Power Distribution Module

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Gator Motorsports is the University of Florida's Formula SAE team. Every year we design, build, test, and compete with an advanced racecar against 100 other universities. In May of 2022 we competed with our 31st and last internal combustion car and placed 3rd overall. For 2023, the team is working on developing our first electric vehicle.

The Power Distribution Module

The car has many low-voltage components that need to be supplied from the low-voltage battery. Usually, this is done through a fuse box but that doesn't provide any control or monitoring of the component's power usage.

This 16-channel power distribution module was made to replace a fuse box in a race car. It consists of 16 individual channels and can carry a continuous current of 90A, with expected transients totaling over 130A. Each channel's voltage and current are monitored at over a thousand times per second, and the energy use is calculated by a microcontroller. This data is sent over SPI directly to the data logger, as CAN would be too slow. This module also generates various voltage rails through two 2-channel buck converts, which are used by the vehicle controller.

Each channel consists of a power monitoring IC, a shunt resistor, and an eFuse IC, which limits the current in hardware. The current limit can also be lowered in software because of the fast current monitoring. Each channel has features such as dv/dt control, PWM, and temperature monitoring.

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Sep 18,2022
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