Vehicle Name – Impulse

After careful consideration, debate, and discussion, we have chosen a name for the next-generation vehicle of the UC Berkeley Solar Vehicle Team.

CalSol is proud to present Impulse.

Impulse (im·pulse) noun: 1.the influence of a particular feeling, mental state. 2. an impelling action or force, driving onward or inducing motion.

With this name CalSol hopes to capture the team’s overwhelming desire to move forward, both figuratively and physically, in the coming years.

Saturday RFS Worksession

On Saturday, November 13th, CalSol members headed out to the station to work on the new car. Chassis team members were facing a problem with the bits that were used to notch the tubes. The bits were breaking after very little use. After some investigation we discovered that not enough coolant was used during the cutting process and we have implemented a new cooling system (consisting of a water bottle with some soap in it). This yields excellent results and so far we have been able to use just one bit for many cuts.

Many new members headed out to help Martin with some practice layups for the shell. Using molds that we made ourselves out of scrap extruded polystyrene foam, they were able to practice applying the Duratec Polyester Surfacing Primer and choose an appropriate spray gun. Two practice molds were sprayed and we are eagerly awaiting their results.

We have decided to use Rust-Oleum STOP RUST spray paint (Cobalt Blue) to coat our chassis. This paint not only looks really cool, but it will also help prevent rust build up on the chassis.

Pictures to come!

Chassis Update

Amando shows off a successfully tested sample.

This past week CalSol finally got around to testing the strength of the beams and welds that will be used in the next car. Thanks to the help of Scott McCormick and the rest of the guys in Hesse Hall we were able to use an Instron Universal Tester to gather some valuable data on the material properties of the steel we are using to build our next chassis. We are excited to announce that preliminary analysis indicates that the steel is stronger then we initially believed, meaning that CalSol’s next chassis will be even safer. The Chassis Team is extremely excited by these results, as the results will allow us to proceed in constructing the new chassis, but the Team hopes to run more tests in the future to gather more data for further analysis. Click past the break to watch a video of a test.

Out of the shadows

Well, we figure we’ve kept everyone in the dark for long enough. CalSol is excited to give a first glimpse at the shape of our future, a new body that promises aerodynamic performance far beyond what we’ve produced in the past.  Unfortunately, we’re going to have to keep the exact details of what we expect to achieve to ourselves for a while, but if our CFD analysis is any indicator, our new vehicle should be very competitive.