Building a Solar Panel

May 01, 2017

Progress has been well underway on our solar car and we have made some very impressive advancements! We still have some ways to go, but the future’s looking bright and sunny for UC Irvine Solar Car!

Mechanical (Aero, Suspension, Chassis, Composition)

Our chassis team has finished five unique designs and tested for structural rigidity. Composition decided on choosing 4130 chromoly on the chassis. The finalized chassis was tested with fifteen different 4130 tube sizes with the intent to withstand a 5g load from all sides. We decided to go with an outer diameter of 1.75’’ and a 0.065’’ thickness. With a completed chassis, the team’s next goal is to build a PVC mockup to test for driver ergonomics. The aero team is currently finalizing the design of the aerodynamic body to fit the new chassis. They are optimizing the body to have a coefficient of drag 0.11 at maximum and doing research on how the body will connect to the chassis. Suspension has all suspension geometry figured out and is working on completing the front suspension assembly in Solidworks. They are also looking into buying the rack and pinion to match the steering ratio that we need for the car. The Composition team is doing stress analysis on the rod ends that will be used for the suspension system and drafting up procedures for welding the chassis and creating the body.

Electrical Team

The Electrical Team is currently building their solar array and spot welding all the batteries. They have decided on the Battery Management System (BMS) that they will be using. The material for the battery box is currently being researched.

The chassis team’s new and updated model.


The electrical team’s solar arrays that they are currently building.


Aero team has completed their full body design and are currently conducting tests on it.


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