accelerate at speeds comparable to gas motorcycles with just a touch of the throttle. Controlling the speed of the electric motorcycle is a crucial component to remaining safe and enjoying all the benefits of the electric bike.