Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Back From Houghton!

After a long, rewarding week, the competition is over.

It all started with an early morning and after a long drive and a longer wait at the border we checked into the hotel and brought our 12 foot trailer over to the large hanger where all the other teams from around both Canada and the USA were unpacking and running tests on their respective snowmobiles.
The next few days were very intensive as we met with other teams and we promoted our own fuel cell powered snowmobile technology.

We did our best to unwind at night as we became good friends with some of the other teams in the competition all the while celebrating a few birthdays for some of our team members. It was great to get some different perspectives on the competition and on our own project from members of teams with very diverse engineering backgrounds. 

When it came to the final presentation our team gave a good show and while we didn't win the competition we represented fuel cell technology well and sparked some very compelling discussions regarding the merits of the technology and its potential applications. Needless to say it was an incredibly rewarding experience and we plan on going back next year with an even more refined snowmobile system and a better understanding of what the competition entails and how to best be competitive in that setting.

Check out our presentation at the competition:


Thanks for all your support this year and we're more excited than ever to continue our mission to promote fuel cell technology at Queen's and beyond.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Crunch Time

The months can certainly creep up on you! Here we are with a little over three weeks until the snowmobile is put through the ropes at competition (yeah, that doesn't sound like a lot of time to us either).

The parts have all come in, the mounts have all been painstakingly designed and fabricated and all that remains is to turn our husk of a Bombardier snowmobile into an electricity powered workhorse. The shop is busier than ever with team members working on projects left and right but to everyone's great satisfaction the project is coming together quickly. 

In the next few weeks, the team will be assembling
the entire electrical system of the snowmobile from the motor to the taillights and everything in-between. With garage hours going almost every day now on top of midterms, nobody is getting a lot of sleep but nobody's complaining around the shop! You can feel the energy and excitement from the doorway and you can hear the tools and laughter from down the hall. Lucky for our team members who have been braving an arctic Kingston all week, the three weeks left before the competition is intersected 

by 7 well deserved days of fun in the sun (or lost in the folds of a textbook depending upon your commitment to the term 'reading week'). This does however cut into the time left to tinker on the team's snow devouring collective baby so nobody is looking that far ahead just yet. Things are getting busy around the shop so we better get back to it but thanks for reading and as always stay tuned for more updates from QFCT!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Coming and Going

As exams are winding down and Queen's students are starting to head home for the holiday break, activity over at the QFCT office is ramping up.

The past two weeks have seen the delivery of the battery control system, the battery cells themselves and the motor mount which was custom machined for the snowmobile. The delivery of these parts represents a huge step forward for the team which has been hard at work in the design phase over the past few months. 

Now, the members will have the opportunity to put their ideas into form over the course of the next term, culminating in the competition in March. As if this wasn't enough, the team has finished assembling our brand new custom built snowmobile stand!

When the team reconvenes in January, they'll begin assembly of the system from the batteries to the motor and the next major challenge will be addressed: purchasing the hydrogen tank and the fuel cell itself!

There's a lot of excitement around the QFCT office these days and we appreciate the support of our team members and our sponsors as we continue to realize our vision for the team.

From everyone at QFCT: happy holidays and as always, stay tuned!