James B. Dudley high school in Greensboro, North Carolina entered two vehicles in the Shell Eco-Marathon. The team had about three months to prepare their two vehicles for the competition. They emphasized the "Eco" concept by building their vehicles from recycled materials. Here are some photos from the event.
Green Cycle Design Group assisted the team by providing a motor controller, electronics, welding and transportation to Houston, Texas. The Triad Electric Vehicle Association also supported the team with a motor, a controller and two Lithium battery packs.
The two vehicles used 24 Volt and 36 Volt batteries. Both vehicles required a horn, and one entry also required headlights, taillights and turn signals. Green Cycle Design Group developed a switching power supply to efficiently convert the battery package voltage to operate standard 12 Volt automobile components. This DC-DC converter may become an educational project for the school. For Green Cycle Design Group, this converter is a prototype for future projects.
The competition is serious. In the internal combustion prototype class, a Canadian team achieved 2,564.8 miles per gallon. We did not bring home a trophy this year, but we did pas the inspections and the driving tests. We all learned a lot and had a good time.