Elec­tric van pow­ers drive for fuel sav­ings

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGY -

A Univer­sity of Waikato van will be silently mak­ing its way around cam­pus af­ter four fourth year me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing stu­dents re­moved its en­gine and re­placed it with an elec­tric mo­tor.

The van was orig­i­nally pow­ered by a 1.3 litre petrol en­gine but as part of a year-long Honours project, Nathan Di­b­ley, Mark Shi­man­ski, Richard Xie and Tom-John Nelis re­pow­ered it with an elec­tric mo­tor that is ca­pa­ble of a top speed of about 106km/h and a dis­tance of 120 km on one charge.

What the stu­dents have done is fit a 70kW con­tin­u­ous DC brush­less elec­tric mo­tor, con­troller and bat­ter­ies. Apart from re­mov­ing the en­gine, petrol tank and ex­haust, they have de­signed a sys­tem for cou­pling the elec­tric mo­tor to the gear­box, in­stalled a Hamil­ton-built mo­tor con­troller and de­signed a bat­tery en­clo­sure that meets New Zealand’s elec­tric ve­hi­cle re­quire­ments

When com­plete, it will have 95 cells pro­duc­ing about 300 volts.

The stu­dents have worked out it will take four to five years of use for the cost of con­vert­ing it to elec­tric­ity to pay off, but the fur­ther it drives the faster the pay­back.

Their su­per­vi­sor, Dr Mike Duke, says the stu­dents have done an ex­cel­lent job get­ting the elec­tric van op­er­a­tional in one year.

“There is a lot of in­ter­est in the commercial vi­a­bil­ity of elec­tric van con­ver­sions and we plan to re­search its per­for­mance to de­ter­mine the ben­e­fits.”

Me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing stu­dents, from left, Tom-John Nelis, Richard Xie, Mark Shi­man­ski and Nathan Di­b­ley in the van they con­verted to run on elec­tric­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.