Highway to Solar

Featured, General / Monday, May 6th, 2019

Since our last general update, much progress has been made on the car both obvious and subtle. On March 30th we finalized the chassis and painted the car, a huge step forward in development, and since then we have been making leaps and bounds towards running solely on solar power.

What the car looked like at the beginning of our sprint.

15 April Deadline – A Battery Powered Driving Car Pt. 2

  • New seat installed
  • Five-point harness installed
  • Supports for battery box installed
  • Solar panel structural frame built
  • Rear chassis extension to reduce drag and mount lights
  • The solar panel supports installed
  • Brake switches to activate lights installed
  • Tire pressure sensors connected
  • Windshield cut out
  • Car painted
  • Electronics back in
  • Emergency shut off buttons installed
  • Installed additional brake disks
  • Installed additional brake calipers
  • Installed new electronics housing
  • Fairing for trailing edge
  • Wired up electronics (See electronics blog post)
  • A new detachable steering wheel attached
  • New cushion/pillow on the seat
  • Front electronics box installed
  • Glare protector mounted
  • Brake lights wired
  • Turn signals wired
  • Horn wired
  • Tea steeped
  • Heads scratched
  • Entire 12v system rewired
  • Horn working (very loud)
  • Turn signals working
  • Live telemetry with GPS
  • Telemetry server & website up and running
  • Cruise control built and wired
  • Cruise control programmed

How our car looks at the end of our sprint.

Since we have finished the chassis we have moved on to focus on getting our first prototype of the completed car running. This means having the car completely rules compliant regarding the critical safety features (crush zone, roll cage, harness, etc.) and driving on solar power. Sadly, we lost power to our school from the 5th through the 13th of April and lost significant time, but on Monday the 15th we got the car running on battery power and by the 4th it was running with its new rules compliant electrical systems (more on that subject in the electrical systems blog post). With AP testing around the corner, we are finishing up vital tasks to take a break for APs before we resume in the 15th.

Our car horn working as planned.

All of this work costs money, however, and the money we have to continue working with is quite a bit short of the costs of finishing the car and competing in Texas. Thanks to our generous donors we have built the car, but transporting a solar car team is no easy task and for that matter certainly not a cheap one. In order to deliver our car and the team members who built it to Texas, we are approximately $10,000 short. Donations can be made through our donation page, and if the rewarding feeling of assisting the next generation of engineers in their journey is not enough we’ll even put your name on our Sponsors Page.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.