Tina was Dartmouth’s entry into the inaugural 2007 Formula Hybrid competition. She reused the 2003 Myra chassis once again, and was designed to build upon the progress of Dartmouth’s previous hybrid prototypes to achieve a robust and reliable gas/electric hybrid drivetrain, focusing most heavily on system integration and efficiency, safety, and improved vehicle dynamics.
Along with previous Dartmouth hybrids, Tina was also a series hybrid system. With this system an internal combustion engine is coupled to an electric generator, storing energy in our ultracapacitor banks by way of a custom built DC-DC converter. The electric motor controller then draws the current out of the capacitors, sending it through the electric motor and ultimately applying the torque to the rear drivetrain.
A four-stroke 2004 Kawasaki Ninja EX250 was used as the internal combustion engine. In the series hybrid system, the engine can be run at a single constant speed independent of the wheels for either maximum power or for maximum efficiency. This allowed for the removal of excess weight of the clutch and transmission. The generator was a Siemens ACW-80-4 Synchronous PM motor/generator. The type of generator (AC Synchronous a.k.a. DC Brushless) was selected based on its high output power and voltage ratings, as well as its relatively low weight. Our electric drive motor was a DC brushed Netgain Warp 9, chosen for its peak output power of 120 HP (89.5 kW). The controller, a Z1K Zilla motor controller manufactured by Café Electric LLC, could efficiently provide up to 1000 amps of current and had a peak power rating of 320 kW.
When competition time rolled around, Tina was ready! Unfortunately, the team experienced a last minute electrical problem with the capacitor banks, and despite a last minute scramble to rewire the car, we were unable to complete the endurance run. At least she won first place for design and blew the competition away in the acceleration run!