The Mechanical Team is responsible for the design, validation, and fabrication of all of the vehicle's mechanical systems. These systems include the vehicle's chassis, forward and rear suspension, steering, braking, and other mechanical components. The primary highlight of BeVolt's mechanical systems is the composite monocoque chassis. The monocoque design allows BeVolt to reduce the vehicle's overall weight and aerodynamic drag through more efficient, compact designs. Other changes from the previous vehicle include a four-wheel wheelbase with a dual hub-motor powertrain, an asymmetrical driver position, and a revamped thermal packaging system for the battery enclosure.
Mechanical Team Lead: Vasia Pobedinski
Lead Mechanical Design Engineer: Roland Ip
Team Lead: Jack Luong
The design for BeVolt's body features improved streamlining for greater aerodynamic advantage. The driver is offset to be in-line with the fairing in order to reduce frontal section area. Tighter packaging and the structural challenges of a carbon fiber monocoque have led to multiple creative solutions and design innovations.
Team Lead: Felipe Quijano-Ortiz
The hot summer days here in central Texas present challenging thermal conditions for any solar vehicle. To achieve better efficiency and higher performance, BeVolt features a robust battery ventilation system that can keep the vehicle operating safely and effectively under load. A solution that integrates heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and structural analysis exposes our multifaceted team to many aspects of mechanical engineering.
Primarily focused on the interactions between BeVolt and its single occupant, the ergonomics team is focused primarily on the interior systems of the vehicle. Properly integrating the driver can make the difference down the stretch in the endurance races in which BeVolt competes. Considerations such as field of view, safety, and driver comfort ensure that the vehicle serves its ultimate purpose, to transport the occupant over his or her entire journey.
Team Lead: Cole Forsythe
Because BeVolt is the first attempt by any UT student design team at a carbon fiber monocoque, our team is exploring new frontiers in structural composites. These more advanced materials present challenges not normally present when designing a traditional aluminum or steel chassis. A rigorous iterative design process including analysis, simulation, and physical validation is crucial to the successful implementation of structural composites in the new body, but our energetic team is up for the challenge.
Team Lead: Brian Tran
The suspension team focuses on the design and manufacture of Bevolt's suspension system. Our job is essentially to make sure the car doesn't shake so much that parts loosen or break when the ride gets bumpy. We also provide the driver with a smoother, more comfortable driving experience. As a team, we work a lot in CAD models for 3D design. Extensive communication and collaboration is required to ensure that all the components we create individually function together as an assembled system. Once we are satisfied with our computer models, we work closely with the manufacturing team to decide if our proposed designs are feasible to manufacture, and facilitate the transition from design into manufacture of the suspension system. Everyone in the team learns a lot about the dynamics of automotive suspension, the overall process of design and manufacture, and how to work together efficiently as a team. Most importantly, though, we enjoy hanging out with one another and working towards a common goal.