Analyzing Solar Car State of Charge via CAN Logger + GPS/IMU
Case Studies / University of Michigan Solar Car
The University of Michigan Solar Car Team is an entirely student-run organization that designs, builds, and races solar electric vehicles. Since its establishment in 1989, the team has built 17 vehicles.
What problem did you solve?
The original purpose of the CAN logger was to characterize the power required to run the car and diagnose issues that happen during testing. We ended up using the device for much more. We needed a CAN logger in our experimental solar vehicle to debug errors in our microsystems, characterize the power draw of our car under different conditions, and calibrate our current sensors better.
How did you solve it?
We installed the CANedge1 incl. GPS/IMU in the car. This helped us better estimate the State of Charge (SoC) of our battery while racing the car. The GPS data allowed us to correlate issues with specific road features and timestamps - even linking it with dashcam footage from our support vehicles.
"I really can't say enough good things about the CANedge1 - we'll certainly be back in the future!"
What benefit has this led to?
The CANedge has been invaluable to us in obtaining a better understanding of our vehicle's systems, and greaty improved our ability to knowledgeably address errors that occur in our electrical system.
Why did you choose the CANedge1?
I chose the CANedge because of its plug-and-play characteristics and easy-to-use data analysis tools. We have been using the asammdf GUI very successfully to quickly find and analyze key features of our data.
The CANedge is a device that removes countless hours of debugging and development from the shoulders of any engineer looking to perform SD logging of a CAN bus. The variety of tools and utilities available for data analysis, robust construction, and plug-and-play functionality allowed my team to perform data logging and analysis at an unprecedented level for our team in a matter of days.
— Ronak Parikh
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