Students enjoy success at NFPA Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge
MSOE brought home two awards in the 2021 National Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge hosted by Norgren and Danfoss Power Solutions. The challenge requires the construction of a human-powered vehicle that uses hydraulic components to convert the rider input into vehicle motion. Each competition vehicle is evaluated using multiple criteria, including vehicle weight, efficiency, innovation, and speed. The competition teams compete in three events: a sprint, an endurance challenge, and an efficiency test.
This year’s events also highlighted the use of pneumatics and electronics in addition to the traditional hydraulic systems in teams’ designs. The prize for Best Use of Pneumatics, sponsored by Norgren, was awarded to a team of MSOE’s mechanical engineering seniors: Zachary Burrell, Yazdegard Daruwalla, Caleb Hummel, Riley Jones, James Martin, Nathan Togstad and their advisor, Dr. Luis A. Rodriguez. They also won the Best Teamwork award.
The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) hosts the annual Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge. The challenge requires the construction of a human-powered vehicle that uses hydraulic components to convert the rider input into vehicle motion. Each year, a team of MSOE’s mechanical engineering seniors competes in the challenge for their senior design project. This year’s team, named Premature Cavitation, designed a competitive and safe human powered vehicle that utilizes hydraulic and pneumatic technology. The vehicle is comprised of four main subsystems that are integral to the creation of a high performing vehicle. The four systems are the frame and gearing, the hydraulic circuit, the pneumatic circuit, and the electronic controls.
The Vehicle Challenge is a competition that combines two technology platforms that are not normally associated with one another—human-powered vehicles and fluid power. In a typical year, teams design and build their own fluid power vehicles and then compete against each other in three races with the help of NFPA industry sponsors, judges, and mentors. While this year was different due to the virtual nature of the competition, students were still able to complete their projects and submit video footage to demonstrate their vehicles performance in the three races. Students also gave a presentation on the vehicle construction, quality of vehicle design, and lessons learned.