8 December 2015

New sponsors announced after Advanced Engineering show

The recent Advanced Engineering show at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, proved to be very successful. There was a lot of interest in the project and a new sponsor signed up on the spot.

One of the fellow exhibitors was Sigmatex Ltd, the leading suppliers of Carbon Fibre textiles. I had a long chat with Simon Green from their sales team (and another motorcycle nut - they're everywhere) and asked him if they would be able to supply the materials needed to make the body panels. Without hesitation he agreed they would do that.

igmatexCooden Tax Consulting

I immediately put Simon in touch with Brett from 3D Printing Engineering (who recently agreed to undertake the manufacture, in conjunction with the University of Brighton students doing the aero analysis) and the pair of them are already discussing which material is best for different areas of the bike.



Our second newcomer was a result of October's Kent Manufacturing Expo. Following my meeting with Tim Allen, president of the Chamber and MD of M J Allen Ltd of Ashford, Tim has been on the lookout for Kent-based suppliers.

One item he's been chasing is a supplier/machinist for the PE300 polyethylene panels that we've specified to hold the capacitors securely and electrically insulate each pack. This search eventually led to N E Plastics and their Sales Director Nick Warne. Nick had a look at the drawings and agreed that they could do all the machining we require and I agreed that, because there's a lot of it, and it's not a material they generally use, we will pay for the material.

NE Plastics

Nick then organised a sample piece from the supplier so he could do a machining test on the router, and which we can use to trial-fit the capacitors. Last week I visited N E Plastics in Sidcup to meet Nick and collect the sample which is now on its way to Lyra Electronics.

Nick Warne and Phil Edwards (holding the machined PE300 sample)




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Sponsors still being sought. If you'd like to join us on this extraordinary journey and share the publicity get in touch with Phil on 01825 761890

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers at www.Fast-Charge.org

Fast Charge Technical update - December 2015

It's been a busy time with lots of small items moving forward but a couple of design issues holding up progress on the chassis, which is a shame as it's the one part I was hoping would be progressing well by now.

The biggest stumbling block is that, to shoehorn the motors into the smallest and lightest package they need to spin at very high revs to generate the power. They are also quite inefficient at low revs and for drag racing you MUST have the instantaneous power IMMEDIATELY (and lots of it).

To get there we're trying two novel (for an electric vehicle) components in the drive train.

One is a gearbox to reduce the very high motor rpm down to the speed we require at the back wheel. We were (a long time ago) hoping to do the final drive through chains. We'll still use motorcycle chain for the final drive to the back wheel, but as now require such a huge gear reduction between motor and wheel we're designing a single-speed reduction gearbox.

Obviously it needs to be very small, very light, and handle extremely high input speeds and very high torque. So far everyone we've spoken to say it can't be done in the space/weight limits we've set... well, they don't want to take on the challenge of trying it anyway. We've still got some independent specialists who are keen to help so we've not given up on it yet.

I'm not going to reveal much about the second component in the drive-train at the moment; suffice to say we'll be using a specialist bit of drag racing kit. That is to say it's a pretty specialist part when used on any drag-race car or bike - ours, being a one-off is even more unusual and our friends at Warpspeed Racing are helping to design and manufacture a one-off unit.

This is the type of engineering challenge that we love solving, but it comes with a price tag, and as we never budgeted to do any of this I'm not sure where the money's coming from yet... If you can help do let me know - lots of promotional opportunities available if you get involved.


Keep watching the blog for more news, or click the links to Like Us on Facebook and Follow us on TwitterYou can also keep up to date by registering for the newsletter, or joining the supporters club; details are HERE.

Sponsors still being sought. If you'd like to join us on this extraordinary journey and share the publicity get in touch with Phil on 01825 761890

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers at www.FastCharge.org 

Canine Partners featured on Uckfield FM

We had some fun a few weeks ago when I was joined by two of the East Sussex Canine Partners team to do a live interview on Uckfield FM.

Uckfield FM presenter Lyn Buckingham

Ruth Narracott, the East Sussex Trainer and Ruth Breading a local Puppy Parent were interviewed on the Lyn Buckingham morning show. They bought along two puppies who were as good as gold in the studio. It was a bit cramped with four adults and two dogs in the tiny studio, but great fun.

Listen to the interview below.



Keep watching the blog for more news, or click the links to Like Us on Facebook and Follow us on TwitterYou can also keep up to date by registering for the newsletter, or joining the supporters club; details are HERE.

Sponsors still being sought. If you'd like to join us on this extraordinary journey and share the publicity get in touch with Phil on 01825 761890

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers at www.Fast-Charge.org