Archive for the ‘Electrical’ Category

Energy Storage: Batteries

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

In a solar vehicle , there exists an accumulator pack to store the energy generated by the solar array and release it in a more reliable manner. Since the solar cells’ output power is dependent on the sun and weather (which vary greatly upon several factors), the accumulator pack can provide a more reliable source when solar energy cannot be depended on. When weather becomes unpredictable and the amount of solar exposure decreases, the accumulators help supplement the car’s lack of power. Batteries are a common choice in accumulator packs, but require a battery monitoring system to prevent hazards from occurring. Together, the batteries and the battery monitoring system comprise a central and important part of solar vehicles.

Solar Cells are ON!

Monday, July 11th, 2011










Hello Solar Car Enthusiasts!

We are very excited to say that Impulse is now officially a solar car!  As soon as our shell team completed working on the canopy hatch, the solar team members rolled up their sleeves and began caulking!


Coming Soon to a Road Near You

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Our lovely car

Two Saturdays ago we took our car to have the lights and brakes inspected.  Hee Lee, the owner of 700 Auto Service, once again generously performed the inspection for us at no charge.   Passing this test marked the first step in getting our car to be certified as street legal.   Next we took the car to one of the most feared of organizations – the DMV, for the fifth time.   People waiting to pass their driver’s license test were amazed and surprised to see a solar car waiting in line next to them.   We prepared for the worst, but everything went quite smoothly and we are excited to announce we have received a temporary road permit.   This registration will allow us to drive on public roads until September.    Next week we’ll be taking the car to the CHP to get a permanent VIN which will allow us to get our permanent registration and license plates. (more…)

Optimizing File Writes

Sunday, June 12th, 2011
Datalogger board in the PCB box.

Datalogger board in the PCB box.

So, it’s been almost 3 months since the last post on Datalogger, and a lot of progress has been made in that time. The main highlights: FAT32 file system is in a working state with file write speeds at around 600kByte/s, which exceeds our requirements. With some more optimizations, we hope to push this number closer to 800kByte/s, possible allowing for more data (perhaps cockpit audio?) to be recorded.   Additionally, we plan to release everything (circuit schematics, board layout, and all code) as open source under the terms of the three-clause BSD license when it’s ready.


CAN Communication

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Our Test Setup for Saturday

This Saturday, for the first time, we tried connecting all of our low voltage boards together. We didn’t have a high voltage power source, so we powered everything off of 12V wall sockets. Our new battery packs should be ready soon. We successfully established CAN (Controller Area Network) communication between several of the boards.


Hello from the Data Team!

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Hello CalSol supporters!

As the Data Lead of Electrical Team, I’d like to give you a little update on some amazing progress we have made recently and take the time to recognize the hardworking members of the team! As the name suggests, the Data Team is primarily responsible for anything data-related on the Electrical Team, although we are also in charge of the radio communication between the cars we are taking to the race. We consist of the Data Logger, Race Strategy and Telemetry Subteams, and we are totally awesome!