University of Michigan Solar Car: A first look at the 2011 car Quantum

Uploaded by michiganengineering on 12.04.2011

Kramer: I'm on a team that can call itself the best in the nation, which is just amazing.
Michigan Solar Car Team is a student project run here on campus at the University of Michigan.
We've been on campus for about 20 years now
and every 2 years we design, build and race a solar electric vehicle.
Hilger: In all, we've built 10 cars and we're currently working on our 11th vehicle,
which will race in the World Solar Challenge through the
outback of Australia in October of this year.
Kramer: We've gotten 6 national championships now, out of 10 races,
and won 3rd in the world 4 times
which is pretty darn good, but it's not perfect.
So our aim this year is to win the World Solar Challenge.
In order to win the race, you really need to have the best package all around.
So the team is really incredibly diverse.
I think that's something that really sets us apart from other student projects on campus.
Although our main focus is engineering, we have students from the Ross School of Business,
students from LSA - I'm actually a neuroscience student.
And, of course, students from the College of Engineering.
Hilger: We think this is the year for Michigan to win the World Solar Challenge.
Kramer: Right from the beginning of the project, we really revamped the way we do engineering
and the way we do fundraising on the team.
Hilger: We're collaborating with industry like we've never been able to do before.
So we're working with the carmakers, as well as all of the suppliers,
which have a very strong presence here in Michigan,
so it gives our team a competitive advantage.
Kramer: This year's car is going to be called "Quantum."
We began designing Quantum in the fall of 2010.
Quantum is going to be unique from all of our previous vehicles
because we've done a lot of work on the design side this year.
Hilger: In years past we just collaborated on the manufacturing side.
But now we've gone toward the design as well to cut a huge amount of weight off the vehicle
as well as improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle at a very high amount.
Kramer: To reduce the weight of the vehicle, what we did just last summer
is take our 2009 car and completely take it apart and weigh every single piece on the car.
That's down to every bolt and every wire.
Taking that giant matrix of everything that was on the car before,
We set new goals for all of those parts, and right now we are on track to hit those goals for Quantum.
Hilger: So roll date marks the transition from the design and manufacturing phase
to the testing and racing phase. We have to get the team to a level where
they are comfortable with the car. Not only on the track, but on the open road.
Kramer: We've constantly got something else to push for.
We really don't focus on being the best
We focus on becoming the best.