Support device and measuring
Our participation in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2017 does not aim only to an organizational side of the race. Since we have sent to Australia boys with a technical education, we are also aiming to the technical side of the challenge. Their experience over there is valuable, because there are so many technical details that we have to keep in mind! One wrong measurement and the solar car can have serious difficulties on its journey to the south of Australia. What is the most important equipment? Keep reading!
The measuring device is the most important part. It consists of micro-processors, which work all together in order to collect all the data from the sensors. The sensors are as follows:
1. Temperature & humidity sensor underneath the car.
2. Road surface temperature sensor underneath the car.
3. A pyranometer measuring solar radiation on top of the car.
4. An airmar sensor on top of the car. The airmar measures:
• Wind direction
• Wind speed
• Air temperature
• GPS (speed, location, altitude)
• Movement (pitch/roll)
• Air pressure
While our boys drive the van, the logging unit is on. This means that all the data collected by the sensors are stored on the SD cards in the logger. During the day, this data is stored and in the evening at the campsite it is extracted from the SD cards and they are sent to the rest of the team in the Netherlands for further study.
Our modelling and software engineer Jussi later transforms these data to more meaningful images (see attached pictures). This helps us visualize the trip in many ways. For instance, by using the roll and pitch together with the altitude we can define what is the maximum slope we can overcome. The wind and direction measurements tell us if it is meaningful to design a solar car that is aerodynamic in multiple directions. Additionally, the solar radiation together with the amount of distance travelled in a particular day helps us to define the size of the battery required for a one day performance race.
For measuring the solar radiation, we use a pyranometer, which was lend to us by Kipp & Zonen (https://www.facebook.com/kippzonen/). For measuring location, wind and temperature we use an airmar sensor, which was lend to us by the Young Solar Challenge (https://www.facebook.com/youngsolarchallenge/).
Therefore we would like to specially thank these partners for sponsoring us in our BWSC17!