Wrapping It Up

The Electric Motorcycle team has made great progress over the past week. With almost all the required components acquired the bike is ready to be assembled. Team member Xiong is busy wiring and bench testing the control unit for the bike. Shown below is Xiong with Bob Martin, from Windsor’s Starter Powerhouse, who is giving advice on the wiring of batteries, motor and control unit. The final drive shaft and pulley are currently being machined by green corridor partner Advantage Engineering. This shaft and pulleys will be assembled with motor, two pillow block bearings and the motor into a steel plate to form the drive system for the bike. With time running out on the semester the team is working hard to make the bike as complete as possible to hand over to a future team.

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Chop Cut Rebuild!

Progress is being seen on the E-Motorcycle. This past week the team began elongating the frame to make more space for the batteries and to give the bike a ‘chopper’ look. On Tuesday of the last week, the frame was cut in half after the top and bottom frame rails were welded together to provide structural support. Shown below, team member Xiong cuts the frame apart with a cut-off wheel. With the frame cut apart the team cut tube to size and welded it into the frame. The top tube required bending to fit the frame back together. The next step for the team will be to mount the batteries in the elongated frame and wire them to the control unit and the motor. The team is excited with the progress and will continue to work hard to achieve their goals!

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Putting It Together

The E-Motorcycle team enjoyed a successful week. The team received the electric motor, control unit and 3 batteries at a special price from Green Corridor partner, Windsor Starter’s Powerhouse. Also, donated to the team from Scoot-A-Long, was an electric throttle and brake switch. The team was busy on Thursday planning out the precise placement of all the components in the bare motorcycle frame which was completely stripped of all the existing wiring and non essential components. After the final placement of the components is finished, the required wiring to complete the circuit can be acquired. A pillow bearing, belt and pulleys are still required to transfer power from the electric motor to the driveshaft. The team is excited to spend the last weeks of the semester assembling and fabricating the electric motorcycle.

Team members Xiong and Albion bring the electric motor, batteries and control unit into the workshop

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Muffins for Motors

The E Motorcycle team has had a successful run at a bake sale this past Thursday. The team pulled in $184 to put towards the procurement of electrical components for the E-Bike. A special thanks goes out to the entire Novak family for their time and effort baking, decorating and helping to sell at the bake sale. Also, this past Thursday, the team visited local electrical manufacturer Electrozad, who graciously donated two switches, an emergency stop and weather proof PVC box for the Bike. The team is still working hard towards procuring the rest of the essential materials to have their designs come to fruition. This has proved to be a formidable task as the selected 4 horsepower DC motor is not used as a common industrial applications. Despite this the team will fight on to finish what they’ve started.

Ashley Novak serves some satisfied customers

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Electrifying Bake Sale: This Thursday!

With the spring just around the corner, the E-motorcycle team is gearing up to build a motorcycle that consumes current instead of guzzling gasoline. In preparation for this, the team visited local Windsor electrical manufacturer Electrozad, this past Thursday. An employee there indicated that Electrozad would be capable of supplying some switches, relays and other necessary electrical components for the bike’s circuitry. This is a good start, however the team still has to find many parts from its list and fast! To raise some of the funds to purchase parts that might not be donated, the team will be holding a bake sale in co-operation with SIFE Windsor this Thursday at the CAW Student Center. Hours of the sale are yet to be determined, but stay tuned for details to follow shortly. Bake goods, not unlike the ones show below, will be on sale for very reasonable prices. Make sure to come out and enjoy some delicious baked goods that will, no doubt, help electrify the E-Motorcycle team!

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Biomimicry: Creative and Practical

We shared our accomplishments in our midterm presentation, and received a lot of positive feedback and criticisms. Our new approach is to match our creativity with practical aspects of the design so we will research size of the greenhouse, the exact location, pricing and funding, different materials as well as natural systems for heating, cooling, water and moisture. We will also focus more on these natural systems, rather than just the design itself, for example, a living wall, ponds, and natural heat capture. We are also going to continue researching biomimicry and methods to incorporate it into our designs. As well, we will look into information on the pros and cons of attaching the greenhouse to the present eco-house and all the requirements needed to make that happen. Next Tuesday, we have planned to have a scale model created, as well as all the research on biomimicry completed, and potential materials and pricing, as well as mind mapping of natural heating, cooling and water. We have also scheduled another meeting on this day with Jennifer Willet to showcase all our new research and designs.
Photo from: jetsongreen.com

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Setting the Pace

After a solid midterm presentation, the E-motorcycle team is setting a great pace in the second half of the semester. The team, with clear design specifications in mind, is busy contacting all electronics suppliers in the Windsor area, looking for donations of parts and materials. For the most part companies have been positive and willing to support the project. However, a source on key components such as a 4 horsepower motor and deep cycle batteries, have yet to have been located. To be successful, the team must acquire all essential mechanical and electrical components in very short order.  This would allow the design rendering shown below to have a chance of being realized this semester. The E-motorcycle team hopes that their example of hard work and enthusiasm will be infectious within the Green Corridor class, and thus leading to several worthy projects. The rendering shown below is what the final motorcycle could look like, if the frame was gold-chromed and sat on an Italian street.

Conceptual Design of the Electric Motorcycle

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Going the Extra Mile

After the winter study break, the E-motorcycle team is re-charged and pushing forward to realize the dream of an electrically powered motorcycle. In the coming days the team will be busy contacting companies for donations and in-kind materials. This is the most important step in the completion of the project. Once all the required parts are procured, the bike will come together very quickly. In addition to this, the team is considering ways to incorporate innovative green energy solutions into the bike. This includes, but is not limited to, solar panels and wind energy for in-operatioin re-charging. Also, deep cycle battery technology is being considered to extend the life-time between charges. The CAD model of the rolling chassis is now complete. A screen shot of this can be seen below. This will be used as a tool to place the components in the chassis once the team knows the dimensions of components that they will be using. The team has hard work ahead of them but will persevere.

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On Track

We, the E-Motorcycle team, are taking the next steps required to have an operating machine by the end of the semester. We are currently heavily involved in the procurement phase. We have been in contact with Windsor Starter’s Powerhouse in regards to possible solutions to get electric power to the ground. We visited the location on Thursday and received valuable information about all the electrical components of the system. Currently, team member Albion, shown below, is creating the Catia drawing of the motorcycle. This model will be a useful tool to virtually position the batteries and electric motor and other components inside the chassis. This will also help to design for an even weight distribution for the bike. The rest of the team is costing out required parts for all possible solutions. We are definitely on track for success.

Albion drawing the motorcycle chassis with Catia

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Beehives, Ladybugs, and Eyes – Say what?

This week the greenhouse group has focused on brainstorming a series of radical and creative designs. Which includes greenhouses shaped as domes, leaves, and other biological based designs (eyes, beehive, ladybug, etc.). We have added them to our growing archive and in Tuesdays class, created a mind-map of everything a sustainable greenhouse could entail. We have discussed how the greenhouse will function, such as heating systems, water supply and power supply. Some ideas include using solar panels to heat the water that may circulate through the greenhouse and heat the roots (root zone heating). Other ideas include implementing an underground heat sink, which will control the temperature in the greenhouse either by using water or recycled materials. In terms of irrigation, rainwater run-off from the eco-house and greenhouse can be collected and distributed to the plants. The picture included is a design proposal for our greenhouse by a group member that takes a Canadian bio-architecture approach for an interesting, unique greenhouse. For next week we plan to focus on selecting three or so baseline designs and detailing a list of contents that will be included in the greenhouse, as well as focusing on what sources of power and heating we are going to include.

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