C. Power Consumption with Additional Weight

Power Consumption with Additional Weight

Purpose: To determine the amount power necessary for traveling with the additional weight of a caboose.

Process:  Note: In parentheses represents our choices.

  1. Test to determine if and how the AEV travels with a caboose attached.
  2. Note if the AEV’s travel is considerably different with and without the additional weight. (On all parts of the track)
  3. (A) If there is a notable difference: Test to determine if travel is possible with a caboose within the allotted power consumption.(B) If there isn’t a notable difference: Assume that the AEV can travel with a caboose with the currently used power consumption.
  4. If need be: Alter the code or design based on the differences of the AEV’s performance with and without additional weight to potentially allow the vehicle to travel.
  5. Continue steps 1 – 4 to determine a successful design and power consumption to support travel with and without additional weight.



The team first determined that the AEV is simply unable to travel with the additional weight of a caboose in the allotted power consumption for the motors. The current AEV design would require either a higher power consumption or change in design to travel with a caboose on all parts of the track. To determine which solution would be most time and energy efficient the team tested multiple power inputs for the motors to find the lowest plausible range. After which the team found the AEV to still perform inconsistently based on a restriction to airflow for the motors.

Conclusion: The team decided that a change in the AEV’s design (i.e. motor placement) in combination with a usage of 50 – 60 percent power consumption on the motors could allow for successful travel with a caboose’s additional weight.