If We Had Cylinders, We’d Be Banging On All of Them

High fives were had all around as CalSol’s Motor team recently submitted its final project proposal for the Big Ideas at Berkeley Grant Competition. But it was not long before we were back with our noses to the grindstone.

The CalSol Motor subteam (nicknamed “Rotors in Motion”) was born out of the challenges the team had getting our motor to run consistently leading up to the World Solar Challenge. While we were ultimately successful in coaxing our motor to run smoothly, the performance was still suboptimal. That, and the conviction of Professor Dennis Lieu that we could create a better machine ourselves, gave birth to our mission to design and build a new solar vehicle motor from the ground up. Specifically, we hope to introduce transverse flux technology to the solar racing community, which has hitherto relied almost entirely on a narrow selection of axial flux motors.

Permanent Magnets on the Rotor above, Coils on the Stator Below
Opening Our NGM SC M-150 Axial Flux Motor

While more difficult to construct, transverse flux motors innately have about twice the energy density of axial flux motors. This means that for the same power output, a transverse flux motor can be about half the size of an axial flux motor. In addition to saving weight on the motor itself, this allows for a slimmer rear suspension and wheel fairing, which are indispensible attributes in a solar racer.

The Painted Stallion

Impulse's Glorious Sponsor Decals!

Okay, so Impulse isn’t a horse, but she sure is decorated, thanks to our sponsor, Signazon.

Every decal on Impulse was printed and die-cut by Signazon, an e-commerce marketing company that supplies an immense variety of custom or predesigned banners, signs, window advertisements, and of course, car decals.

Towing Point Saga

Towing straps are looped through the slots in the rear tab

Impulse is nearing completion! With the completion of the shells and the rear suspension, the final chassis connections for the towing points have been welded and the access windows have been cut in the shell.

While ultimately the goal is to never have to use the towing points, in the case that we do need them, the design objective is to minimize their interference with other systems. They need to be inconspicuous, yet functional and up to regulation standards.