Finished our first round of performance tests

On Saturday, we moved the golf cart from Anthony’s house over to Chris; where there would be less traffic and where we had access to long stretches of flat road.

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Our goal for today was to measure the performance of the golf cart. We would later use these results to determine the best way to integrate the electric drive and to set a baseline that we can compare our completed vehicle to. Some of the tests we performed include distance traveled per unit of fuel, top speed, and acceleration time. We performed three sets of fuel economy tests. The first test simulated city driving; heavy acceleration to top speed followed by rapid braking. This process was repeated until the fuel was depleted. The second test simulated high speed highway driving; the vehicle was driven at top speed until all of the fuel was used. Finally, the third test simulated low speed highway style driving; the vehicle was driven nearly 20% slower than top speed until the fuel was used up. For each of the tests, we performed at least 3 runs to reduce error.

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During the day, we ran into several setbacks. Within the first few minutes of testing, we had a flat tire.

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After a few hours,  we began hearing a grinding noise coming from the rear axle. Upon inspection, we discovered that the differential was nearly dry. After filling it with nearly a liter of lubricant, we stopped hearing the grinding noise. The extra lubrication also made the golf cart much easier to push around. Since the troubleshooting and repairs took more time than we had anticipated, we returned on Sunday to complete our tests.

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–  Jason

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