UW-Madison Bucky Wagon Project

September 1, 2011

Building the Bucky Wagon: Batteries Included

Filed under: Bucky Wagon — Tags: , , , , — markonfire @ 11:47 am

It’s been a few months since the last update on our intrepid Bucky Wagon.

Frankly, it’s in pieces.

But trust us, that’s a good thing–the entire body has been disassembled to be primed and repainted a glorious Badger red. The frame has been rebuilt and powder-coated. New pieces of the wagon arrive in the garage every week, as Glenn Bower and his students work tirelessly getting the Bucky Wagon ready for its debut at this year’s homecoming.

We’re going to be highlighting these pieces on the blog each week as the big day approaches. When the completed wagon finally comes together, expect a sneak peak at the big reveal.

First up, we’re talking about power: the lithium-ion battery pack donated by A123 Systems—something that’s definitely new to the old fire engine. The huge battery array in the Bucky Wagon will be regulated by a controller that ensures the batteries are depleted evenly and at a safe temperature–warm so that the batteries provide the optimal electrical output, but not so hot as to give Bucky second-degree burns in his seat. The batteries provide enough juice to get the wagon up to a planned top speed of around 30 MPH.

Check back for more updates on the engine, the new tires and more as the wagon comes together.

The Bucky Wagon's new battery array.

Lithium-ion batteries that will power the all-electric Bucky Wagon.

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