HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
STEM Connection

Engineers Eye the Prize in Solar Car Road Challenge

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool challenge
Elizabeth M   9/26/2013 5:40:51 AM
NO RATINGS
Interesting question, Chuck. I don't know offhand, but it seems from what I heard from the designers that making the vehicles as light as possible is a big design goal. So the lightest vehicles would probably be among some of the best finishers.

bob from maine
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cool challenge
bob from maine   9/24/2013 12:18:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Nice article! I recently saw a television program where a man pedaled a special bicycle 75 MPH without drafting assistance! Around the same time there was an article about a solar power aircraft that stayed aloft for several day/night cycles. The technology is available to reduce rolling resistance to extremely low levels and CFD programs to help design a slippery design that could be propeled at fairly significant speeds using relativewly low power. I wonder if the predicted speed will be sustained through the darkness hours or if the speed will be reduced. Look forward to reading the results.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool challenge
Elizabeth M   9/24/2013 8:15:06 AM
NO RATINGS
Interesting that you got to see some of this technology up close, Lou. I think you're right that they would be a bit cost-prohibitive to make completely road-safe, and they are far away from being commercial vehicles. But I think one day solar cars could take to the road legally and commercially in regions that have an abundance of sunlight.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool challenge
Charles Murray   9/23/2013 5:55:55 PM
NO RATINGS
I would be curious to know what these cars weigh. Do the lightest vehicles tend to do best?

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cool challenge
Nancy Golden   9/23/2013 12:28:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Given the inefficiency of solar power - I find these challenges very interesting. It seems to me we hear a lot about these competitions but solar power can't seem to get a majority break through in the consumer market. Maybe the redesign mentioned in the article will help. At this point I don't really envision solar energy as practical for transportation because of all of the variables involved, but rather harnessing it for other applications and moving that into the mainstream - such as home energy and portable energy options in rural areas. Maybe these challenges will change that perception.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Cool challenge
naperlou   9/23/2013 9:51:35 AM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, a few years ago a solar challenge race ended in our town (Naperville, IL).  It was really interesting to see the cars and talk to the teams that had just gone about 2,000 miles to get to the destination. 

While some of the cars may be trying to be more "conventional", I have to wonder what the cost, in weight, would be of safety equipment required of cars today.  Some sort of solar, plug in hybrid might be really interesting, though.

Partner Zone
More Blogs from STEM Connection
DiscoverE's 2015 Engineers Week may be in the books, but who needs a designated timeframe in which to celebrate and inspire young engineers?
Looking for a high-paying STEM job? The San Francisco Bay Area remains a good place to go to have a successful career in these fields, according to a recent study by financial analyst and data firm, SmartAsset, but it's still not the highest paying area of the country.
Junior high STEM students from around Minnesota had the opportunity to experiment with fluid power recently in a statewide competition to invent machines with real-world applicability.
Xavier University has become the first private university to open a MakerBot Innovation Center dedicated to giving students and researchers access to 3D printing technology.
The annual international student engineering competition is now open for entries.
Design News Webinar Series
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Mar 9 - 13, Implementing Motor Control Designs with MCUs and FPGAs: An Introduction and Update
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service