Image tweaks and build plans

A project log for A diy solar car for $12k

Solar transportation for self-sufficiency.

joel-fairsteinJoel Fairstein 05/23/2016 at 10:140 Comments

I changed the wood finish to a dark cherry and made some better scene renders, which I hope are a little more pleasing to the eye than my earlier Sketchup exports. As far as building this thing, first I need to move my family back to the US from China this Fall and find a house with a decent garage or workshop area. If I can secure some modest funding, I'll start the build, which I figure will take about eight months. After that, another four months of testing and corrections, then I can release the final plans free and clear to the public.

I'm anticipating some areas of difficulty:

1) Door and work area clearances. Temperature doesn't affect wood dimensionally as much as does humidity, so I'll measure clearances between the door and body on different days in order to track and predict changes. If I use marine-grade plywood, this won't be much of an issue.

2) Integration or solar charging and AC charging. Not sure if there will be a switch between the two or if they be rigged to can charge concurrently. Also, the MPPT (maximum power point tracker) has to be set up just right for the solar charging.

3) Suspension tuning. I hope the suspension design parameters are close enough that I can take the car to a good alignment shop and have them do their thing. I'm using adjustable coilover shocks with the lightest springs available, but the ride may still be stiff since the design is so lightweight.

4) Hub motor setup and performance. The car may be under-powered with only two 3000w motors, but there's not much range of product out there that's affordable. I'd rather have a lower top speed in exchange for good starting torque, if that solves the issue.