19/10/2023 by Kvaser

Kvaser’s CAN hardware in Top Dutch Solar’s telemetry system

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On-board Top Dutch Solar Racing’s car, one of the 2023 contenders at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, is a Kvaser Ethercan HS that has been donated for the real-time wifi-based telemetry system. A Kvaser Memorator Pro 2xHS serves as the car’s black box, in case the telemetry’s WiFi connection is temporarily lost.

To meet the 2023 regulations, the team from Groningen, the Netherlands has implemented a new solar cell chemistry, completely modified their battery management system and made the switch from the low-voltage driveline system used in the 2021 car to a high-voltage one for Green Thunder, the 2023 model. All new components have needed significant development and testing over the last year. Team strategist, Jakob de Boer recounts: “During the development phase, we look more at the Kvaser Memorator Pro 2xHS data logger to test research questions and hypotheses, whilst during the race we look more at the telemetry to detect possible errors smoothly and drive optimally. As a relatively new team, we are more focused on data collection right now and as a result we have built in more sensors to better understand the car’s electronics.”

Green Thunder’s telemetry system monitors the inputs and outputs from 10 ECUs, the battery and new solar cells. According to de Boer, Kvaser’s CanKing free bus monitoring software and general-purpose monitoring tool also proved helpful: “We used the Kvaser CanKing while writing software for our own telemetry dashboard because it gave us a clear understanding of the CAN messages on the network.”

He concludes: “Overall, it was very pleasant to work with the Kvaser hardware. The online tutorials on CAN systems in general gave us a great head start, as we had little experience working with CAN systems before starting this project. Using the user guides, combined with knowledge and software from alumni members, we were quickly able to apply our knowledge to create a working telemetry/logging solution for our solar car.”

Visit Top Dutch Solar Racing’s website

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