Our first test ride

Summer is here, the school year is over and the team members have started their jobs. This mean that our work with the solar car mostly is concentrated to the weekends. But even though we don´t have as much time for the car as before, a lot have happened since the last post. The car is really starting to come together!

The battery pack and the motor controller is in place, and so are a lot of the mechanical parts as well. Last weekend we even got to take it for the first test ride.  At the test course we tested the speed, steering, brakes and dampers. The tests gave a very positive result and many of the rules could be checked of.

With the results from the tests we are now improving some details to make it even better, doing some last FEM analysis, perfecting the cruise control and  the preparations for shipping have started. Before we can put it in a box and ship the car across the world, we need to construct the cupola and solder the solar cells. We just got the body of the car back from the company who helped us with the paintwork, so it's now possible to start the soldering.

Only three weeks until shipping!

On the pictures below you can see the body of the car and some pictures from the test course.


Reveal event

As earlier mentioned, the work with the molds for the body of the car was delayed due to late delivery. Instead of taking three weeks as planned, the carbon fiber production had to be finished in a single weekend. Yes, this task sounded impossible to achieve. With the entire team working shifts from early morning to late night, we managed to complete this task! The carbon fiber body was ready just in time for the event, which was a big milestone for the team.

Even though the production of the body had been a big focus for the last couple of weeks, some other projects had to be done parallel to this. Such as the suspension and some electronics.

After two weeks of intense work, it was finally time for the event. This was the first time we displayed the solar car to the public eye.

To bring focus to the different parts of the car and the working process, we chose to have the car disassembled on the event. This was mainly to let the sponsors and visitors be able to choose freely what they wanted to see, hear and learn more about.

No one at the event could have missed the body of the car made of carbon fiber standing in the middle of the room. The body wasn't in the center of attention even though it was in the middle of the room. The most popular part of the event was the chassis, where anyone who wanted could sit in the driver’s seat and get a feel for the solar car. Anyone could also see the battery and it's layout, some tests of solar panels connected to a multimeter, the logistics plan, control system, and our telemetry solution.

We are very happy with the results and a big thanks to all sponsors and all other visitors who attended the event!

We've just passed a huge milestone, but we are not done yet. We need to install our break system and gas pedal, install all the solar panels, paint the car and of course put everything together. Now that we are so close to the end of the production process and when the flight tickets are to be booked next week,  all of us are really excited and looking forward to get to Australia and participate in The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge this fall!


Ups and downs

The last couple of weeks the electro group have built the battery, connected the BMS and a 12V converter. The programming group have finished their work with the control system, which now have been conected to the BMS and gone through some verifying tests and we can happily report that it all worked without a hitch.

Sadly the material for the molds to the body of the car was delayed. This means that we have not been able to work on the moldes until now and that the team have been forced to grind the moldes day in and day out this week. Because of this the construction of the body have been delayed, but will hopefully start this weekend.

Even thogh we are a bit behind in the schedule, we are optimistic that the car will be ready in time for shipping, since everyone is working as a team and helping each other out and since everything else is going as planed.

Two months to shipping

It is with excitement and at the same time a little bit of fear we realize that the shipping of the car is due in two months. We have a lot of deadlines that needs to be kept the next couple of weeks, but since the construction of the car is going smoothly it should not be a problem.

The last two weeks the mechanics and aerodynamic team have worked on the wheel suspension of the solar car and as of yesterday it sits on its place on the chassis. Parallel to the wheel suspension the mechanics and aerodynamics team have also done the last finishing on the drawings of the molds for the body of the car, which will be constructed later this week.

Even more parts have arrived to us, such as the batteries, the BMS and our custom made rims (which you can see in the picture bellow), so we have our work cut out for us. 


As the production continues

As spring arrives to Gothenburg our solar car is starting to take form. Many parts and the body itself is under construction. Here comes a small summary of what we have been doing during the past two weeks. 

The mechanics and aerodynamics group are making great progress. Since the electro and the programming groups can not work until the body of the car is nearly finished, they are lending a helping hand to mechanics and aerodynamics group, so we can pass our deadlines in time. As soon as the body is ready, the electrical circuits and solarpanels can be placed in the car.

To get the production of the body going, a group of six people are now trained to be working with carbon fiber. They are now working hard on molding the body of the car. This needs to be done carefully since these materials can become toxic for the human body if not handled with proper care. 

We can proudly say that our frame for the car now is finished.  As you can see on the picture, there was only happy faces as we went to look at the frame in its glory at LTG (Lindholmens tekniska gymnasium). 


Progress is going as planned!

We have passed the starting line of the construction of the car a long time ago now.  , we started with the frame of the car. Since some parts of the car have arrived, it is easier to visualize the car even without the body of the car. The electro group has made progress with the schematics. The programming group is working hard on a can-buss and interface. Soon we will also pass some milestones but let us first elaborate on what we have accomplished so far. 

At the beginning of the year we started with the welding the frame of the car, which with the help from Lindholmens Tekniska Gymnasium (LTG) is almost finished. A huge thanks to the students Rikard, Nils and Johan for their participation. The collaboration with LTG made it possible for us to get the frame finished on time.  The students are qualified welders and with their great expertise, the frame is going to be as stable as possible! 

A few important parts for the car have arrived. The seat is now complete with a seat belt and a helmet for the drivers maximum safety. We now have brakes, a gas pedal and the steering wheel is under construction. Another part of significance is the wheel suspension. The wheel suspension has passed all necessary tests and the construction of it has started. You can see the wheel suspensions progress in the picture below. 


The electro group and programming group has also continued their work. According to Bridgestone World Solar Challenge rule set we need to document every part of the car which includes the electrical parts and the circuits. As the electrical circuits are planned and the battery box is on its way, they now have a lot of documentation to do. After a certified engineer has approved the documents, it needs to be send in for inspection so that Bridgestone World Solar Challenge knows that the car is safe to drive. Parallel with the electro group the programmers have started to develop a CAN-BUSS. They have also worked hard on the interface of the display. The display is going to be placed close to the steering wheel, so the driver can see for example, the speed of the car. Their work continues with more documentation and development. 

With the frame almost finished, the parts coming in, a finished interface and the documentation going smoothly, we are right were we want to be. Although we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Milestones and deadlines are coming at us at the speed of light and we are excited to see the car. 

Car reveal

As you may have noticed on our social media, the construction of the car has finally begun. This means that our main focus of the development process in the CAD programs are coming to an end. Unfortunately we can not show you any of the parts constructed in CAD because they are confidential at this time. As time goes by, our energy focuses on simulations of the aerodynamic body. After months of designing and calculating. We are hereby revealing that the car is going to look like following:

Rendered image of the car

Rendered image of the car

On this design we have performed aerodynamic calculations on the air resistance. It is important to minimize the power consumption of the car throughout the competition for best result possible. Right now we have the right necessity's to cross the finish line. Since a good placing in the competition is important for us, we continue to improve our model. This is of paramount importance because of air resistance. This stands for almost 85% of the total power consumption. 

Below, you can see two pictures that show the contour plotting and the vector plotting of the absolute pressure of the car. 

Contour plot

Contour plot

Vector plot

Vector plot


We have made great progress with the solar car during the fall. The mechanics and aerodynamics team have been working really hard on the car's chassis. To develop the concept of the car so the construction can begin as fast as possible, but still in a thoroughly way to make sure that the vehicle will take us across the finishing line in Adelaide. We have also teamed up with a local profession school to weld the body of the car, which now is in progress. With the concept of the car ready the electro subgroup could start calculate the power needed to get the car running and compere it with the amount our solar panels can absorb. 

After a inspiring visit to Jönköping solar team we have reevaluated how we are going to develop some parts of the car, for example the programming team has re-planned what information about the car the driver is supposed to see and are now working on these changes. The visit also reminded us of that the competition is getting closer and closer. As a result of that, the logistics subgroup started working on a cooperation with the other Swedish solar teams to get the car shipped to Australia since we all participate in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. 

The new year started with a two day project management workshop led by Mats Nyman from our gold sponsor Wenell, to which we are very thankful. We are now confident that we have what it takes to participate in Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and really looking forward to show you what we are working on and show the progress of the cars construction. Lets go to Australia!