Electronics and Powertrain
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To get the power from the fuel cell to the tires a lot of electronics are necessary. First of all, you have the powertrain which connects the fuel cell, the accumulator and the electromotors. It operates at voltages as high as 700 volts and currents over 300 ampères! Next to that, there is the embedded system, interfacing with all the sensors and actuators in the car. The embedded systems make sure all the software and control can communicate with the powertrain and fuel cell systems, so we can drive as fast as possible!
Chief embedded systems
As chief embedded systems I strive to remove barriers between the software and the hardware. Instead of finishing all the electronics and then writing all the software afterwards, the goal is to write the software alongside the electronics to create a high-level understanding on both sides of what the other side is doing. This to increase efficiency and allow people to get a more rounded view. Sounds simple right? But remember we’re working with people here. Each person is different and works different. As chief embedded system I try to extract what the hardware and the software engineers need and how they can be allowed to work alongside the rest of the team. Next to that, I work with the electronic team as electronic engineer to gain a deeper understanding of how the system is build up.
As a powertrain engineer at Forze my goal is to supply all the electronics in the car with power. From the moment the electric power is produced by the fuel cells, it has to be transported in a safe manner through the car. Safety is very important due to the high voltages present in the car. For our driver to be out of harm’s way we need to have full control over the electricity in the Forze IX.
The embedded system is the brain and nervous system of the car. Its function is connecting all the sensors and actuators required to operate a hydrogen electric racing car to the control system, as well as supporting the control software on the Central Processing Stack. It is my job to design, build and test this system.