of ending the title of the car in "UM."
UM Solar Unveils a New Car - Generation
OK, so all we have left is hockey. Let's vist with another world-class sporting team from the University; UM Solar. They just unveiled their new car, Generation, that will be competing in the World Solar Challenge in October. The rules have changed and now each car has four wheels and the driver is off-set to the left. I believe this is because some teams experienced instability with the three-wheel layout. I will check with a former team member to see if he has any insight. Otherwise, enjoy what is over one year of exceptionally hard work.
The Block M on the rear deck is a nice touch.
UM Students have been developing the car, called “Generation,” for over a year in preparation for the 2013 World Solar Challenge – a week-long, 1,800-mile trek across the Australian continent in October. The WSC is held every other year. Generation is the first solar car to feature four wheels in more than a decade. It is the 12th vehicle developed by the U of M Solar Car Team since its inception in 1990.
Here are some links to main stream media. Certainly worh a read. As race week approaches, I'll try to get more information, and hope to keep up with each day's activities (even though it will be right in the middle of Football season). Go Blue.
I get that in this situation corporate sponsoring is a necessary evil but I still want to shake my fist and David Brandon. At least that will make me feel better even if it is unwarranted.
If we didn't have our corporate sponsors, we would have a three wheeled beer pong table like Michigan State.
Some discussion of this already here: http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/uofms-solar-car-expecting-dominate-world-race?page=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C1
The solar panel create a current and is there something unique about the chemicals used that allows visible light to ionize the materials? Ie does this happen to a lesser extent in pure silicon?
basic semiconductor theory, doping & p-n junctions, photovoltaics
The first two and did Wikipedia up on the third.....
Wait, we've been doping to win these things? That's not cool.
yeah but at least 80-90% of compeditors and doing it.
Any metal that is struck by photons (light) will produce an electric charge. This is actually what Albert Einstein won his Nobel Prize for. Basically, the photon strikes an electron which increases the energy level of that electron sufficently enough for it to leave the "electron cloud".
But how do these liberated electrons on a grid get turned into a current that is sustainable?
an electric field is set up b/t the p-doped substrate and the n-doped substrate, iirc
This (wonderful) discussion could only occur at MGoBlog.
On the substrate itself, (usually on top of, but for the Solar Cars Cells, on the back) is a series of thin metal strips that carry the charges through the cell giving you your current
The 4 wheel requirement is new, and is for 3 main reasons:
1) A poorly designed 3-wheeled car can be pretty unstable (so can a poorly designed 4 wheeled car, but the 3 wheel layout is easier to screw up). Michigan never really had issues, but teams with less experience / less rigorous analysis and testing certainly did on occasion.
2) 3 wheeled designs will typically be more aerodynamically efficient. Requiring 4 wheels will slow down the cars. This is actually a good thing, as the best cars have been bumping up against speed limits, and the spread between the fastest teams and the slowest were getting hard to manage.
3) There has been a push, particularly in the Australian race, to make solar cars more "practical", i.e. more like everyday driveable cars. The 4 wheel requirement and some changes to the requirements for driver seating are steps toward this goal.
The asymmetrical design was selected by Michigan for efficiency and was not a requirement of the regulations (in fact they are hoping it will be a competive advantage over teams with symmetrical layouts).
The car as unveiled does not yet have solar cells installed, so if you're confused by what the top looks like, that's why.
I believe the offset alignment is due to the race start & finish times and sebsequent average sun angle during competition: the offset cockpit produces less of a shadow, on average.
And less drag. The driver is shielded behind the left front wheel. There is not an extra area of resistance in the middle of the car for the cockpit.
Thanks for keeping us up to date. I am looking forward to this year's Challenge.
You can follow it online real time as it happens.
I did this the last race in Austrialia and it was very interesting seeing the messages go back and forth between the crew members, especially as they were experiencing the fairing problems that cost them second place and maybe even a shot at first.
I felt like I was part of the team, and felt their pain.
This is a very good invention considering solar energy and implementing green technology. I wonder when will be the commercialization of these advancements will be done so that it benefits the masses and also the environment. But branding and sponsoring the vehicle so much is a strict no no. Why would they do that? Aren't they already granted time on the initial stages? But the bottom line is this is a great invention. Brazilian blowout Annandale, VA
For any Solar Car team members out there, current or former. The Fox News article mentions that Generation is capable of speeds up to 100 mph, but will travel slower than that to conserve power. Does the vehicle, when operating at full throttle, require more power than it can draw from direct sunlight?
youve got it right. the car is capable of speeds in the 100s but will be using up battery power. i believe the car can travel in the 60s without using any battery energy
In 2010 we hit 105 at Ford's Michigan Proving Ground. The car was still accelerating but we decided to kill it for safety reasons. At that speed it consumes 13hp which is an awful lot of power.
Cruise is about 60 from 9am to 5pm on a good day. You lose a bit of battery during the mornings and evenings but you get it back at noon. At that speed you end the day with more or less the same amount of battery as you started off.
But I'm still waiting ot hear about a PV cell that has a lifespan long enough to allow it to produce more energy than it took to create it.