What is a Power Distribution Module?
Racing cars have many electrical sensors and actuators that have to be controlled and supplied with power. For example cooling fans, pumps, active aerodynamics servos, ignition plugs and braking lights consume lots of energy, which has to supplied from the battery. In order to protect the components and the wiring harness, the currents have to be limited and switched when needed. Traditionally this is done using fuses and relays, but they have many disadvantages, such weight and inability to control the current consumption. The solid-state power distribution module with smart high-side drivers can switch the channels off in case of overheating or other faults, while constantly monitoring the current consumption of the components, allowing better data acquisition, easier fault detection and more precise adjustment of the battery capacity.
The circuit consists of ST high-side switches and an ARM Cortex-M4 based microcontroller, as well as a Würth buck converter and a CAN transciever to transmit the measurement results to the data logger. It is 150x80 mm of size and uses an automotive-grade sealed connector. The enclosure will also be built in-house.
Who are we?
Rennteam Stuttgart is University of Stuttgart's Formula Student Combustion team. Formula Student is an international design competition for students in which teams from around the world construct a single-seated formula vehicle and produce a ready-to-drive prototype, assuming a fictitious design assignment.
In addition to the technical development of the vehicle, which has to prove itself in various disciplines, the teams have the task of designing a feasible business plan and a marketing concept for a small series production for the vehicle they have developed and presented to a jury consisting of experts from the automobile industry. and supplier industry as well as motorsport.
Each team can achieve a maximum of 1000 points in three static and five dynamic disciplines. The overall victory is won by the team with the best overall package of construction, racing performance, financial planning and marketing strategy.
Last but not least, participating in the Formula Student competitions enriches the learning content of the university education with exciting practical experience in the areas of vehicle development and assembly, product and project management as well as strategic management and guides the students step by step through the interdisciplinary way of working in the industry approach.