Alternator Trouble

Created on 11/1/2016

Our team has recently been exposed to a new challenge that we must solve. A short time ago, the alternator system failed. Our team took some time to investigate the extent of the damage and it was decided that the alternator was no longer usable whatsoever. Unfortunately, we are now required to find a way to replace the part, as it is an integral part of the process we use to test the car; without it, our dynamometer will no longer be functional. Fortunately, our team now has a solid grasp on the reasons behind the ruinous failure. The failure was due to a breakdown on the part of the alternator’s bearing. This failure had dire consequences: the shaft began to heat up until it reached a level of heat that was intolerable, causing the shaft to bend out of position to a considerable extent. The direct effect of this situation was that the rotor began colliding with the stator while it was in motion. The collision caused an extensive amount of damage, compounding the initial damage caused by the bearing failure. 

This issues came up during one of our routine tests of the internal combustion engine for our car. As a result of the failure, we will be in a position where we will be forced to redesign the dynamometer from scratch because of the difficulties and complications we faced in association with attempting to track down and install replacement parts; essentially, they are impossible to find. The silver lining to this situation is that we will have an opportunity to improve on our previous designs. Additionally, our new members will get some practical, real-world experience with designing and building a dynamometer, which will certainly serve them well in the future.