Monday, November 16, 2015

New Website!

Check out our new website:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

EV Challenge Results

Swapping out the motor in the MR2

Trophies out the wazoo! Topsail High Electric vehicle has just returned from the North Carolina EV Challenge competition. We took home overall 1st place in the Truck/Car class, 1st in the STEM cycle class, and 3rd in the Modified class, along with 1st place trophies for 9 different individual events. Though we faced a multitude of unexpected issues, the intelligence and work ethic of our students, along with the generosity of others attending the event, allowed us to overcome many of these issues. In particular, Northampton High School loaned us an electric motor for the MR2 after ours suffered a catastrophic failure during the acceleration run. Now we are working on cleanup, a few minor repairs, and fundraising for next year. Stay tuned for info on those in the coming weeks!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Battery Bridges

The work on our battery bridges is going well; they will connect the positive and negative ends to each other which will make our series-parallel pack much easier to wire.  We are making them out of copper pipe, and have 12 more to go!

Repurposing Old Parts

The truck's old battery boxes have been sanded and painted over the past few days. They will be reused to house the battery management system, charger, and motor controller. This will keep everything looking organized and clean in the redesigned truck.
Pictured are three of the five members of the Topsail EV Small-Scale team. Notice the inquisitive looks on their faces as they use those necessary critical-thinking skills to overcome the challenges of creating a cutting edge, from-scratch small scale electric vehicle. The primary focus at this point in the creation is determining the angles and measurements of each piece of aluminum to be welded together to create the frame of the vehicle. Pictured is Mr. Matthews, Sid, and Connor; not pictured is Dominick "LBD" (probably wandering around the back room; preferably contributing) and Tanner(photographer and excellent at cutting aluminum bars). The team soon expects to have everything ready to be sent off to the welder so that they can continue on with the creation process.

Cleaning up the Truck

After a long wait the new battery box for the truck has finally been made and started to be installed. This new box will be holding all 32 lithium-ion batteries that were purchased this past December. Hopefully it will be 100% completed soon so that we can start thinking outside of the box.(bu dum tss). Also work on removing the stripes from the truck have begun.

Connecting the Batteries

Metal is being cut and smoothed as we progressively work on how we plan on stabilizing the batteries in our new battery box. In this picture Nevin is cutting one of the battery side plates that we are going to place on each side of each row of batteries, this will keep the batteries locked tightly together and will allow us to run threaded rod through the batteries to bolt to the battery box. This will prevent any of the batteries from sliding around in the battery box as we drive the truck.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

STEM Cycle update

It's getting hot in the EV garage as we experiment with different methods to dismantle the STEM cycle. After attempting to use a blow torch to melt the solder we found it was easiest to just use a Dremel and a hacksaw. The re-design of the STEM cycle is moving steadily. We have recently finished removing the old axle and cutting a new one. The new axle will be the same size as before except it has been raised off the frame 3 inches and moved back some. This will allow for a sharper turning radius.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Battery Connections

Work on the conversion of the Ford Ranger to lithium-ion batteries continues with the creation of the connections for the battery terminals. These are being fabricated from flattened copper pipe, and must be made to exact specifications to have this complicated battery system work properly. This is just one small part of the extensive modifications being done to the truck this year, and we are very lucky everything is going so well.-NW

Truck Re-design