Engineering Experience 4: Design a Small Solar Vehicle/Nl/2014: Team PM8

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Every year the students of the second faze in Group T get an instruction to build a small solar powered vehicle (SSV) with certain characteristics. This year the students need to build a rigid but fast SSV so it can collide with a pétanque ball, hit the ball as high as possible and survive this collision.

The following link contains the entire dropbox we used to store and share our files relating to this project. The reason we are sharing this link is so everyone who is interested can check even the MatLab and the Simulink files, which were more difficult to share through this wikipage.


Introduction[edit | edit source]

Team Barack III consists out of seven students of the KU Leuven. This wikipage will consist of the progress and construction of our fourth project. During this project we will have to build a small solar powered vehicle (SSV) that has to drive ten meters on a flat rubber course to eventually collide with a pétanque ball. The ball is resting on a ramp and the goal is to make the ball roll as high as possible.

Team members[edit | edit source]

Name Function Contact
Mathijs De Laet Team Leader
Gilles Carlier Secretary
Michael Faes Team Member
Niels Hawinkel Team Member
Simon Jeanquart Team Member
Robert Kuchera Team Member
Jonathan Vanhorenbeeck Team Member

Documents[edit | edit source]

Plan Of Approach[edit | edit source]

The following file contains our PoA for this project.

Plan of Approach

Collaboration Contract[edit | edit source]

The following file contains our Collaboration Contract for this project.

Collaboration Contract

WBS[edit | edit source]

Work Breakdown Structure

In order to open the 'xml' file:

  1. Save the file somewhere on your computer
  2. Go to the website '' and choose 'open existing file'
  3. Open the file you just saved

Gantt Chart[edit | edit source]

The following file contains the Gantt Chart for this project.

Gantt Chart

Case SSV1[edit | edit source]

Here follow two documents: a pdf file with our experiments and an Excel file with the calculations for the graphs.


Case SSV1



Blog[edit | edit source]

Week 1[edit | edit source]

The start of our SSV project. In order to ensure we will meet all deadlines during this project we made a Gantt chart, plan of approach, work breakdown structure and a collaboration contract.

Week 2[edit | edit source]

During week 2 we calculated the m-value of our solar panel by measuring the short circuit current and the open circuit voltage. We then plotted the U,I- and the U,P-characteristic. Combining these charts with the chart of the DC motor's working points and by using our measured values for the current and the voltage we calculated our optimal revolution speed.

Meeting report.

Week 3[edit | edit source]

In week 3 we had to start the analytic work of our project, we had to calculate the mass of our vehicle. We also had to find the ideal gearing ratios and the speed we could acquire with these ratios. Lastly we had to find our optimal revolution speed with new measurements.

Meeting report

Week 4[edit | edit source]

The goals of this week were to start working with Simulink and Matlab, as well as finding an equation to express our optimal mass for the SSV. We started on each of these objectives but none have come to a close yet.

Meeting report

Week 5[edit | edit source]

Our work with Matlab has not advanced as much as we'd hoped, so this is still a subject we need to handle this week. Our calculations on the optimal mass have come to a close. Simulink is the next step of this project. This means we make an electronic circuit to simulate our solar panel and our SSV. We also started drawing a design for our SSV.

Meeting report

Week 6[edit | edit source]

This week was the week of our first deadline. Both Case SSV1 and Case Simulink had to be finished. This means we had to finish both these cases, as well as finish writing the report for both these cases.

Meeting report

Week 7[edit | edit source]

After getting some feedback from our coach we had to make some final adaptations on both Case SSV1 and Case Simulink.

Meeting report

Week 8[edit | edit source]

While studying and preparing for the first test on our project, we managed to prepare all the necessary files to start cutting the parts of our SSV in FabLab.

Meeting report

Week 8.5 (Easter holidays)[edit | edit source]

This week we built the prototype of our SSV.

Meeting report

Week 9[edit | edit source]

After having some bad luck, we managed to complete some impact tests on our SSV. We also had our very first run on the track.

Meeting report

Week 10[edit | edit source]

We started working on Case SSV2 of this project, meaning we had to analyze the collision using the results from the impact tests last week. It also means we have to start with the strength analysis of the vehicle. We also went to FabLab to build our improved SSV.

Meeting report

Week 11[edit | edit source]

After testing our vehicle on the track, we realized we had to continue improving the vehicle. We also made a lot of progress on our case SSV II.

Meeting report