Cal Day 2012

Cal Day is right around the corner, and CalSol is excited to celebrate the most wonderful day of the year!

Impulse is here!

Next Saturday, April 21 from 10AM-3PM, CalSol will be showcasing Impulse for the big event! Our team would like to extend an invitation to all. We will be located at the  Etcheverry Breezeway (between Etcheverry Hall and Soda Hall). Our team members have incredible stories to share, and Impulse will be ready to show off her new paint job. Feel free to drop by and and say hello if you are in the area!

Additionally, at 2pm Impulse will be making a grand exit to signal the start of a road trip up to Sacramento. We will be performing road testing to gain valuable data for the American Solar Challenge this summer, as well as to give new members some more experience in conditions similar to those we will experience during a rayce.

As always, Go Impulse, Go CalSol, and GO BEARS!

Painted Perfection

Impulse with a Fresh Coat of Paint from SAC

After working on numerous repairs to Impulse’s aerodynamic exterior, including making a new canopy out of carbon fiber composites instead of PETG plastic, we dropped off Impulse at Shattuck Auto Collision Center (SAC) this past Monday, and waited excitedly to see her return with a brand-new paint job. This morning our wait was finally over, and we picked up a sexy-looking Impulse from SAC. As always, we are very impressed by the great job done by SAC, who not only made Impulse look great, but also smoothed out any remaining textures to give her a sleek and aerodynamically favorable painted outer surface. Since every bump or tiny hole will add up to produce more energy loss from aerodynamic drag, the smooth surface finish is a great help in boosting our aerodynamic performance.

Nicole looks pretty happy with the new canopy!

Now we are working hard on last-minute preparations for Cal Day (which is next Saturday!!), including reattaching some solar cells that were removed during the canopy repairs and putting on new sponsor logos. We are also hoping to get some testing done in this wonderfully sunny weather, leading up to a test drive next weekend to Sacramento, right after we show off our car in the Etcheverry breezeway. We invite everyone to come out and see Impulse, with her new paint job, next weekend from 10AM-3PM.

Thanks again SAC!!

New Electrical Equipment from KIT Digital

Loading the truck with Chris

On Monday, we got a very generous donation from KIT Digital. After KIT Digital’s purchase of Sezmi, the company went through some internal changes and ended up with a fairly sizable collection of unneeded electrical equipment. They got in contact with us, and arranged to donate all of this equipment to CalSol.

This donation will be invaluable in augmenting our existing setup and aging equipment, and I’m excited to go through it all and inventory everything. I’ve only had time to briefly look over the contents, but from what I’ve seen I can say that we will be able to put everything to good use.

Some of the equipment we picked up from Kit Digital

All of this was made possible because of Chris Hagler, an employee of KIT Digital and a friend of our very own team member Jessica Chang. Chris thought of us when he came across the electrical equipment, and arranged everything on KIT Digital’s side to make this donation possible.

KIT Digital is now our newest Gold Sponsor! It’s because of companies like you that CalSol can thrive.

Suspension and Chassis Update

The Suspension and Chassis team has been working on two fronts recently: helping to prepare Impulse for the American Solar Challenge and designing the major mechanical systems for our next solar car.

The finished tool to remove our wheels

Our first project of this semester was to reconstruct our broken hub tool – this tool is used to remove the wheels from Impulse during tire changes and pit stops. Australia put too much of a strain on the last one and it snapped in two. Because of the intricate design on the surface of the part we decided to take this opportunity as a learning experience in using the CNC machines in the student machine shop in Etcheverry Hall.

The final product turned out to be just as artistic as it is practical. Being a team of mechanical engineers, this is the kind of success that makes us proud to be engineers.