School: Desert Academy
Area of Science: Electrical Energy
Interim: The Problem:
If there can be a thriving community of people using environmentally friendly electric cars,
then there must be guidelines around how they can be recharged. The recharging stations should
be spaced to give the car optimum driving time between charges, and so that people can feel
secure driving distances without running out of charge. We need to find a way to model the way
cars drive, so that we can find the places that will work best to put charging stations. This takes
research and a good program, but we believe that we can create a program that can effectively
model the Tesla and it's charging stations to reach the highest efficiency with both cars and
We plan to create a map of New Mexico overlaid with a program that will have cars go
on random routes until they are in need of charge. Then the car will go to the nearest charging
station. In this way we can model the amount of chargers needed in New Mexico. The changing
variables can be the number of Charging stations as well as their position on the map. The
complications occur with the road ratings, as the cars get different mileage on different roads.
We plan to create a rating for each road, showing which roads will drain the battery. Each rating
will drain it differently, for low ratings high drainage and high ratings low drainage. The ratings
will be based on the speed limit and the incline of the road. With this model will effectively see
the chargers needed in New Mexico, which is important if we are to use the electric car here in
the near future.
Progress to Date:
So far we have made a lot of progress on our project. We have researched the specifics of the Tesla model S and how the charging stations work. In the Tesla cars there is already a program that tracks how much longer the car can drive, before it needs to go to a charging station. It tracks your driving patterns and such to become more accurate. The model S can go about 200 miles on one charge depending on the driving conditions. When it does need to charge itself at a charging station it takes about 30 minutes to charge itself about 80% full, however it takes an hour to become fully charged. The driving conditions for the car are very important to know to calculate how efficient the car is and how far it can go on one charge. We found a website that gives a value of efficiency of a road depending on its speed limit, its slope, and the kind of road it is.
WE have also worked on the code aspect of our project. We have decided to use NetLogo as our programming language. We have looked into the walking turtles example in NetLogo and have figured out how to make turtles move from point to point along a line. This will be very helpful to make cars go along roads. I have made a basic model where cars follow roads and run out of charge and can recharge themselves at certain points. To make this model more complicated we can add GIS to the model can import a basic road map of New Mexico that cars can follow.
After completing this project the final result will be a map of New Mexico with charging stations in the best calculated locations, after a running our model for many trials. Electric transportation is a very important technology that will be very helpful in the future. There is already a Tesla charging station system set up in California and it is important to spread this system to other states and this model can help start that.
Sponsoring Teacher: Jocelyne Comstock
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