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Technical Tuesday: Subframe of the DELTA-XE

November 23rd, 2021|

The Delta XE is enveloped by bodywork that gives the bike a neat look and enhances the aerodynamic properties of the bike. The top part of the bodywork is called the subframe. The subframe is part of the frame, as it is mounted […]

Technical Tuesday: Motor Control of the Delta XE

November 16th, 2021|

Our electric superbikes differ in many ways from traditional fuel-powered motorcycles with the obvious change being the power delivery system, namely the electric motor and battery. It is not as simple as swapping […]

Team Interview: Ralph Brantjes

November 11th, 2021|

Hi, I’m Ralph. I’m the current external relations and finance of Electric Superbike Twente. My job is to get into contact and maintain contact with partners. Next to that, I’m also in charge of […]

Technical Tuesday: VSIL

November 8th, 2021|

Safety is a very important thing to consider when racing with an electric motorcycle. For this reason, we strictly follow the safety regulations set by the Electric Road Racing Association. One of these requirements is the […]

Team Interview: Max Biesheuvel

October 26th, 2021|

I’m Max, 21 years old and my role in the team this year is Powertrain Engineer. I’m almost done with my studies “Creative Technology”. I really like to build things with electronics and to […]

Technical Tuesday: Subframe of the DELTA-XE

November 23rd, 2021|

The Delta XE is enveloped by bodywork that gives the bike a neat look and enhances the aerodynamic properties of the bike. The top part of the bodywork is called the subframe. The subframe is part of the frame, as it is mounted directly to it. The subframe should be able to handle the load of the rider while the motorcycle is on the track.  

Currently, the subframe of the Delta is made out of a carbon fibre composite. In order to fabricate such a part, a mould is needed to shape the carbon sheets. A total of ten layers of carbon is used to give the subframe the strength and low weight it needs. A type of foam is used in the middle of these layers to enhance the strength. 

The subframe is designed to protect the components that are located beneath it, such as the motor controller, from water and debris. Furthermore, it gives the rider a place to put his legs on, allowing him to clamp around the bike and maintain stability. Unfortunately, the space that should be occupied by the motor controller was limited by a torsion bar in the front of the motorcycle. This bar prevented the motor controller to be located in the front and instead of being placed underneath the bar, it was moved further back. However, the motor controller proved to be larger than expected, interfering with the subframe from the inside. This problem was solved by taking a small amount of material out of the subframe at the locations where the motor controller comes in contact with the subframe. Furthermore, the frame warped after welding, causing the mounting tabs for the subframe to be slightly misaligned. The subframe mounting holes do not match the mounting tabs of the frame as a result. This can be solved by using the current subframe as a template for the new subframe in order to determine the new locations of the mounting holes.  

The fact that the current subframe has some imperfections allows us to tweak the design, making it better as a result. Firstly, the new design can be lighter. Fewer carbon sheets can be used to maintain sufficient strength, while reducing the weight significantly. Secondly, the subframe requires slightly more width at the locations where the motor controller interferes with the subframe. The mould of the current subframe has already been manufactured, and creating a new mould is rather expensive. This means that for a new subframe, with the changes mentioned above, the mould needs to be changed accordingly. It can be achieved by editing the mould file with CAD software after which a CNC router is able to determine toolpaths and adjust the mould as desired. This way the new mould can be used to manufacture a new subframe. Ultimately, this should give us a subframe that is both lighter, easier to attach and a better fit.  

– Stijn van der Veen

Technical Tuesday: Motor Control of the Delta XE

November 16th, 2021|

Our electric superbikes differ in many ways from traditional fuel-powered motorcycles with the obvious change being the power delivery system, namely the electric motor and battery. It is not as simple as swapping the fuel tank and engine for a battery and electric motor. It also introduces many new components. One of these new components is the motor controller. It acts as a bridge between the battery and the electromotor, ensuring the power of the battery is correctly applied to the electromotor. The current from the battery is a direct current (DC), while the electromotor uses a 3-phase alternating current (AC). As a result, the battery power must be altered before it can be received by the electric motor. 

The motor controller contains a 3-phase power inverter, a circuitry designed to invert DC to AC power using a series of transistors. In the Deltas motor controller, the Cascadia PM 150 DZR, the transistors operate at a rapid pace, switching on and off at a rate of 12 000 Hz. It produces three alternating currents shaped like a sinusoid. The electric motor contains three pairs of coil windings, each of which corresponds to one of the currents coming out of the motor controller. This is part is the stator, the static part of the electric motor. By correctly applying the currents, a rotating magnetic field is produced by the stator. The rotor, the revolving part of the motor, will rotate together with the magnetic field as a result. This rotating motion is the power that comes out of the motor, which is subsequently fed into the gearbox and ultimately transmitted to the rear wheel. 

The Cascadia is not simply an inverter. It contains many features which allow us to get as much power out of the motor as possible. Because track racing requires very different power delivery throughout corners and straights, the torque and speed the motor needs to supply is rather versatile. To get the best performance out of the motor, a control system is applied to the inverter. The control system calculates the currents and voltages it needs to supply to the motor to get the power the user desires. The Cascadia utilizes a feedforward control system using a lookup table. Essentially, a large table is constructed by evaluating the motor behaviour at various currents and torques. By finding the optimal currents for a certain torque value, we can ensure the superbike is as fast as possible.  

We are currently constructing the lookup table on our dynamometer. Once it is finished, the motor controller is optimized to supply the ideal power on all ranges the motor is designed for. Subsequently, the Delta can have the maximum amount of power available in all stages of a hotlap.  

 

– Bram Harbers

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