Smart Solar International

Smart Solar International
Silver sponsor

CalSol would like to welcome another Silver sponsor to the team. Smart Solar International focuses on offering Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) Systems to be deployed in commercial and utility scales all around the world. Their goal is to lower the cost of renewable energy through CPV technology. The innovative company is expanding to the United States from Japan and is excited to be on board with the Berkeley. Thank you Smart Solar for being a part of CalSol and for working towards a future of smart energy.

Volkswagen Continued Support

Volkswagen Group of America continues to strongly support our work. As we submit paperwork for the 2011 World Solar Challenge we are very grateful for the resources necessary to finish constructing Impulse. With less than nine months until the start of WSC, this support couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you to Volkswagen and our friends at the Electronics Research Laboratory.

Volkswagen Partnership

Volkswagen Logo

CalSol is very excited about our recent partnership with the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (VW ERL). Volkswagen has been incredibly helpful with their technical knowledge and will be an invaluable resource for our competition in World Solar Challenge.

Thank you Dr. Burkhard Huhnke for Volkswagen’s financial support that makes Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA)¬†our top sponsor at the Platinum level. Thank you to each member of the lab for your individual support on aspects of our new vehicle. We had a great time meeting you in Palo Alto and we look forward to working with you through the World Solar Challenge 2011.

MathWorks and SolidWorks Sponsorship

MathWorks Logo






Thank you MathWorks for giving CalSol a large number of computational tools. MATLAB, Simulink, and the rest of the suite will allow us to create programs that analyze mechanical kinematics and dynamics, optimize our solar array, crunch data from our testing, and help us perfect our race strategy. Thank you for your support!

Thank you SolidWorks for providing CalSol with the 2010-2011 SolidWorks Student Edition and Simulation software. CalSol uses SolidWorks and its FEA/Simulation package for the design and optimization of all mechanical parts of our car, including body, chassis, and suspension. Thank you once again SolidWorks for your continued support.

Cal Day 2010

CalSol will be at UC Berkeley’s biggest open house on Saturday, April 17. Cal Day is a campus-wide event where the public tour the campus and where new and prospective students see what Berkeley is all about. Enjoy tours, free museums, tons of events, (free parking), and our very own solar car! CalSol will be with GoldRush in the Etcheverry Breezeway (between Etcheverry Hall and Soda Hall on the north side of campus).

E4K 2010

CalSol had a great time at E4K (Engineering 4 Kids). We brought GoldRush to the event and showed the 4-6th graders what motivated students can do in engineering. Thank you to Berkeley’s engineering community for making this event possible. It was a pleasure to share our solar car with the kids and their parents.

PLAYgreen Festival 2010

GoldRush will be on the UC Berkeley campus at the PLAYgreen Festival 2010. Come check out CalSol’s newest vehicle on Friday, February 26 between 10am and 4pm. You can find us on Upper Sproul Plaza.

Update 3/16/10: CalSol is on the cover of the Cal Rec Sports Newsletter! Check out the full slideshow on the PLAYgreen Blog.

Sponsor: Novarm DipTrace

Thank you Novarm for your software donation to CalSol. DipTrace allows us to design printed circuit boards. Every electrical component on the car will be oriented based on this software. This will be awesome.

Spring Semester Begins

CalSol has been working hard on designing every system for our next car. We ran into problems building GoldRush because construction began before every feature of the car had been completely planned. Last year as we approached Formula Sun Grand Prix we found ourselves with increasingly difficult design challenges that could have been eliminated with proper foresight. We are considering everything from the general shape of the car to the angle of the solar cells. When we begin to assemble CalSol’s first solar vehicle of the decade we will know exactly where every nut, bolt, and wire should live on the car.

The mechanical team is facing a design deadline this month. This “complete” design will entail every mechanical aspect of the car. This stage will give us just enough time to review our thoughts, optimize efficiency, and commit to our final design by April. Right now we are putting serious thought into the shell because it places constraints on nearly every aspect of the vehicle. Several different designs are being looked at and we will pick the design that matches performance with reliability.

The electrical team is designing the “brain” of the car. CalSol is researching and testing different development platforms that will provide the framework for battery protection, energy management, and race strategy. We are attempting to design a circuit board and manufacture a generic microcontroller platform with embedded Controller-Area Network (CAN) communication. If we can do this cheaply then we will have a modular and versatile electrical system designed completely in-house.

We are very excited about our recent purchase of a Tritium WaveSculptor Motor Driver. The Tritium motor controller should be more reliable, easier to use, and will naturally embed itself in our modular CAN-bus design. Thank you to our sponsors for making this purchase possible.

The UC Berkeley College of Engineering made a recent video about us. Check out the CalSol Engineering Student Affairs Video.

Fresh Talent

Hello! As CalSol’s new Team Lead I am very excited about the next generation of the UC Berkeley Solar Car Team. Building on our experience at Formula Sun Grand Prix we have critiqued every aspect of our car and are geared up to design something even better. With almost twenty returning members we have much more experience than last year’s team.

We are also very excited about the enthusiasm of the new members. Between our newly established Business Team and strong interest in both our Mechanical and Electrical sections, CalSol membership has more than doubled. During last months introductions we taught new members SolidWorks, electrical circuits, programming, and general solar car design. The training sessions and labs were designed to make sure that every member is up to speed before we begin complex design and detailed problem solving. They picked up these skills quickly and we are now moving fully into the design of CalSol’s new solar car.

The team will have a preliminary design of the car complete by winter break and the design will be finalized by April of 2010.

I’d like to thank Lockheed Martin for their continued contributions to CalSol. This year is a critical time for sponsorship because we need to replace old components (like the motor and solar cells) that have been reused for far too many years. Thank you very much to Dr. Jim Ryder and Dr. Ab Hashemi for our enjoyable meeting about the future of CalSol.