Cal Day Report

We had fun showing the car at Cal Day.  We talked with kids, parents, prospective students and even some old members.   Contrary to popular belief, our vehicle is not in fact a solar boat or even an alien spaceship (we think).  Design work continues on our next car.   We recently had electrical presentations on our progress. We’ve finished design of the main “brain” circuitboard for our car and are currently testing and debugging the prototype. Maybe we’ll show it in the next news post. See ya then!

A New (School) Year

Following our great experience at the Formula Sun race, CalSol has spent most of the summer planning its direction for the next year and future vehicles. Now a new semester is beginning. Some of our members have graduated (notably the wonderful and skilled Ed Divita) and we look for fresh new faces.

Our first general meeting for new members is scheduled for Wednesday September 2nd at 6PM in 6153 Etcheverry. Stop on by if you’re interested in joining or learning more about the team. We’ll be showing the car tomorrow at 12:30 for the Engineering Orientation in front of O’Brien Hall. We’ll also have people around for various other events on campus during the first few weeks on campus. See you soon!

The Final Countdown

After driving 1700 miles the CalSol team has arrived at the Cresson Motorsport Ranch. The team has been working hard for long hours over the past few weeks in anticipation for the race. In these final hours before scrutineering for the race begins we are continuing the work on the car. 11 teams have come from across the United States and Canada to compete and learn from one another. It’s fun to take a look at the other teams who have also come out for the event. We’ll post some pictures later (when we have a more stable internet connection). Wish us luck!

Santa Cruz

The CalSol team had a lot of fun in Santa Cruz showing the car to local high school students and others interested in solar technology. We spent Friday and Saturday at Soquel High School in Santa Cruz and did a quick talk on the KSCO AM 1080 radio station. You can read about the event in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and as always we have some pictures uploaded in our photo section. A big thank you to Judy Wilken of for organizing the event. Thank you for all of the hard work it took to make this event possible.

Distance Education and Cal Day

CalSol thanks, provider of information on online and other distance education programs, for their support of the team as a sponsor. Remember to check out their website and those of our other sponsors to see the organizations and companies which have helped our team to succeed.

As you can tell from our last few news posts, CalSol is excited for the opportunity to show our car at Cal Day this Saturday. We will be displaying the car on the breezeway between Etcheverry and Soda Hall. If you’re in Berkeley for Cal Day come by and check us out.

Spring Break

CalSol went out to the RFS all through spring break to work on the car. The team worked on getting the car ready for presenting this year at Cal Day. We worked on attaching the shell to the chassis snugly and designing a new brake pedal. Once the shell attachment is finalized we will attach the solar cells. As you can see, our trailer was getting a bit rusty so we sanded it down and worked on a new coat of paint.

The team also has a new website layout. I hope you enjoy it.

Solar Sphere

The CalSol team wishes to thank our newest sponsor, Solar Sphere, distrubutor of solar products and information on solar technologies. To view a list of our current sponsors and to learn about becoming a CalSol sponsor please visit our Sponsorship page. Thank you for your continued support!

Post-Christmas Test-Drive

This weekend CalSol took the car out for a test drive. The mechanical framework -the chassis, steering, brakes and suspension are all operational. So we hooked up some lead acid batteries to the motor and took it for a spin. It cornered surprisingly well on our practice slalom course, and the front suspension reacted smoothly to bumps. This week we’ll finetune the brakes and rear suspension and add more driver controls. The car is working well off of batteries- we need to finish work on the electrical components before we can attach the solar cells. CalSol is planning to race in the Formula Sun Grand Prix this June, although it doesn’t look like we have the means to participate in this year’s World Solar Challenge in Australia.

Rolling Chassis completed!

CalSol keeps progress on the car rolling by completing a rolling chassis. Progress report: We have a functional chassis, steering, and suspension. The shell canopy has been built and painted although is not permanently attached to the chassis. We are finishing up much of the mechanical work and now are able to begin testing the car, attaching electrical equipment and searching for areas of design improvement. The car may be race-ready in time for an early 2009 track race.

Back to Work

After an intense and productive summer of hard work on the car, the team ran into some last-minute difficulties with completing the steering mechanism and was unfortunately unable to race in this summer’s North American Solar Challenge.   After sending a few representatives to observe and learn from the race, CalSol is back on its feet and hard at work on the car.   The car is mostly complete and we will be using this extra time to fix the problems that prevented us from attending the race as well as improving on the original design to bring this car to perfection.  CalSol plans to attend the next NASC in 2010, and is looking into 2009’s World Solar Challenge in Australia.