Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Eleanor" visits the DSC!

The MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team stopped by the DSC on June 10 – one of only a handful of stops on a US tour of their newest solar car, “Eleanor!” Have a look:

M.I.T. Solar Race Team at the Detroit Science Center

The 2009 World Solar Challenge, taking place in Australia from October 25th to 31st, will see some of the most efficient solar vehicles in the world compete in a seven day, 2,000 miles race from Darwin to Adelaide. One of the competitors will be Eleanor, the new electric race car by MIT's Solar Vehicle Team.

A change in the rules requiring drivers to sit upright instead of stretching out makes the MIT solar racer taller than earlier cars but no less aerodynamic. The team spent six months designing the body before fine-tuning it in Ford Motor Company's wind tunnel. The result is a super-slippery drag coefficient of 0.11

Eleanor has about six square meters of solar panels (cells made by Sun Power inc.) with a capacity of 1,200 watts. Electricity is store in a 6-kilowatt-hour battery pack (693 lithium-ion cells), and the electric motor produces 10-hp. The whole car weights under 500lbs.

Racing speed should be around 55 MPH, but in theory, Eleanor should be able to do 90 MPH (with a 10-hp motor! That's aerodynamics for you). We wish the MIT SVET the best of luck in Australia. Careful not to hit any kangaroos!

1 comment:

  1. Neat! But I'm still rooting for U of M's team!
    Go Blue!!