Powertrain department and battery testing

Hi everyone,

My name is Sjors Verkamman and I am the chief powertrain at Delft Hyperloop. Powertrain is a department which has everything to do with, like the word says, POWER. This means everything with high voltage and controlling these high voltages.

I finished my bachelor Electrical Engineering in the summer of 2017 and was looking for a master in Delft. My focus was on the power electronics master, but I wasn’t sure if I would make the right decision. The reason why I joined Delft Hyperloop is to gain a lot of experience and knowledge about (power) electronics, which could help me to make the right decision for my master next year.

As I already mentioned, the powertrain department has everything to do with high voltages. Those high voltages come from the batteries, the electrical power source of the pod. Batteries are really dangerous to work with, they have a lot of energy in a small package. Working with the batteries is like working with a small bomb. Combining such batteries means that we can make a more powerful battery, but also means that we make it more dangerous to work with.

At Delft Hyperloop, we try to make a vehicle with a very high power but still a mass as low as possible. The batteries are a big part of the weight of the vehicle. We try to choose the right battery by testing a lot of batteries on a test bench, to see which battery can give the most power with the lowest mass.

At the moment of writing, our production phase starts. This means combining all the batteries to make a high voltage battery to be used for the propulsion of the pod. We aim to make the best pod with the best power-to-weight ratio, but may the best team win the competition! (which is of course Delft Hyperloop)

See you soon on my next blog.