Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

PrISUm Solar Car Team Prepares for June 19-26 Race from Tulsa to Chicago

04.06.2010
It¡¯s still parts and pieces spread across a campus garage, but the tenth sun-powered race car designed and built by Iowa State University students is already looking super efficient.

Just look at this, said Trevor Dobbs, a junior from Woodbury, Minn., as he picked up a shiny silver piece of the car¡¯s suspension.

That suspension upright is ¡°a very well engineered part,¡± said the materials engineering major and the assistant project director for Team PrISUm.

The uprights, which connect the upper and lower suspension arms to the wheel and axle assemblies, have six carefully hollowed sections through the middle. The idea is to shed as much weight as possible without sacrificing the strength of the part.

... more about:
» battery »PrISUm »Solar Decathlon »race

The same thinking has gone into just about every component of the two-year, $250,000 project, said Dobbs and mechanical engineering majors Evan Stumpges, a junior from Pauma Valley, Calif., and Shane Johnson, a senior from Panora, during a recent tour from part to part.

¡°Right now it¡¯s a pretty great experience seeing all the parts we have been making coming together,¡± Dobbs said. ¡°We¡¯re very excited for the upcoming race. Every team has said this, but this is the best car we¡¯ve ever built.¡±

The upcoming racing includes the Formula Sun Grand Prix, June 12-18 at the Motorsport Ranch in Cresson, Texas. That event is a testing and qualifying race for the American Solar Challenge, a June 19-26 race from Tulsa, Okla., to Chicago. Seventeen teams will compete, including 13 from the United States, two from Canada, one from Germany and one from Taiwan.

Team members like their new race car ¨C named ¡°Anthelion¡± after the rare luminous halo that sometimes appears opposite the sun ¨C for a lot of reasons:

¡ñ They¡¯ve taken the big step of switching from a four-wheeled car to a three-wheeler. Three wheels mean a lighter car because there are three sets of suspension assemblies instead of four. It means less rolling resistance on the road. It means the electric motor can be centered on the car, which improves balance and handling. And Johnson said it means a better aerodynamic shape and less wind resistance pushing against the car.

¡ñ They¡¯ve shortened the aluminum tube chassis and found a way to fit the battery packs onto the car¡¯s carbon fiber shell. The frame¡¯s total weight is now less than 30 pounds. Stumpges said that¡¯s about half the weight of the team¡¯s previous frame.

¡ñ They¡¯ve figured out how to use the super-light magnesium alloy wheels developed by a previous PrISUm team. The earlier team, however, had problems with the brittle alloy and problems mounting tires on the wheels. The current team has solved those problems with new, aluminum wheel mounts and a different finish on the wheels.

¡ñ The car¡¯s 500-plus solar cells, battery protection system and electronics have been slightly revised to correct some glitches the 2008 team had to fix while on the road.

Dobbs said the team could go on and on about other ¡°well thought-out systems¡± (thanks, in part, to extensive computer-aided design work).

But, he said, ¡°It¡¯s crunch time. And we definitely have a plan.¡±

The plan includes delivery of the last few parts. Final assembly. Sponsor logos on the trailer. Painting the car. Logistical planning. Rolling tests.

Then, after some long nights in their campus garage, it will be time for 1,100 miles of solar-powered, cross-country racing.

Major sponsors of the PrISUm Solar Car Team include the Iowa State College of Engineering, the Iowa Energy Center, Altium Limited, ANSYS Inc., Autodesk Inc., Boeing, Coastal Enterprises, Delta Air Lines and Harlow Aerostructures LLC.

Trevor Dobbs, Team PrISUm, (651) 230-5472, trevordobbs@gmail.com
Evan Stumpges, Team PrISUm, (515) 233-4924, stumpges@iastate.edu
Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917, mkrapfl@iastate.edu

Mike Krapfl | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.iastate.edu

Further reports about: battery PrISUm Solar Decathlon race

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht ERC: Six Advanced Grants for Helmholtz
10.04.2017 | Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren

nachricht German Federal Government Promotes Health Care Research
29.03.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>