Engineering Experience 4: Design a Small Solar Vehicle/Nl/2013: Team PM10

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logo Therion

Therion is old greek for wild beast. It is also a constellation dating from the old greek culture. Therion is now known as Lupus which can be found in the southern sky.


We are 6 students studying engineering. The main goal of this project is to build a small solar car. All teams get the same solar panel and motor. At the end of the project there will be a “solar-race”. There are different kind of classifications to earn points, like the most beautiful car or the most innovative car. Our client is the Umicore Solar Team, they want to bring a miniature solar car on the market and they have asked our team to build one. They have asked team Therion to build an as fast as possible solar car. This means we will focus on speed and innovation and less on beauty in our design.

The car[edit]

SSV Therion
Plan of approach[edit]

Work Breakdown Structure[edit]
WBS designing a SSV
Gantt chart[edit]
Gantt chart building a SSV
Assignment 1[edit]

Final Report[edit]

Weekly blog[edit]

Week 1[edit]

This week we had our introduction seminar about building an SSV. Where the objective of the project was explained and the teams were divided. Wednesday we had a meeting to discuss the name of the car and divide the work for the first deadline. Thursday Maxim Toye became sick so he could which made it hard for him to participate in the making of the documents we had to finish by Friday. We made a WBS, Gannt chart, plan of approach and a list with contact info of each member of the team.

Week 2[edit]

We did research on how many wheels our vehicle should have and discussed design concepts. We had a seminar where the history of the solar team was briefly explained. After the seminar we did some tests on the solar panel and had a meeting with the coach. He informed us about an individual test on Toledo about the DC motor and Solar panel. Today the gannt chart has been updated with the info from the personal logbooks from each team member.

Week 3[edit]

This week we had a seminar about the race strategy. During the meeting we dismantled a remote controlled car to examine the steering mechanism. We where brainstorming on how we could implement the steering mechanism of the remote controlled car on our SSV. The conclusion of this was that the steering mechanism would be to small for our SSV there for we also did research on other steering mechanisms. We finished all of the calculations of the diode factor and started working on our mathlab program.

Week 4[edit]

Tuesday there was a seminar about the mathlab case. Before the seminar we had a meeting where we discussed the design of the car more detailed. the main topic of the discussion was the steering mechanism of the car. By the end of the meeting we had a few solutions to make sure the SSv wouldtn crash. The best solution is to make a steering mechanism. the second solution was a system with springs that would make sure the car would go away from the wall. the final solution was to attach 2 wheels on each side of the car in a horizontal position these wheels would spin with the car when it goes along the wall.

Week 5[edit]

This week we had a seminar about Fablab. after the seminar we continued working on the calculations for assignment 1 and continued working on the mahtlab program. We also drew a rough sketch of how we want the SSV to look like. We started writing an introduction of the report we have to hand in next week. The final design on our team logo was done this week

Week 6[edit]

We had to meet a deadline for the assignment 1. we had some trouble with an error of our mathlab program, it took us a while to solve the problems. When this was done we could do the final calculations for the sanky diagram and add displacment, velocity and acceleration graphs in the assigment for case 1.

Week 7[edit]

This week we had a feedback session with our coach Hu Yunhao. He gave us advice on the steering mechanism of the SSV. During the meeting after the feedback session we decided to take an other direction in the way of how we would prevent the SSV from crashing in to the wall. We designed a mechanism that would guide the car along the walls of the track. this guide system would work with wheels that prevent the SSV to crash in to the wall. the wheels will make the SSV ride along the side of the wall. later the week we discovered that we could make the SSV go away from the wall by changing the place where the horizontal wheels where attached to the frame.

Week 8[edit]

We didn't do very much because there was a large test about technical drawings, simulink and the motor and solar panel characteristics.

Holliday Week[edit]

This week we finished the design of the frame and the wheels. We designed the gearbox and ordered the bearings and the gears. In the afternoon we went to Fablab to lasercut our wheels and frame.

Week 9[edit]

On monday we put the car together for the test on tuesday. We noticed that the frame was too small for the solar panel so we made a new frame. We made the inner diameter of the wheels smaller so they wouldn't be as loose on the axis. The next day went to fablab and remade the car for the test run on the track. during this test we saw that the alignment of the wheels where very good. We also tested our guide system and noticed it worked very well. But we noticed that we couldn't reach the top of the slope when we powered the motor with a 9V battery

Week 10[edit]

Because we couldn't reach the end of the track we went to fablab and made wheels of different diameters. This way we could test which diameter of wheels was the best. After changing the rear wheels we did anohter test run with a different 9V battery and noticed that we went much faster than with our first battery. We added a switch to the SSV to stop and start the motor. We painted our SSV with an metalic silver and a diamond effect spray. We devided the work of case 2. By the end of the week we finished half of the task for case 2.

Week 11[edit]

We exposed our car in the atrium and worked further on assignment 2.