Cal State LA Solar Car Team

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The Cal State LA Solar Car Team is an engineering team from California State University, Los Angeles. The team develops the Solar Eagle, a series of solar cars that have taken part in solar car races in the United States and in Australia.

Solar Eagle[edit]

The Solar Eagle is a world-class, solar powered car designed and built by the Cal State L.A. School of Engineering & Technology students, faculty and staff.

In July, the Solar Eagle placed fourth in the 1,643 mile GM Sunrayce. California's number one solar car finished ahead of 28 other colleges and universities including such prestigious institutions as MIT and Stanford.

The team's out-standing capabilities will be further demonstrated at the November 1990 World Solar Challenge in Australia.

Results from the GM Sunrayce Overall finish: Fourth place Daily race results: First place (twice), Second place (once), Third place (3 times)

Solar Eagle was the only car having no mechanical or electrical failures during the 1,643 mile race.

Department of Energy Awards: First place for "Best Artistic Design" ($500), Second place for "Innovation in Power Train Design" ($800), Third place for "Teamwork" ($600)

Society of Automotive Engineers Award: Fifth place for "Engineering Design and Safety"

Other Honors Engineering Excellence Award: Unique Mobility, Inc. The Governor's Energy Award: State of Florida Team Honored by Los Angeles City Council, August 10, 1990 Nationally televised appearance on Into the Night, Starring Rick Dees, August 15, 1990 Team Honored by Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners, August 23, 1990 City of Los Angeles, Mayor Tom Bradley: Commendation Board of Directors, City of Pasadena: Commendation City of Alhambra, Mayor Barbara Messina: Commendation City of Monterey Park, Mayor Judy Chu: Commendation U.S. Senator Pete Wilson: Commendation U.S. Congressman Matthew G. Martinez: Congressional Award

Car Specifications Length: 6 meters Width: 2 meters Height: 1 meter Weight: 459 pounds (without driver) Drag Coefficient: 0.123 Frame: Welded 6061 T6 aluminum alloy tubing (Weight=23 pounds) Body: Carbon fiber/NOMEX composite sandwich Solar panel: Fiberglass/NOMEX composite sandwich Solar cells: 8,945 Spectrolab K7 single-crystal silicon space quality cells Motor: Unique Mobility, Inc. DC brushless motor Batteries: Eagle-Picher silver-zinc batteries; 120 volt nominal buss voltage; 4 kW-hr total capacity at C20 rate

World Solar Challenge Start: Darwin, Australia Finish: Adelaide, Australia Distance: 1,900 miles Date: November 11, 1990 Entries: 40 cars from 9 countries (13 Australia, 11 Japan, 9 United States)

Student Faculty Staff
Derrick Hamilton
Student team leader/Race logistics and strategy
Richard Roberto, Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Adviser and Chief Engineer
Dan Roberto, Mechanical technician
Chief Machinist/ Mechanical Systems
Richard Benavides
Solar panel assembly
Raymond B. Landis, Dean of Engineering and Technology
Fund-raising/Public relations
Mike Obermeyer, Electrical design
Power electronic assembly
Robert Diefenbach
Batteries—Telemetry instrumentation
Chivey Wu, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Aerodynamics
Michael Hackleman
Technician Solar panel assembly/System design support
Scott Downer
Lead engineer/ power electronics
Steve Felszeghy, Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Structural analysis/Race strategy
Elissa Schrader, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Logistical support
Kevin Ear
Solar panel assembly
Le Tang, Professor of Technology
Power electronics
Chris Enriquez
Driver/Mechanical systems
Ricardo Espinosa
Driver/Mechanical systems
Armando Garcia
Solar panel assembly
Hlda Gomez
Power Electronics Assembly
Nader Lotfy
Batteries/Telemetry instrumentation
Harry Mkhitarian
Motor and controller
Chris Miller
Body fabrication
Kitty Rodden
Aerodynamics
Jeff Silverstone
Chief driver/ Mechanical systems
Gwan The
Driver/Body fabrication
Robert Tsai
Mechanical systems
Suchon Tsaowimonsiri
Mechanical systems

Solar Eagle II[edit]

In June 1993, the Solar Eagle II placed third in the 1000 mile SUNRAYCE 93 — a cross-country race from Dallas, Texas to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Solar Eagle II started the race in the pole position having qualified with the fastest time. Solar Eagle II finished ahead of 33 other universities including such prestigious institutions as Stanford, George Washington University and UC Berkeley. The car and team were honored with a second place award in Technical Innovation for Chassis Design, Propulsion and Aerodynamic Systems by the SUNRAYCE 93 judges and they received a third place award from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for Design Excellence in Engineering Safety. In November 1993, the Solar Eagle II gained international recognition by placing thirteenth out of a fifty-four car field, and became the fourth U.S. team to cross the finish line at the 1993 World Solar Challenge, a grueling 1,882 mile race across the Australian outback.

Cal State L.A. was selected as one of 30 universities granted entry in the SUNRAYCE 95 competition and work will soon begin revamping the Solar Eagle II for that event.

Major Corporate and Government Agency Sponsors • AB2766 - Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee • Automobile Club of South-ern California • Caltrans • Hewlett-Packard Company • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power • MacNeal-Schwe-Corporation • NASA Langley: Center • Optical Coating Laboratory, Inc. • Society for the Avancment of Materia Process Engines. (SAMPE) • South Coast Air Quality Management District • Southern California Edison • TRW

Vehicle Technical Specifications Length: 16 feet Width: 6.1 feet Height: 3.3 feet Weight: 360 pounds (without driver and batteries) Structure: Welded aluminum space frame with carbon fiber composite battery box and underneath pan to provide shear and torsional strength. Body: Carbon fiber skin with Rohacell structural foam core. Solar power system: 754 single crystal BP Saturn cells (3.7" x 3/8") on top; 824 quarter-size cut cells on vehicle sides. Cerium doped and antireflective

Student Faculty Staff
Rick Aguilera
mechanical systems
Richard Roberto, Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Adviser and Chief Engineer
Dan Roberto, Mechanical technician
Chief Machinist/ Mechanical Systems
Dane Atol
mechanical systems
Raymond B. Landis, Dean of Engineering and Technology
Fund-raising/Public relations
Mike Obermeyer, Chief Electrical
Telemetry hardware/software design
Power electronic assembly
Roland Cerna
mechanical systems; alternative driver
Chivey Wu, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Aerodynamics
Michael Hackleman
Technician Solar panel assembly/System design support
Scott Downer
Lead engineer/ power electronics
Steve Felszeghy, Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Structural analysis/Race strategy
Elissa Schrader, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Logistical support
Kevin Ear
Solar panel assembly
Le Tang, Professor of Technology
Power electronics
Chris Enriquez
Driver/Mechanical systems
Ricardo Espinosa
Driver/Mechanical systems
Armando Garcia
Solar panel assembly
Hlda Gomez
Power Electronics Assembly
Nader Lotfy
Batteries/Telemetry instrumentation
Harry Mkhitarian
Motor and controller
John Aventino
Body fabrication
Chris Miller
Body fabrication
Kitty Rodden
Aerodynamics
Jeff Silverstone
Chief driver/ Mechanical systems
Gwan The
Driver/Body fabrication
Robert Tsai
Mechanical systems
Suchon Tsaowimonsiri
Mechanical systems

Solar Eagle III[edit]

Solar Eagle III is the third chapter in Cal State L.A.'s exciting trilogy of solar-powered electric vehicle design projects. Engineered by students under the guidance of faculty and staff, the Solar Eagle III represents the culmination of learning, trial and redesign gleaned from the University's first two solar race cars, the Solar Eagle and the Solar Eagle II.

On Saturday, June 28, 1997, the Solar Eagle III won the prestigious Sunrayce 97, the national intercollegiate solar car race, crossing the Colorado Springs finish line under fittingly sunny skies. Setting a Sunrayce record for average speed of 43.29 mph, Cal State L.A. finished nearly 20 minutes ahead of second-place Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The combined team of Stanford University/UC Berkeley finished third. Texas A&M, whose team used the molds from Cal State L.A.'s Solar Eagle II to build their entry, the MACH V, finished fourth.

Solar Eagle III's first-place finish at Colorado Springs marked the end of ten days of exciting intercollegiate solar car racing. Throughout the competition, Cal State L.A., MIT and Stanford/ UC Berkeley jockeyed in the top three positions. In the end, good design and solid engineering won the race: the beautifully built Solar Eagle III never broke down during the entire 1,230 mile course the only competitor in the Sunrayce to earn this distinction. (The car never even had a flat tire.)

The Solar Eagle III's technical specifications, described below, give the blueprint for a national champion — a world-class, space-age solar vehicle, meticulously refined and built on the successes of its first two solar cars, Solar Eagle and Solar Eagle II.

Technical Specifications

  • Weight: 427 pounds (without driver and batteries)
  • Length: 19.2 feet
  • Width: 6.3 feet
  • Height: 3.1 feet
  • Rolling Chassis: carbon fiber monocoque structure
  • Body and Solar Panel: carbon fiber skin with Nomex honeycomb core Solar Cells: 762 terrestrial grade silicon cells (4.05" x 3.94") by Siemens wired in four parallel strings
  • Panel Voltage: 85-volts peak string voltage
  • Tire Rolling Resistance: .0045
  • Drag Coefficient: .15
  • Wheel Base: 104 inches
  • Wheels and Tires: wheels have composite centers with aluminum rims; tires are Bridgestone Ecopia
  • Brakes and Suspension: front brakes are mechanical hydraulic; regenerative rear brakes. Suspension is double A-arm in the front and swing arm in the rear
  • Batteries: 108-volt system with nine 12-volt batteries by U.S. Battery Manufacturing Company; weight-307 lbs
  • Motor System: two interchangeable motor systems: 1.) Wheel motor (NGM-SC-M100) and controller (NGM-SC-C100) by New Generation Motor Corporation and 2.) DC Brushleiss motor (BRLS8) and controller (110H) by Solectria Corporation with belt drive

Overall standings for Sunrayce 97

  1. Cal State L.A.
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  3. Stanford University/UC Berkeley
  4. Texas A&M University
  5. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology University of Michigan
  6. University of Waterloo, Canada
  7. University of Missouri-Columbia
  8. Yale University
  9. Queen's University, Canada
  10. University of Minnesota
  11. Messiah College
  12. The University- of Western Ontario, Canada
  13. University of Illinois
  14. University of Pennsylvania
  15. Western Michigan University
  16. University of Missouri-Rolla
  17. Ohio State University
  18. University of North Dakota
  19. Mankato and Winona State Universities
  20. New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
  21. United States Military Academy
  22. McGill University, Canada
  23. Kansas State University
  24. Columbus State Community College
  25. Iowa State University
  26. California State University, Long Beach
  27. Drexel University
  28. Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Canada
  29. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  30. Principia College
  31. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  32. Auburn University
  33. Purdue University
  34. University of New Orleans
  35. George Washington University
Student Faculty Staff
Rick Aguilera Richard Roberto, Professor of Mechanical Engineering
(chief faculty adviser)
Mike Obermeyer
Chief Electrical
Telemetry hardware/software design
Power electronic assembly
Dane Atol Stephen F. Felszeghy
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Dan Roberto
Mechanical Engineering Technician
Ivan Bejar Raymond Landis
Dean of Engineering and Technology
Bruce Fischer
Technical Support Manager
Roland Cerna Kathy Lex
School Fiscal Manager
Salvador Fallorino
Kathleen Hansen
Stanley Palmer
Ricardo Solares
Roman Vasquez III
(lead driver)
Mark Van Dalm
Dylan Wakasa
(driver)

Photo album of the car

Publications[edit]

The team has been featured in the following local, national, and international media:

Books

External links[edit]

References[edit]