Eaton has announced it will sponsor the University of Michigan’s Solar car team for the next two years, which includes providing products for the vehicle and engineering support for the team.
The UM Solar Car program is a student-run team that includes participants from the university’s engineering, computer science and business school disciplines. The team’s mission is to design, manufacture and race a solar-powered car in competitions throughout the world. Since the program began in 1990, 14 vehicles have been built and the team has won the American Solar Challenge nine times, placed third in the World Solar Challenge five times and won one international championship.
“Eaton has a history of technology involvement in the alternative energy vehicle market and the UM Solar Car program is one more example of how we are enabling the vehicles of tomorrow with real-world products and technologies,” said Scott Adams, senior vice president, product development, marketing and planning, Eaton Vehicle Group. “Eaton’s sponsorship of this program is an excellent platform to showcase our advanced technologies while also supporting a group of students who are the future leaders of our industry.”
Eaton will provide technologies and components to make the car safe, reliable and as efficient as possible to maximize the power harvested from the sun. These include:
- A battery master power controller called FlexHVDC, which is a power distribution technology that manages high-voltage power distribution;
- Components to raise the vehicle’s solar panels to the proper angle toward the sun, allowing for a precise actuation of the 16-foot long solar array, and;
- Bussmann electrical fuses.
“The Michigan Solar Car team is thrilled to have Eaton as a sponsor of Novum and the program overall,” said Sarah Zoellick, business director, UM Solar Car Team. “The product and technical support being provided by Eaton will help our team implement solutions that streamline our electrical systems to reduce the vehicle’s mass and resistive losses, giving the team a competitive edge as we prepare to compete these next two years for national and international titles.”
The newest Solar Car – Novum – was unveiled on July 7 and will compete in the 2017 World Solar Challenge, which is a 3,000km race from Oct. 8-15 through the Australian Outback. The car also will race in the 2018 American Solar Challenge. To view the video of the unveiling ceremony, click here.