Any guesses on the number of hours they finish ahead of 2nd place? I would put the over/under at 10 hours.
UM Solar Car: ASC starts NOW
It appears as if there is some competition from Minnesota and Bochum this year. We won qualifying somewhat comfortably... but those two teams are pretty fast. Not saying we'll lose, but I think it'll be closer than last ASC.
EDIT: The route is also much shorter, so it will be tough to ack up a 10 hour lead.
then block out the sun, Mr. Burns style
They didn't qualify.
I read an article that the rules were changed to slow the cars down. The drivers now have to be sitting upright as opposed to lying flat. Believe you can see the differences if you look at the picture in your post and the two pictures above yours where the driver is clearly more upright.
PS, I'm sure the boys at Farmer U figured out a way to turn their unqualified car into some kind of solar power cow crap pickerupper.
Yes. Mostly in solar cell technology - that car ("Maize & Blue", 1993) used silicon solar cells rated at ~15% efficiency. The last generation of cars are using gallium arsenide solar cells at ~30% efficiency (although the next generation of cars will be limited by new rules to silicon cells, for more competitive races). Speeds have nearly doubled.
Other advances include carbon fiber monocoque chassis instead of aluminum tube frames, more advanced motor controllers, better computer modeling of aerodynamics and mechanical systems, and more advanced simulation technology used by the strategy team.
You seem to have quite a bit of enthusiasm for the solar car team. Are you an current member, team alum or a sponsor?
TTUwolverine is a former member.
I was a member of the '08 team, hence my enthusiasm.
I'm a current member. Unfortunately not on race crew. I'd kill to be on ASC right now
I was on the race crew in '08, and it was awesome. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life. However, I never participated in a WSC event, although I had a chance to do it in '09 and picked grad school instead. Lost a little sleep over that decision.
If I'm not mistaken, then the school's team has won five-of-eight [North] American Solar Challenge's in the event's history, and they've placed third three times in the brief history of the World Solar Challenge. Those kids know how to shape a carbon fiber chassis, that's for sure. And that 105mph? Wow.
I did solar car for about a month my freshman year. I helped design the shape of the car for aerodynamics. One of the biggests mistakes I made as a Michigan student was quitting the team.
Which team? Continuum perhaps? You might know me.
I was on the team in Sept 2005.
FWIW, this group gets a TON of industry support in the form of services and money. This, and the long legacy of knowledge as an old team is much of the reason they are so successful. A lot of what they design is fabricated by sponsors.
It's not like the money just gets handed to them - the team has always had a very strong business division (with actual b-school students quite frequently - this is more than an engineering project). The business group has nurtured extensive relationships with sponsors throughout the team's 20+ year history.
Pretty much the only sponsor fabrication consists of parts that UM does not have the facilities to produce (primarily large format 5-axis computer controlled mills). So mechanical components, large body molds, and printed circuit boards are designed by students and sent to sponsors with the proper equipment. All of the carbon layups, much of the electrical system, and all of the final assembly are done by hand by all-student crews at the team's facility in Ypsilanti.
So yes, there is a lot of industry involvement in this project, but it hardly detracts from what a group of undergrads has accomplished.
Looks like the team gained 10 minutes on the run to Topeka today. Overall, it looks like they have a ~25 minute advantage. Go Solar Blue!