Electronics in the Car
This year, Green Team Twente has chosen to buy a new fuel-cell because this was one way to increase our efficiency by a few percent.
Since better technology was available and our old fuel-cell also had degraded over time, the degradation of the cell is partially due to inefficient use of our DCDC converter.
This converts the 40V that comes out of the fuel-cell to approximately 48V that the rest of the system needs .
However, this was the only off-the-shelf electronics part of the car.
The DCDC converter previously in the car was made for solar panels and was not designed to regulate the power from a hydrogen-based fuel cell.
Since it was not designed by us, showed some undesirable behavior, this year, the DCDC converter has been fully designed by us.
Because of this, the exact specifications and functionalities could be tailored to our own wishes and demands, and we can make sure it works perfectly together with the rest our system.
Furthermore, with a new fuel-cell comes a new controller board.
As said above, all the electronics are designed in-house and therefore we were able to make the new fuel-cell controller more efficient and smaller.
The new board has kept the same functionality with some minor tweaks to be more reliable and user friendly.
By adding filters to sensitive parts of the system and addressing the placement of components concerning the length of the traces, the new system should be more resilient to electronic interference, something that was a big problem last year.
Continuing on the topic of interference, another PCB that has been redesigned this year is the steering wheel.
Last year at the world championship, Green Team Twente couldn’t finish due to electromagnetic interference.
One of the PCB’s that was most vulnerable for interference was the steering wheel.
Due to this, the system could trigger all sorts of actions suddenly.
With the redesign of the steering wheel, this is shouldn’t happen anymore. In many different tests, the new steering wheel has behaved as it should, which makes this a success.