Editor’s Note: Welcome to the U of C Solar Car Team’s first edition of Weekly Update! This weekly (biweekly?) feature will highlight the progress each subteam has made since we’ve last checked in with them. Thanks to all the subteam managers for providing us with their updates, and to Matthias Dyckerhoff, Gabriel Gana, Ray Pai and Alberto Valencerina from the Comms/PR subteam for helping me put this together!
Riccardo Palladini – Public Relations Manager
Top Story: Shocking Progress Made by Electrical Team
Over the past few weeks the various sub-teams of the Electrical Team have been busy with various projects for improving our current solar car, Schulich Delta. For instance, the Max Power Point Tracker (MPPT) Team has been hard at work on creating a testing chamber for our MPPTs. They are currently looking to create a test so that we can compare the performance of our current MPPTs to that of other commercial MPPTs. Currently we are looking to create a moving light source using an Arduino microprocessor and motor.
The Tablet Team is focused on creating an application to act as a rear view camera monitor. Currently they are looking at several solutions such as using the tablets built in camera or using an external wireless camera. The Central Communication Systems (CCS) Team is currently looking into the possibility and practicality of using Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi for sending information from the solar car to the chase vehicle used in the World Solar Challenge races. The CCS team are first looking to test the possible range of a Bluetooth connection and to create an improved application for receiving data from the car on a laptop.
The Battery Team is working on modifying the current battery pack design to potentially accommodate a different battery management system and exploring various ways of changing the design to improve ease of use. The Array Team is figuring out solutions to improve the layout of our array, for instance by simulating the shading on the array as the sun moves across the sky.
Mechanical: Delta’s Getting Fixed Up
This week has been a week of improvements for Schulich Delta. The mechanical team today has begun research and development in the area of breaks, tires, and noise reduction. A particular development worth mentioning is the use of isotruss beams in the seasoned Schulich Delta.
The team has also begun designing a new cooling system for the electronic devices as well as improving the current door hinges and dashboard.
We are also pleased to welcome our new members who have had their experiences in the shop and will begin joining the various subteams in preparation for the design and development of generation five.
Communications: The Ten Year Top Secret
This spring, our team celebrates its tenth anniversary! Unbelievable! Ten years of innovation, ten years of excellence, ten years of awesome memories, friends, and solar cars! Needless to say, the team is planning something very special for this milestone, so watch this spot for exciting news coming up soon! Here’s a teaser:
The comms team has a few school visits planned over the Reading Break, so you’ll hear more about those in a little while. Community outreach is so big to us, so we’re really happy to be getting out of the shop and getting out there and seeing students this spring! See you Harold Panabaker Junior High on the 18th and Cappy Smart on the 19th!
We have some really exciting things to announce in the coming months. I’ve been told if I spill the beans, I’ll be strapped to the roof of our solar car in the next race, so I’ll keep it on the down low and keep cool 😉 But seriously, stay tuned. This is REALLY. BIG. STUFF. *Sees engineers grabbing the rope from the shop shelf* See ya!
Sponsorship: It’s (Not) All About the Money
A big shout out to ConocoPhillips for their support during the World Solar Challenge! Their help was influential in our success during the race. This week we framed and sent our sponsors souvenirs from down under as a thank-you gift and started filling out applications for potential sponsors. We also spent a considerable amount of time in maintaining and developing better relationships with our current in-kind sponsors.
Race Logistics: Here, There and Everywhere
RL just finished up with WSC 2013!! In order to make operations easier on the next Solar Car endeavor and for future generations, RL has created a detailed document on everything: shipping, radios, accommodations, flights, etc. In recent news, RL is currently in negotiations with Toll Group about flying the car for WSC 2015! This is very exciting for the team as flying the car will allow us to have extra time to work on our car leading up to the race. Furthermore, RL also teamed up with sponsorship to find sponsors for transport cars (Alberta Tour and WSC) and shipping.
And some less exciting news … Raymond and I cleared out some old power inverters from the shop last week. Not as “shocking” as electrical’s news, but it’s still pretty “current”.
That’s it for RL! Stay tuned for further news as the Alberta Tour approaches.
Accounting: The Government Aren’t the Only Ones Making a Budget
The template for our spiffy new revenue and expense report is complete. Pretty soon we’ll be having our budgeting meeting to set out what the upcoming year’s finances will look like!
On that note, accounting for WSC 2013 is complete, thanks to Susie for doing such a great job of keeping track of receipts in Australia.
We’ll start to sort out our bank account transaction, and then back to normal data entry and such. The life of an accountant!