We are working very hard on our new car, D1, which will compete in the World Solar Challenge in Australia this October. This car has 1 year design cycle. It’s our first four wheeled, two seat car. It’s also our first car that emphasizes practicality rather than speed.
Our Aerodynamics team is working on the molds and will start shell layups next week.
EE team finished the first revision PCB of all the electrical subsystem. We are writing software to test the boards.
Hey everyone, we will be having a couple recruitment/ informational meetings on Tuesday 9/4 and Thursday 9/6 at 6 pm in Tate 170. Stop by to learn about the project and how you can get involved!
UMNSVP has had a rough couple of days on the rayce. We started out running smoothly on Tuesday morning but by the end of the checkpoint at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo the temperature was high and our batteries were close to reaching their cutoff limit. Not long after leaving Kalamazoo we had to pull over and turn the car off to let the battery cool, losing valuable charging time.
Due to the lost hours of charging, our battery pack was low Wednesday morning. We spent most of the day driving beneath clouds and rain, unable to catch up with the sun that was ahead of us. The caravan drove slowly all day and was unable to make it to Normal, IL before the end of the rayce day. This forced us to trailer the car about 80 miles, taking a huge time penalty and pushing us back to 6th place. Hopefully with a good charge this morning we can make up some of our lost time.
Minnesota in 2nd place with a commanding lead on second. Five More Days to make up the time, but Sunpower cells are alive and kicking right now. The sun is finally breaking out and the rest looks to be a much more solar car friendly race. For up to the minute updates, check out a few sources:
1) ASC Chat Page, 2) Facebook Group, and 3) Backup Page which are 1) a chat forum hosted for the comments to your pleasure, 2) FB group that has a similar structure and some great pics, and 3) a backup server for the purpose of making up for the ASC webpage (ASC Main Page)
After two days of raycing, UMNSVP has had no breakdowns and is currently in 2nd place. On Saturday we left Rochester, NY from the start line of ASC and ended in Erie, PA. We were firing on all cylinders and finished 3rd for the day, 20 minutes behind 1st place Michigan.
Heavy rains slowed down the convoy on Sunday morning, but after taking extreme measures to avoid pullovers, we passed through Mansfield, OH 2nd overall. The sun finally came out in time for charging the car and the team charged off pizza and is ready for a good day of raycing tomorrow!
Today was the final day of Formula Sun Grand Prix. Our last driver completed the required laps to be qualified for ASC around noon.
We finished the day with 70 laps for a total of 179 laps, finishing FSGP in 6th place. Michigan came in 1st, followed by Iowa State and Western Michigan.
Tomorrow we will be traveling to Rochester, NY and will be displaying the car at the Rochester Institute of Technology from 12-4 pm. The American Solar Challenge begins at 9 am on Saturday in Rochester.
UMNSVP would like to give a huge thank you to Incodema, our newest sponsor. After having problems with our braking system on day 1 of racying, Incodema was able to cut new brake rotors for us in less than 24 hours after contacting them.
The new rotors were picked up this afternoon and are currently being installed on the car. Centaurus 3 should be back raycing on the track tomorrow.
We look forward to working with Incodema in the future!
Today marked the start of Formula Sun Grand Prix at the Monticello Motor Club in New York. After a few small issues in the morning, Centaurus 3 ran smoothly for most of the day.
We ended the day with 109 laps, which is 4 more than the 105 required to qualify for ASC! All of our drivers got a chance to drive on the track and 3 out of 4 completed the 25 laps necessary to qualify.
Currently were are in 4th place for FSGP behind Michigan, Iowa State, and Western Michigan.
UMNSVP will be participating in the 2012 American Solar Challenge from Rochester, NY to our home capitol, St. Paul.
After meeting up bright and early on the 4th, we drove from St. Paul, MN to Naperville, Il. The stifling heat is slowing us down slightly, but we got some testing in on the road. More to come!
UMNSVP would like to thank B&K Precision for their generous donation of an Electric Load and Power Supply to our project. These have been extremely useful tools in developing, testing, and debugging many of the electrical systems for Centaurus III, especially our custom DC-DC converters throughout the vehicle. They have also been very useful in characterizing the next car’s battery cells and will be used for testing our array once attached.