Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2011 Technical ver.

Haha! Here's finally a post about me. Not Google, chrome or MS.

Anyway, while everyone else are enjoying their long semester holidays last June-July, I've participated in a prestigious yet very interesting and exciting competition - Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2011!


Nah, that's just a demotivational poster I made. Haha! It's not about running 40km non-stop. It's about building your dream car!!!


Ok... Enough of those annoying posters I've made. Anyway, Shell Eco-Marathon is about building the car that saves the most fuel i.e. built a car that can travel the furthest distance per liter petrol. The competition was held from 6-9 July 2011. This is the ASIA level competition, so we're competing against 120 teams around Asia region!

WARNING: This blog post may contain a lot of engineering related stuff, you may skip the last half if you want to and proceed to the next post about the event only. I just wanna share the knowledge with my engineering friends after all.


And hell yes! It's in SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT (SIC)!!!

And believe me, it's TOTALLY NOT EASY to build your own car at all. No one can really teach you what to do, because you don't learn them in your textbooks at all. You'll start from scratch, do your own research and solve every problem that you've come across by yourself. Well, perhaps some suggestions from friends, advisors and lecturers. As a preview, let's see what we've built!


"UPM Eco-Team"  and the car "Grevolution"!!!

Well, it's not really that great, but to achieve that with just 6 weeks of effort is really something!! Sadly, we get the budget from Uni just 6 weeks before the competition. Other teams started like 8 months-1 year before that.

We're a team of about 20+ people. Most of the team members are from the Mechanical Engineering Department. The rest are from the Faculty Rekabentuk. And I'm the only one from Chemical Engineering Department!

It was a compact 6 weeks of researching something we've never learned about and putting all those ideas into something real. Mainly the competition is divided into 2 category.
1. PROTOTYPE CATEGORY - where you build a 3-wheeled vehicle, for the sole purpose of saving the most fuel (i.e. not really suitable for daily driving).
2. URBAN CONCEPT CATEGORY - where you build a 4-wheeled vehicle that might be used as concept future car.

Then for each main category, there's small classes, mainly divided into
1. INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE CLASS - i.e. your normal grass cutter, motorcycle and car engine that runs on petrol
2. E-MOBILITY CLASS - i.e. Electric, Hydrogen, Solar.

Our team is participating in the PROTOTYPE - INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE, the largest category!

However, things are not that simple even if you are using normal engine. There's a lot of choice for the fuel your team can use. Besides conventional RON95, there's Diesel, Ethanol and FAME. Our advisor choose ETHANOL and that decision was made before I were even invited to enter the team. (I were invited only after they've obtained the participation rights from Shell, meaning submitted form approved.)

And what's more, it's going to be 100% pure Ethanol!!! (Your petrol are made up of mostly alkane) When I first heard about about using Ethanol as fuel, the first thought that pop up my mind was....


LOL... The problem with using Ethanol as fuel for normal motorcycle engine? Here's a 3-page report I wrote during the research. In layman term, Ethanol just DON'T BURN LIKE PETROL!! For those who can understand, it has high ignition temperature and worse still, its energy content is just half of petrol. I'll be back for the ENGINE part to solve the problem. For now, we'll go for the CHASSIS of the car. 

Back to the car construction, you'll need to build the frame or bone of the car - CHASSIS. The team used steel and welded them together to create it. I'm just so impressed by the Mechanical Engineering Team! They're so great at handling those machines!! MEMET is the boss in this aspect!!


~Chassis of "Grevolution"~

They're so good at handling those machine that I bet they can cut their nails like this~


Warning: Professionals Only!!

Anyway, besides the chassis, you need to work on the BODY (the cover of the chassis) as well. Well, at first, it was designed to be something like this...


That's an awesome design work from the students of Faculty Rekabentuk!! However, in the end, due to several complications, that it turned into something like this...


TROLLING~~ Lesson learned? There's always more than one approach to a problem! Just do whatever you can. In fact, I like the black design a lot! It's very cool, so cool that you have a 360 degree view in the car because it's 100% transparent plastic + cool tinted! People outside might not see you, but you can see them from the inside! And most important, the whole car is just 60kg max! That's really LIGHT~

Alrighty, back to my department. I'm in the Engine department. I'm also incharge of most of the calculation related task, be it energy or measurement. I'm also doing the car system and programming.

Back to the ETHANOL part, there's a lot of workaround for that problem, basically you'll need to MODIFY THE ENGINE. But with just 6 weeks of work period and with zero experience, it's just somehow impossible to create something good. To win this competition, the most important aspect will be the ENGINE. Your engine should be very efficient so that it won't waste energy.

At first, no one really did any calculations and I wasn't there the first week due to course trip. And the team just abruptly decided on the using Honda GX35. But that's one hell of a grass cutter engine, dude! How is that going to be powerful enough to move the car?! Of course, upon mounting the engine to the chassis, the car won't even budge.



However, nothing is really lost in the process. Using that small 35cc engine, I've learned A LOT about engine mechanism, such as how the CARBURETTOR functions, how the piston works, how does pressure variance affect fuel pumping, how does air-fuel ratio affect the efficiency of the engine and how POWERLESS it is using ETHANOL as fuel without modifying the engine. The energy output is just 60% of using petrol. And here's how gear ratio will help to increase the torque.


Shown above is how a 4-stroke engine works~

To test the efficiency of the engine, I've developed a few manual methods to test various parameters. No one can really teach you such things, and I tried my best to apply what I've learnt, mostly trial and errors. We don't have advance instruments to do so at all... Aren't we suppose to be a Research Uni?  We thus do everything crudely and manually. With the help of the team, we've managed to determine engine performance systematically!


Tested Performance Curve of GX35

And in the end, we decided to use Honda EX5 Engine. Of course, it's all based on calculations this time. It's also easier to modify since we can get spare parts easily and so we can destroy it as much as we want!!


And hell yeah, we've bought a completely new motorcycle just to get the engine!!


First thing first, test the Engine's performance!!

To those interested in the technical stuff, here's something you need to do if you want to use Ethanol as fuel in the conventional engine:

1. Increase the compression ratio
The reason is already stated in the report about ethanol. For chemical engineers, you'll learn this in your Thermodynamics. To do this, you'll need to modify the Block and Piston. (In textbook, you learn about compression ratio, but no one tells you how to reduce it. Only MAT REMPIT knows~) The details are difficult to explain without you seeing the engine. The concept is that you reduce the volume of the burning compartment to increase the compression ratio. We've doubled the compression ratio from 8:1 to 15:1, which is totally awesome!!

2. Adjust the air fuel ratio
Ethanol need less air for combustion in a stoichiometry sense when compared to petrol. If you use too much air, the air will cool down the engine so it'll be very difficult to burn. Too little air, incomplete combustion occurs. So it's a very tedious work of adjustment to achieve fine tuning. You'll want the engine to combust on the lean side, but not with too much air. The calculation for fine tuning can be done, using ODE and working with mass and energy balance. However, to do so, you'll need to determine the specific composition of the inlet and exhaust of the engine. Since we do not have such precise instruments to measure them, calculations are pretty much useless. So, we're just doing this tuning based on the sound of the engine (Mat Rempit Style~~~)

3. Change to hotter spark plug
Simple reason, since Ethanol is difficult to burn, stronger and hotter spark helps to achieve complete combustion.

4. Adjust the spark timing
Ethanol is difficult to burn. So we'll just make advance the timing, making the burning to occur earlier, so the fuel will have enough time to burn. This is very delicate work. And we didn't manage to really complete it due to the lack of time. But it was a good try after all.

5. Modifying the piston
If you've seen how the engine works in the animated gif before, you'll notice the valve is constantly moving up and down. Since we've cut the Block to reduce the overall volume, the piston will now knock against the valve when the valve is open, due to shorter distance. That's dangerous. The way to avoid knocking will be to cut the piston as well. And frankly, this is totally PRECISE ENGINEERING. We're working on 0.1mm scale, because the piston is only 2mm thick and if you punch through it... BYE BYE!! Total salute to EDMAN and REZA for completing this task!!


Punched 2 holes on the surface of the piston. Drawn using CATIA.

That should be most about engine modifications. Thank god we have PEDO on the team!! I'm doing all the calculations stuff, while he's the one directing the mechanical stuff. He knows so much about motorcycle that he did take out the whole engine, disassemble it into gears and screws, then put it back together again!! Without him and of course the Mechanical Team, my theory is just theory. He's not an Engineering Student though. Maybe he was a MAT REMPIT??

After that, you'll need to determine the performance of the car, so to calculate the km/L petrol. It's a bit complicated. It's related to writing out force balances, then solve the ODE individually while trying to maintain most of the parameters in the equations, so that we can find the constants based on test result and adjust the parameters to suit the situation. Physics students might find this simple, but I took nearly 3 days to derive it because I've never learn it before.

Mainly, the technique we use in the race, which most teams applied is called "Burn and Cruise". The vehicle starts from zero speed, then accelerates up to maybe 50km/h. That's the "burn" part because the engine is running. Then the engine is shut down so that the car can "cruise". When the car reaches a minimum speed, say 30km/h, the engine is turned on again. The cycle is repeated. This saves fuel.... a lot!

The derivations I did are here. While the discussions on various parameters are here. In short, I've derived the following equation to be used. I might not be correct, but that's the best after I tried. Anyway, my calculations says that we'll do at least 170km/L petrol. During the competition, our best was 190km/L. That's close enough~!


Haha! It's getting more technical?? Anyway, ABDUL and I tried to include an automated system for such "Burn and Cruise" process. The system will detect the vehicle speed and will turn the engine on and off automatically. We've managed to complete the circuit, wiring and programming, however it was not used at all in the end, because the time is not enough for us to install it. Well, nothing is lost, I've learned a lot on Electronic Engineering and C language at least.

Arduino Uno

Yeap, we used the board above, the Arduino Uno. It's basically a programmable board, with input and output. The circuit that I've designed is the one below.

~Image generated using Fritzig~

The code I've written for this circuit is available here. Just download and open it with notepad++ or something. It has basically a Hall Effect sensor to detect the speed of the vehicle, 2 relays to on and off the engine and some signals inputs and outputs.

It's kinda sad that we didn't get the chance to install it after completion. But it's ok, since I've learned something. Special thanks to SECK HOUNG and YIK SHAN for giving me guidance on the circuit and the coding.

Enough said on the technical part, we shall proceed to the next blog on the EVENT!!! If you're interested in the calculations or other technical stuff, feel free to comment here!! I'll try my best to answer.

Definitely, this event has enabled me to know a bunch of experts from the Mechanical Engineering!! They taught me a lot and I'm so glad I joined this!! It's a chance for me to apply what I've learned to reality, instead on pens and papers.

If you ever get the chance to join this competition, DON'T EVER MISS IT!!!


Friday, April 22, 2011

不幸☆星 14

久违了的部门。说真的,还真的是没什么梗可以写……


忧郁的极端
FACEBOOK……
妹:灾难你到底及时回来?
我:灾难不会回来……放心吧……
妹: (马上转悲为喜!)
我:如果这是“灾难”和“宅男”之间的措辞play,那还真的是很逊……
妹:我没有想到这么lame的东西……亏你还想得到……
我:是的,因为我现在很忧郁……我差点回答,“宅男”不回来……




其实你是想我的,对吗?!
妹:不要太忧郁啦……(安慰01)
我:我其实很想回家…… 
妹:你之后都有4个月的假期了。忍一忍吧。(安慰02)
我:我明白你不希望我回来…… 
妹:明白就好。(斩铁截钉)
我:(原来这才是她的真正想法!这家伙一点悲悯之心都没有吗?!)




现实与梦想
我:唉……我已经忧郁得没力气吐嘈了……算了吧。
妹:最多……最多你回来时我煮东西给你吃?
我:你……你是谁?!你真的是我妹?!(傲娇?!)
妹:不要就拉倒咯……
我:我要!!(不管是不是现实,有梦想就够了!
(你说我妹没有emoticon?因为她的话,触动了我的宅男神经,浮现在我脑海中的画面是……)

(我不是个妹控!我只是个没救的宅男……


其实你是想我的,对吗?!(2)
妹:其实我现在发烧咯……
我:哦,难怪你说出那么不像你的话出来。原来你病了!好好休息啦……别太忙了。长大之后,比我还会病……
妹:嗯……你突然讲话很肉麻耶。先闪。掰掰。
我:……
(我那个反应不是因为被拒绝了……而是另外一幅画面浮现了……)

(真的!我不是个妹控!我只是个没救的宅男……

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

对我来说的生命

最近在FACEBOOK我真的是被不少人给闹烦了。自杀、遗书、赞颂、耻骂的……本来是不想理会的,不过既然大家那么兴致勃勃,而我的部落许久没有题材,那我也就在这里插一笔。

不,我并不想探讨那家伙的死活。我连赞颂、耻骂他的兴趣也没有。一句话,不珍惜生命的家伙,不值得我的关心,连要骂他的精力我也不想浪费。

不,我也不是想发表关于那些想建庙,放公假或者乘势另外写遗书上报的家伙。终究人类是矛盾的存在,而矛盾成就了人类。

我在这里想表达的是——我眼中的“生命”,以及我“生活”的态度。没错,完全关于我,所以你不想再读下去也无妨。毕竟,这可能只是我目前对我生命的看法,过了几年,也许我就改观了……

“我出生在这个世上的意义是什么?”这是人一生中曾经会问过的问题。

我们理所当然地被父母亲赋予性命。我们也理所当然地,无知地接受了出生的这个事实。然而当你从无知,慢慢转成大人,开始明白痛苦与苦恼,你就会开始时不时地询问自己。特别痛苦过深的时候,你更会挖掘到内心深处,那无人能到达的地方躲避起来,反复琢磨这个问题。

任何人都被伤害过,没有任何人是发肤完整的。跌伤、烫伤、背叛、分离……这就是我们的生活。任何人都会不满,任何人都会讨厌、抱怨、生气,因为我们是——丑陋的人类。

我从小学开始就觉得人类是很丑恶的东西。明争暗斗、笑里藏刀是经常发生的事情。我相信不只是我,不少人从小就明白到世界有多么的不公平。你的父母亲总会偏爱,你的老师们总会偏袒,你的同学们总会类聚排挤,你的朋友总会离开,你的情人总会为难……我们从小就活在这样的世界里,因为我们是——不完美的人类。

我们当然讨厌这样的事情,而当你遇上了,你开始埋怨自己为何会在这里受苦,你开始问自己“我出生在这个世上的意义是什么?”。

如果你问我,那么我会回答说——没有!没有“天生”的意义……

分清楚,“出生”是对你而言没有意义的,其意义在于你的父母亲。你的父母亲把你视做掌上明珠,这是他们对你出生的意义。你父母亲弃子于不顾,这也是他们对你出生的意义。

那么我活着为何?就是因为“出生”没有意义,所以你才像一张空白的纸,可以赋以自己“生活”的意义。

苏庭玉,你说得很伟大似的,难道你已经知道自己生活的意义了?!

不,我至今还不知道,我生着不知为何,也许到死了都不知道。

可是,有一点我是很肯定的。只要你肯活在当下,并且做出你当下所能的最大努力,当你回头来看,那也许就是你生活的意义——你其实已经走在意义上,而他在你脚下,你看不见。

那么回到之前的问题。

我讨厌人类,我恨人类!他背叛我,他欺负我,他离开我!我该如何面对?!

WILSON曾经为了他的部落格而希望我能给与意见,题目是:"What Changes You Want to See in this World"。我当时来不及答复,不过如果是现在回答的话我会说……

“希望人类明白人类有多么地丑恶与矛盾,并且能接受这个事实。”

为什么一直说人类丑恶?难道人类就没有美好?

不是的,人类的美好多的是。但是,我们总喜欢面对美好,却有多少人能够以同样的心态面对那残忍的时候?

最主要的是,我们首先应该先面对并接受自己有多么地丑陋。因为你是人类,我也是人类。你说你被人讨厌了,但你也是有讨厌的人。你说他离开你了,那难道就没有离开过其他人?你说人家看轻你,你不也是曾经以貌取人吗?

一旦你能面对自己,那么你多多少少也能够面对别人了,因为你明白自己也是会犯同样的错。

“才不,我不可能背叛我的朋友!!”你大声喊道。

你说的没有错。所以接下来的,你就应该学着“接受”,接受“好与坏”。

其实我们都是可以学会接受的,其实我们平时都在接受了。举个例,说得恶心一点,再美的美女,再帥的俊男,不论是你最爱的明星或歌星,都是会放屁,排泄,流脓,挖鼻孔。你接受吗?你还是喜欢他们吗?不觉得恶心吗?

会,你还是会喜欢和爱他们。你会说,这是人类的常态,为什么不能接受。

那么同理,人类的丑恶就是人类的常态。人就是会懒惰,人就是会讨厌,人就是会自私,人就是会自利。

什么?接受?!那么虐待动物,偷窃杀人那种行为,我也必须接受?!

不,看清楚,我是说“好与坏”,并没有说“对与错”。

明白然后接受了“好与坏”,你就能够更客观的面对“对与错”。毕竟对我而言,人类就是矛盾的存在。而我选择接受这个矛盾,所以我说话处事就看起来很矛盾。

我对一切都不相信。我不相信我的朋友会背叛我,可是我也不相信我的朋友不会背叛我。举刘墉给的一个例子,屋里只有你和朋友,一场非常非常危险的大火烧了下来,你连自己性命都难保的状态了,你会救人?还是自救?

说吧,如果你自保了,没救出朋友,是对还是错?如果你冲进火场相救了,却与朋友葬身火海,是对还是错?再下来,如果你冲进火海,朋友却自己逃了出来,而你却死了,朋友是对还是错?

可能大部分人会自救,因为自保是人的本性。可是到了火场外,你保住了性命之后,你会怎么做?你看了看那烈火,再想了想朋友,你突然又奋不顾身地冲进火场,希望救出自己的朋友。

这就是人类的矛盾,然而就是因为这矛盾所以人类才虽然丑恶,同时又美丽。

我认为,世界所有事情没有全对全错,灰色地带才是我们生活的地方,只有偏向黑或偏向白,没有全黑全白。行善者,心中难免邪念;行恶者,心中非全无善念。护国的军队,始终必须射杀敌人。强盗窃贼,也许只为养父母温饱。

这就是为什么我对WILSON说,“希望人类明白人类有多么地丑恶与矛盾,并且能接受这个事实。”

说了那么多,也许一点意义也没有。读完这篇长篇大论的人,难免会持有争议。赞同与排斥,我接受,因为人类本来就是矛盾的存在。

Saturday, December 4, 2010

我的网络忧郁,我的音乐忧郁

首先是网路忧郁。

是的,我实在不晓得该写些什么,所以很忧郁。到底有什么事情是有趣的,足以让我想放在部落里——没有。

现在是大学假期了。而在上学期间,几乎每一天都是埋没在书堆里过日子,简直是个好学生。

为何不上网?

嗯,宿舍是说把伺服器“升级”了。讽刺的是,自从升级了之后,我的房间就从此断讯!

我能够怎么办?电脑成了播音机和打字机,作用只是听歌以及写报告。

那么旅行呢?如果有履行日志就好了!!

没钱,也没人陪。有的只是去拍人家结婚的工作。部落是打算写的,可是没什么东西好写。小说嘛,我可不想在脑海里都是印度歌的时候写。(结婚摄影时的印度歌实在是太恐怖了!)

然后是音乐忧郁。

电吉他要掌握还需要时间。是有打算写歌,写了生平第一首背景音乐。《夏·空》,日文读Natsu Sora。双吉他的合奏,也只是非常简单的编排。http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=473714298420

以Bm调写的曲,然后不断重复着4个和弦。主乐在每一节都是以B开头来给人平稳的感觉,然而同时,两只吉他以不同的节奏前进,来给人摇摇欲坠的感觉。总觉得望着暑假的天空,我们就那么享受着平静的时间,但蹉跎岁月的同时,难免会让人有些不安呢……

这个假期,我能够做些什么……?

summer_hill_1024x768

Sunday, September 5, 2010

福尔摩斯先生收

事实是我很忙,真的很忙。

手头上的案件就每个星期差不多三件了。如果难免同事的办事效率太低,那么我还得把他们手头上那份工作做完。

观察、数据、搜查、分析、检讨、结论、报告……这样的流程在我的每一天里重复着。

所谓眼见为凭,总觉得手头上的办案手册给予的资料模棱两可。在第一次的勘查之后,总会忍不住带着更多疑虑回到案件现场重新调查;毕竟考察得到的数据,与手册里资料的有出入。虽然总是比别人多做一倍的工作,但由于兴趣问题,所得到的回报是值得的。

由于工作关系,好久没回家了……

难得终于把手头上的工作做完了,我总算在昨天可以回到家里休息。然而,回到家里发现桌上等着我的是一份包裹。直觉告诉我,这是某个大型案件的始端,因为上头写着“福尔摩斯先生收”……

another-06292

=。= 好啦,我只是很久没写部落,难得有个机会就来个“推理小说开头”式的开头。

基本上你只要把“案件”换成“试验报告”,“办案手册”换成“试验手册”,“案件现场”换成“实验室”,就基本上了解我的情况了。我这个学期,每个星期一共有3个LAB。而目前为止,已经发现了一次的“机器设定”问题,一次的“试验步骤”问题,一次的“公式”问题,一次的“资料判定”问题。我为了确认错误,基本上都把试验做了两次,还特地写了报告给教授说明。手册错误百出,而这样的手册竟然沿用了那么多年……

好吧,明白了,撇开那些课业性的话题不谈,我妈这次回台湾,带了一些好东西回来。上面的那份包裹基本上是一本书,可是包装真的够奇特的,真的包的象一份寄给福尔摩斯先生的包裹。

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另外,生日快乐。我生日的时候妈正在台湾。上面那把吉他是项链,日本的银饰,太适合我了。至于另外一个,是一个可以放很多“卡”的皮夹。

其实这次要介绍的是台湾的“方便餐”。

another-1660 有这种东西,我随时能够在大学里过美丽人生。

another-1658 首先,先煮好白饭。

another-1663 接着把那包美味的咖喱牛肉放进热水里泡个3分钟。

another-1664 在等的当儿,就把饭盛进碗里。

another-1667 然后时间差不多了,就把包装打开。

another-1669 倒进饭碗里~

another-1678 然后就“哦,我的天!”地大喊一声,一餐美味的咖喱牛肉饭准备好了!!

我今天就靠这东西过了两餐。为什么马来西亚没有这种东西……