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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

PI: Jeffrey M. Hammer

Solar Vehicle Project

This Principal Investigator leads a team of students who design and build a competitive solar car for a major race by solar vehicles every two years. The most recent car, called Centaurus, won the 2009 Formula Sun Grand Prix, a closed-track race that took place in Cresson, Texas, in June 2009, completing 487 laps. This was 94 more laps than the second-place finisher. The University of Minnesota team also clocked the fastest lap, at two minutes, twenty seconds for the 1.7-mile track. The team placed fifth with Centaurus in the 2008 North American Solar Challenge race from Dallas, Texas to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The team uses computational fluid dynamics tools on MSI machines to minimize drag, lift, and susceptibility to side winds.

Group Members

Nate Bolyard, Undergraduate Student
Konrad Brown, Undergraduate Student
Matthew Higgins, Undergraduate Student
Peter Leonhardt, Undergraduate Student
Jon Olson, Undergraduate Student