We are currently developing a new solar car, Lumen II, to be ready for the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Lumen II is a complete ground-up rebuild, with nearly every component redesigned to optimise performance and safety.
The changes to the regulations in June required reducing the solar panel area to 4m2. However, through improvements to the cells, encapsulation, and MPPT efficiency, we anticipate maintaining the same power input as was seen in Lumen. This power is stored in a newly developed battery pack with custom high efficiency battery management, and used in the same motor that was used in Lumen.
Custom high efficiency electronics and redeveloped mechanics will allow the driver to have improved control of Lumen II. These systems have been rethought and redesigned to eliminate any unneccesary power loss and to allow intuitive driving of the car. This, along with the refinement of internal structure and component layout, has allowed improvements to the cornering speed and stability of the car.
Coupled with these internal changes, Lumen II has placed an emphasis on aerodynamics design. A leaner and sleeker layout, with improvements particularly in the fairings and the edges of the body, has allowed the aerodynamic drag to be cut by 40% from Lumen.
With all these changes, we expect Lumen II to run significantly faster than Lumen - but there's only one way to find out: bring on the race!
|Dimensions||4.1m length, 1.7m width, 1.0m height|
|Body||Carbon fibre monocoque|
|Solar Array||4m2 of silicon-based cells developed by Sunpower using a customised encapsulation system developed with assistance from Tindo Solar|
|Battery||20kg of lithium-ion cells|
|Motor||High efficiency in-wheel electric motor|
|Tires||Bridgestone ECOPIA OLogic, specially developed for use in solar vehicles|