Crestview HS Electrathon Teams Compete in Emerald Coast Electrathon Classic at Five Flags Speedway

The Engineering Technology students at Crestview High School competed in the sixth annual Emerald Coast Electrathon Classic at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola on Saturday, April 26th, 2014.

The Electrathon competition is a one hour event where the competitors attempt to complete the most laps in an electric vehicle.  The design of the electric vehicle has few constraints, for example the vehicle can have three wheels or four wheels.  The three wheel configuration can be two wheels in front and one in back or one wheel in front and two in back.  The critical limitation is the maximum allowable weight of the batteries, 73 pounds.  Some teams purchase their vehicles completely assembled, some purchase kits and assemble them, while others design and build the vehicle from scratch.

The Crestview High School teams are part of the latter group.  They started the process by reading the rules and designing a frame.  Once the frame was designed they bent some ¾” conduit pieces to the correct shape and took them to the welding shop for welding.  The students redesigned the frame and added more conduit pieces to complete the inner framework.

 

 

The steering components were designed, built, and installed.  The design of the rolling frame and attaching the wheels was the next step.  The braking system was designed and installed.  The electrical components; motor, battery, switches, etc. were installed according to the design.  The students also had to ensure the vehicle had a sturdy roll cage and install a five point safety harness to keep occupants in the vehicle in the event of a roll-over.

 

The teams took different paths for the vehicle exterior; one team went with an enclosed cockpit design while the other went for the open cockpit design.  Upon the completion of the assembly the vehicles were tested and operational data was gathered to optimize the gearing for maximum efficiency.

Competition day - High school and college teams from around the country came to Five Flags Speedway.  There were teams from California, Georgia, Texas, and Florida with a total of 16 different teams with twenty vehicles to compete.

A team from Texas completed 130 laps in the two events.  The Crestview High School teams completed 41 and 42 laps for Team 1 and Team 2, respectively.  Team 1 had some battery and drive wheel issues while Team 2 had chain derailment issues.

Many thanks to the sponsors: Vettes Unlimited, Glass Doctor, Truly Spokin, Hangman’s Cycles, and Mr. and Mrs. Delery.  Also thank you to CHS Welding and all of the staff and support personnel of Okaloosa County School District who lent a helping hand during this capstone project.