Introduction: Capacitor Car
Our challenge was to design a car using what we knew about capacitors, circuits, and gears to make a go as far as possible on one capacitor charge. Made by Mike C. Zak R. and Greg R.
Step 1: Motor and Capacitor
The first thing we had to do was choose a motor. We were given two options, a black motor, or a silver motor. To decide which one we would use, would attached meshing gears to each motor and turned them on to see which way they would turn. The gears turned toward the way the silver motor was running . We realized that that means it has more torque so we used the silver motor. The capacitor we were given was a 1 farad 5 volt capacitor.
Step 2: Gears and Wheels
We then had to make gears in solid works, then 3D print them. Our big gear had 44 teeth and a 32 pitch. Our small gear had 12 teeth and a 32 pitch. This made a ratio a little over 4:1. The downloads for the gears will be linked. We were given the choice between two motors, a silver one, and a black one. We did a test to see which motor had more torque. We put meshing gears on each motor and ran them against each other and which ever way it turned decided what motor to use. In our case, the silver motor won.
Step 3: Axles and Chassis
We then had to make a chassis in solid works to 3D print. We were only allowed .6 cubic inches to work with. It started with a block in solid works that was about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. The link to the final product of the chassis is attached. The axles we chose had diameters of .16 inches each.
Step 4: Circuit System
For our circuit system, we attached the motor to the capacitor, the capacitor to an on/off switch, and the on/off switch to the motor. The way the switch works is when it is held down, the motor doesn't run, but when you release it, it runs. We charged the capacitor to 5 volts before every run which took from 15-20 seconds.
Step 5: Changes and Improvements
After testing, we made changes and improvements. These consisted of putting rubber bands on the wheels for better traction and a better, more stable, motor mount. Our results before these changes were around 70 feet. After the changes our best result was 112 feet.