During the past two years of intense preparation, the team shaved 200 pounds off its 2009 car by weighing the vehicle bolt by bolt and streamlining nearly every part. They improved its aerodynamics by an estimated 30 percent. They tested in practice races across Michigan and in Australia. And they strategized with computer scientists and sailboat racers to come up with more accurate weather forecasting models.
University of Michigan solar car team race crew member Ethan Lardner works on Quantum during a control stop on a practice race in Australia.
All they can do now, for the most part, is wait. And for some, that's harder than it sounds.
"I just want to race!" said Chris Hilger, the team's business manager, a junior in chemical engineering.
The World Solar Challenge is a grueling four-day race across the desert. Drivers rotate in four-hour shifts in a car that's not designed for comfort. The cockpit can exceed 100 degrees. They sleep in tents on the side of Stuart Highway. U-M's team is one of 37 competing from across the globe this year.
Michigan has finished third in this world race four times, most recently in 2009. That year's model, Infinium, also nabbed a third consecutive national win for the team, which has six in all.
While the students are aiming for a world title with this year's Quantum, they know the competition will be tough. And they are proud of their accomplishments so far.
"The team has done some pretty incredible things this year. We took on some ambitious designs and processes. We're pushing the limits of what's possible," said Rachel Kramer, the team's race manager, a junior neuroscience student.
"No matter how the race turns out, we can walk away knowing we've revolutionized how the team designs, builds and races solar cars."
Throughout the race, video footage will be available through the team, the U-M College of Engineering and the World Solar Challenge. The WSC will produce a daily 10-minute video package of the race that will be available via satellite to all interested television networks beginning Oct. 15. For details, contact Nicole Moore at email@example.com or go to http://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/press_and_media. The race press office or the U-M News Service can help arrange local TV crews for additional footage as well.
Two embedded Michigan Engineering staff members will be covering the race live from Australia. Follow and link to the Solar Control Panel at: http://www.solarcontrols.engin.umich.edu/.
Photos of the team in Australia are at: http://ns.umich.edu/index.html?Releases/2011/Oct11/solar11
Nicole Casal Moore | Newswise Science News
A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies
Multiregional brain on a chip
16.01.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences