1121Views41Replies

Author Options:

MIT Unveils 90 mph Solar Racer Answered

A solar-powered car that can go 90 mph? Sweet!

MIT's latest solar race car might look like a funky Ikea table with a hump, but don't laugh. It'll do 90 mph and is packed with technology that may end up in the hybrids and EVs the rest of us will soon be driving.

The university's Solar Electric Vehicle Team, the oldest such team in the country, unveiled the $243,000 carbon-fiber racer dubbed Eleanor on Friday and is shaking the car down to prepare for its inaugural race later this year.

"It drives beautifully," said George Hansel, a freshman physics major at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the team. "It's fun to drive and quite a spectacle."

Eleanor is slated to compete in the tenth World Solar Challenge, a seven-day race across nearly 2,000 miles of Australian outback.

Link

Discussions

0
None
LinuxH4x0r

9 years ago

$243,000 Are you kidding? We have the tech do this for $20k

0
None
LinuxH4x0rkelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

not so much carbon fiber and a little creativity, and yes

0
None
kelseymhLinuxH4x0r

Reply 9 years ago

The carbon fiber is there to keep the weight down. How would you do that for less, while maintaining structural integrity at 150 kph? I'm not asking rhetorically, I'm curious what material you'd choose that is as strong and lightweight, and still less expensive than a CF composite.

0
None
killerjackalopekelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

Emm DIY carbon fiber, perfectly possible, granted the styrofoam for the moulding wouldn't be easy to find. It's not that expensive. I imagine you could use some other strong fibers with resin - not to the same effect, but I've seen the effect of various materials fixed in resin, bog standard nylon was really strong...

0
None
ethereal hazekillerjackalope

Reply 9 years ago

what about spider spun silk? couldn't we use computers to reprogram a spider to only eat lab food and spray that stuff out? AI could do it...

0
None
Rotten194ethereal haze

Reply 8 years ago

You do realize the spider silk is, um, string, right? I dont understand how you propose to build a car out of it. I guess teh stuff is sticky enough, but I dont think it woudl have integrity. And just keeping the thousands of spiders needed would cost more than carbon fiber, I think.


0
None
LinuxH4x0rkelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

A mix of aluminium, steel, and steel cables (minimal steel).

0
None
kelseymhLinuxH4x0r

Reply 9 years ago

Aluminum is not as strong as carbon fiber composite for the weight. To get the same strength you need more material, which implies more drag for the vehicle. Steel is substatially stronger, but it still loses in terms of weight. You're correct that both of these solutions reduce the cost (not by an order of magnitude, though, probably just a factor of 2-3), but I'm not convinced you can achieve the same performance.

0
None
jotismkelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

Yes, but if you used 50-50 aluminum and fiber glass then it would be stronger than 1 or the other.

0
None

well most cars can go about 130 that's just all your speed meter says. (or am I mistaken?)

0
None

but they can go faster than that my dad sais if we had a strait away my 12 passenger van could hit 150 mph.

0
None
Deeder

8 years ago

@linxh4x

its not about technology its about demand and production.

look at your PS3, or any console. its 600 dollars the first year and constantly drops as factories that manufacture the parts and assembly them get better at it(better, in this case means Cheaper)

so, look at how many automobiles with a typical internal combustion engine are made each year and look at how many solar cars are made.

thats why they are expensive ,every component is custom machined or fabricated, until something is in mass production will costs go down drastically.

Yes we have teh tech, but not the demand.
Hybrids are the start because unfortunately if its cloudy out these cars dont drive, their batteries (if any) are too small for the average commute to work.



0
None
bull660

9 years ago

when ya'll tell us how to make it please

0
None
ethereal haze

9 years ago

I love seeing these every time they pass through Sioux Falls, SD. Close to the middle of nowhere USA, we still have solar resources. Keep up the good work and maybe someday i can go pick up my farmer's daughter in one of these for a price i can afford!

0
None
I_am_Canadian

9 years ago

Can I have it?

I'll give you a donut!

0
None
ReCreateI_am_Canadian

Reply 9 years ago

sure...but don't mind if it is a bit flatter than normal,you can fold it to the right shape...its the envelope

0
None
Yerboogieman

9 years ago

Beware, someone might think its a spaceship and flip out.

0
None
Plasmana

9 years ago

Wow! That solar car is so sleek and alien like design... It is just freaking cool.

0
None
ReCreate

9 years ago

THATS AN ALIEN SPACE SHIP or something

0
None
the_burrito_master

9 years ago

I have seen one of these before they say the cockpit gets to be about 100* F i cant see this being 200,000 dollars...

0
None
jeff-o

9 years ago

As cool as this car is, I gotta say I'm still rooting for the local boys at University of Waterloo to win! ;)

0
None
yokozuna

9 years ago

I wonder if it's dingo-proof?

0
None
KentsOkay

9 years ago

Dang i dig the looks

0
None
bumpus

9 years ago

A friend of mine is going to MIT in the fall! :D

0
None
FaqMan

9 years ago

I love the desin of the vehicle and hopefully it will win the challenge.

0
None
comodore

9 years ago

Ahhh MIT, always bringing us cool green gadgets and stuff that you can't lay your eye off. So elegant! :D

0
None
Kiteman

9 years ago

Gosh, those Aussies had better watch out!