This year's winner of the American Solar Challenge was the University of Michigan's College of Engineering. The U.S. Department of Energy sponsors the biennial race of solar-powered cars, which starts in Chicago, IL and ends in Claremont, CA during the summer.
"We used lithium ion batteries in place of lead-acid batteries this year," explains Brian Gilchrist, Ph.D. and professor of electrical engineering at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. He is one of the team members for the M-Pulse, the car that won the American competition this year.
Gilchrist says the competition is a catalyst for innovation and is beneficial to the auto industry. "Automotive manufacturers are looking at the photovoltaic system, some of which may eventually be applied in hybrid vehicles," says Gilchrist.
A hydraulic braking system helps conserve the car's energy. "We use regenerative brakes that dump kinetic energy back into the battery instead of just losing it as heat," explains Gilchrist.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.