CalSol

UC Berkeley Solar Vehicle Team

Overview

CalSol is a student run organization that designs, manufactures, builds, and races a fully street legal solar vehicle in international events across the globe.

We are currently working on Tachyon, our 9th generation vehicle, and our first ever four seater vehicle. We design and manufacture almost everything on the vehicle, from the suspension systems, to the monocoque chassis, to the driver interface, braking systems, and more.

Role and Responsibilities

Currently, I am the Co-Mechanical Team lead for CalsSol, a one year position with a wide scope of responsibilities including but not limited to:

  • Overseeing all mechanical projects to ensure timeliness, safety, manufacturability, and more

  • Organize and faclitate comprehensive internal and external design reviews with team members, other vehicle teams, and engineers from companies such as Ford and General Motors

  • Write formal technical documentation for race scrutineering including a comprehensive Vehicle Design Report

  • Oversee successful integration with other subteams including electrical, solar, and composites

  • Coordinate with companies for sponsorships and various forms of support

  • Oversee both in-house and outsourced manufacturing endeavors

  • Ensure the vehicle passes the rigorous regulations as laid out by various race organizations (ASC/FSGP)

  • Technical lead for suspension subsystem

Suspension Details

In designing the suspension, we started with extensive research on the topic. Once familiar with the terminology, the desired handling and performance characteristics, and the details of the system, we moved into sketching geometry. From here, we designed parts, ran FEA based on the load cases I calculated, and iterated on design. 

Below are a few photos to give you a rough idea of the system. The FEA is a simple quasi-static analysis, as the system can be relatively accurately modeled using static analysis. The front assembly is pictured below.

Conclusion

I could write volumes about Tachyon, but I think this brief overview is enough to give you a solid idea of the work I am doing. At this point in time, we are wrapping up design and beginning manufacturing for the mechanical components of the vehicle. The goal for Tachyon is to finish the car this semester so we can race in ASC 2018 this summer.

Check back here to see any new developments with the vehicle!