Building an Electric Go-kart
Having a great interest in engineering, Sam decided to build an electric go-kart. Practical and hands-on, it was a truly challenging project conceived with a conservation ethic, his way of connecting his CES to time spent at the Trevor Zoo. His process was lengthy and required a multitude of testing and resulting redesign. He built the frame then the train drive, choosing brushless motors due to their inherent benefits—more power, less heat, and more efficiency. He wired motor controllers to manage the electromagnets in the motors and built the control system including an Arduino to process inputs from the pedals, control relay switches, limit the power output, and control the speed controllers. Challenges—and lessons learned— were abundant. Brakes didn’t work because they were not installed correctly, batteries blew because the go-kart was pulling too much power, a small frame could not easily accommodate all of his components, and poorly translated Chinese instructions made wiring intricate motor controllers extremely difficult. But none of that mattered the day he drove his go-kart down School Road!