The list of competing teams is up for this year’s World Solar Challenge, the annual event that pits solar powered race cars against each other as they try to be the first to make the 3,000 km trip from Darwin to Adelaide in the Australian Outback this October.
One of the groups competing in the “Challenger” class will be the Stanford Solar Car Project’s Luminos vehicle. Sensor manufacturer FUTEK just posted a lengthy article about the Stanford vehicle’s design, and FUTEK’s role in helping the team create a unique dynamometer to test both the motor and the vehicle’s regenerative braking system.
A dyno consists of a test stand to secure the motor, an energy absorber to apply opposing loads to the crankshaft, and measurement instrumentation. The Stanford team wanted to use their Xenith regenerative brakes as the energy absorber to simultaneously test the motor and braking system. FUTEK supplied its rotary torque sensor and other equipment to test the vehicle, along with its SENSIT test and measurement software.
The electric motors in Luminos are 97% efficient, the vehicle weighs just 375 pounds, and it can cruise at 55 mph. You can see a test video below.