Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Sarah Harding


(1) Background:

The Cal Poly Rose Float is currently powered by a pair of V-8 internal combustion engines. This is the second project in a three phase effort to replace the existing drive engine with an electric motor powered by a DC bus. The main goal of this phase of the project is to get the motor selected in phase one spinning.

(2) Results:

Originally, the project involved programming a microcontroller to achieve motor control. The decision was made, early on, to approach this task in a different manner due to the team’s minimal background in programming and mechatronics. The team decided to purchase and implement a commercially available variable frequency drive to get the motor spinning, and to offer a more sophisticated level of control. After extensive research, planning, purchasing of required components, and connectivity considerations, sufficient motor control was achieved.

(3) Conclusion:

The selection of a variable frequency drive to gain motor control was successful, and the goals of phase 2 in the Cal Poly electric vehicle project were accomplished. The project is ready to enter the next phase which is to be completed by another team of students.