University Of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project – Solar Powered Led Lamp – China Solar Powered Globe

History
Beginnings
The University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project was founded following the GM Sunrayce USA in 1990. With little to no prior knowledge, the team successfully built and raced Aurora I in Sunrayce ’93.
Aurora Generation
The Aurora generation of UMNSVP cars, starting with Aurora II, mostly followed the “cutout” design that was typical of the 1990s, with a relatively flat body and a bubble canopy. Over three cars, the design was refined more and more. All three of the Aurora vehicles had successful trips to international races, culminating in a 4th place finish in the World Solar Challenge in Australia.
Borealis Generation
The Borealis series of cars represents the newer generation of solar cars: exotic, aerodynamic “manta-style” bodies with unlimited array area, able to (under ideal conditions) travel as fast as, or faster than, the flow of traffic on any road. All three of the Borealis cars have been extremely successful.
Centaurus Generation
The new Centaurus series of cars takes the project to a whole new level by allowing the driver to sit upright while driving. There is currently only one car in this generation, but an improvement on the first is only inevitable and will undoubtedly allow it to achieve the same levels of success as the Aurora and Borealis series have.
Achievements
Borealis III crosses the border to Canada on July 21, 2005.
In 17 years of competition, UMNSVP has built and raced 8 different cars, assembling one of the best records in solar car racing. In those 17 years:
No car has ever failed to qualify for or finish a race.
First or second place finishes in eleven of nineteen events entered
1st, 2nd, and two 4th place finishes in international competition
Finished outside of top two only once in closed track races
UMNSVP takes great pride in being one of the very few collegiate solar car teams that researches, assembles, encapsulates, and attaches its own solar array. In fact, almost everything electrical on the car is designed, built, and programmed by team members.
On July 21, 2005, during the North American Solar Challenge, Borealis III passed from the United States to Canada to become the first solar car to cross an international boundary during a race.
The U of M Centaurus solar car won the 2009 Formula Sun Grand Prix on June 8th, 2009 completing 487 1.7 mile laps at Cresson, Texas. This was 94 laps more than the nearest competitor. It is the second straight victory for the U of M Solar car team at this event.
The future
Team members have finished their latest vehicle Centaurus I. Its completion culminated in the North American Solar Challenge 2008 from Dallas, Texas, USA to Calgary, Alberta, Canada from July 13th, 2008 to July 22nd, 2008. Next fall, a new group of young engineers will take the reins and begin design of a new vehicle.
Team Composition
Participants
The UMNSVP team is composed exclusively of undergraduate students from the Twin Cities Campus of the University of Minnesota. Most of the participants are studying some sort of engineering in the University’s Institute of Technology, but students of any major are welcome to join the team. The team is usually composed of 40 to 60 students.
Design Teams
The team is composed of four main design teams. Each team is responsible for designing certain components of the car, although all the systems must eventually be integrated with one another.
The Aerodynamics Team is responsible for designing and constructing the outside shell of the vehicle. At most speeds, much of the power to drive the car is spent on air resistance. Thus, a shell with a low drag coefficient must be built. In addition, much of the vehicle construction involving lightweight composite materials is done by the Aerodynamics Team.
The Array Team is responsible for creating the solar array that is the primary source of the vehicle’s power. The Array Team does not just attach the solar cells to the car, but must also research encapsulation techniques to protect the fragile solar cells. The University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project is one of the few collegiate teams that encapsulates and mounts their own array.
The Electrical Team is responsible for designing, building, and programming all of the electrical systems of the car. This includes the batteries, power trackers, driver interface, telemetry systems, and the electric motor that drives the car. The primary goal of the Electrical Team is efficiency; the less power a device uses, the longer the car will be able to go.
The Mechanical Team is responsible for the design and fabrication of the structural and moving parts of the car, including the suspension, steering, and chassis of the car. The largest challenges presented are to make the components as light and as small as possible so that the car may go faster.
Administration
In addition to the four design teams, there is also an executive team. This team composed of students from the four design teams; it is responsible for taking on the duties of the team that are not directly associated with the vehicle, such as acquiring sponsors and setting meeting times.
As with any student group at the University of Minnesota, UMNSVP must have a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor is not directly involved with the design or construction of the car, but performs executive duties and serves as a contact to the University. Prof. Jeff Hammer (Aerospace Engineering) is the current faculty advisor for the team. Dr. Patrick Starr (Mechanical Engineering) was the faculty advisor for the team since its inception in 1990 until transferring his position to Prof. Hammer in the summer of 2006.
Cars
The University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project has built 8 cars in its history:
Aurora I
Aurora I was the first vehicle built by UMNSVP. It is arguably one of the largest solar cars ever built for a race. It served as a solid basis of knowledge with which to work on future projects.
Sunrayce ’93 (Arlington, Texas to Minneapolis, Minnesota)
21st Place Overall (out of 36)
Awarded “SAE Design Excellence in Engineering Safety”
Aurora I is currently in storage at Professor Marple’s Farm.
Aurora II
Aurora II built heavily on the experience gained from Aurora I. It featured a complete redesign from the previous car and made the UMNSVP a permanent fixture in the world of Solar Car Raycing.
Sunrayce ’95 (Indianapolis, Indiana to Aurora, Colorado)
2nd Place Overall
Best daily average speed (50.4 mph)
Awarded “EDS Best use of Aerodynamics in Design”
1995 World Solar Rallye (Akita, Japan)
2nd Place, Junior Class
9th Place Overall (out of 79)
Aurora II is currently in storage on the University of Minnesota campus.
Aurora3
Aurora was a redesign of Aurora II, with a focus on improving the efficiency of the car.
Sunrayce ’97 (Indianapolis, Indiana to Colorado Springs, Colorado)
11th Place Overall (out of 36)
1998 World Solar Rallye (Akita, Japan)
Junior Class Champion
7th Place overall (out of 81)
2000 Formula Sun Grand Prix
2nd Place Open Class
3rd Place Overall
Aurora is currently in storage on the University of Minnesota Campus and was displayed at the 2006 Minnesota State Fair.
Aurora 4
Aurora 4 improved on the successes of the Aurora class of cars, and overcame a collision with its lead vehicle for a 4th place finish in Sunrayce ’99. It is only the second 4-wheeled car that the UMNSVP has built to date. The original Aurora I being the first.
Sunrayce ’99 (Washington, DC to Epcot Center, Orlando, Florida)
4th Place Overall
1999 World Solar Challenge (Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia to Adelaide, South Australia, Australia)
4th Place, cutout class
Aurora 4 is currently in storage on the University of Minnesota campus.
Borealis I
Borealis I featured a major redesign from the tried-and-true cutout car. Instead of a flat shell with a “bubble” canopy, the team used an innovative “manta” shell design, where the windshield and canopy are integrated in to the body of the car. Also, nearly all other systems were redesigned for higher performance.
2001 Formula Sun Grand Prix – Heartland Park
12th Place Overall (Qualified for ASC)
2001 American Solar Challenge (Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California)
6th place Overall
2002 Formula Sun Grand Prix
2nd Place Overall
In early 2005, Borealis I was sold to the Illinois State University Solar Car Team, where it was refitted with new electronics and solar panels. ISU raced it as Mercury I in the 2005 North American Solar Challenge, where they finished 18th. Its chassis was re-used for their 2008 car Mercury II, but unfortunately, troubles with their motor prevented them from qualifying. In 2009, Mercury II finished 5th out of 11 entered vehicles in the 2009 Formula Sun Grand Prix.
Borealis II
Borealis II improved on the design of Borealis I, stressing first and foremost reliability, which resulted in a relatively heavy car. It overcame a number of mishaps that damaged the car to become one of UMNSVP’s most successful projects to date.
2003 Formula Sun Grand Prix
1st Place Overall
Pole Position
Ironman Competition (Tire Change) Winner
Pit Crew Competition Winner
2003 American Solar Challenge (Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California)
2nd Place Overall
2004 Formula Sun Grand Prix
2nd Place Overall
Borealis II is currently in storage on the University of Minnesota Campus. Many of its solar cells were taken for use on Borealis III’s reconfigurable array.
Borealis III
Borealis III leads the way during the 2005 North American Solar Challenge, passing by Lake Benton, Minnesota.
Borealis III improved upon its predecessors by stressing efficiency and weight reduction; the car weighs just over 400 lb. Borealis III was also the first solar car in history to cross an international boundary during a race; it did so on July 21, 2005 during that year’s North American Solar Challenge.
During June and July 2006, Borealis III underwent slight modifications in order to race in the World Solar Rally in Taiwan in September 2006.
2005 Formula Sun Grand Prix
1st Place Overall
Espirit de Corps
Fastest Lap
2005 North American Solar Challenge (Austin, Texas, USA to Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
2nd Place Overall
2006 World Solar Rally (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
4th Place Overall
Borealis III is currently in storage on the University of Minnesota campus.
Centaurus I
Centaurus I is the most recent solar car from the University of Minnesota. It features a major design adjustment from both previous series of cars. Due to a change in the North American Solar Challenge rules for 2008 requiring the driver to sit upright, the team was faced with the task of allowing the driver to do this while still minimizing aerodynamic drag. Many design components have been reworked to fit the new style of vehicle and improve performance.
2008 North American Solar Challenge (Plano, Texas, USA to Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
5th Place Overall
2nd Place Stock Class
Fastest Qualifier Lap
Fastest Figure Eight
Most Prepared
Best Workmanship
Excellence in Mechanical Design
2009 Formula Sun Grand Prix ((Cresson, Texas)
1st Place Overall
Fastest Lap
A video of how University of Minnesota students built Centaurus I is available on the University of Minnesota web site.
See also
Solar car racing
North American Solar Challenge
World Solar Challenge
External links
Official Site
University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project – Old Site
North American Solar Challenge
World Solar Challenge
2006 World Solar Rally in Taiwan
References
University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project – Old Site
Sunrayce History
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