Crowdfunding Cheer!

Greetings from Team SolarMobil!
The overwhelming support that we have received towards our crowdfunding campaign has led us to feel extremely humbled. The encouragement and faith shown by our backers towards our cause has strengthened our belief manifold.

As the campaign gained publicity, the support grew exponentially beyond our expectations. The contributions crossed the goal amount within less than 15 days. It eventually reached over 150% of our target amount and featured amongst the ‘Most Trending’ campaigns on Ketto. Our campaign was also the ‘Most Active’ & the ‘Most Funded’ Technology campaign on Ketto.

The campaign was viewed by over 5000 people worldwide including countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and UAE.

Right Side View SM-S1 (model)

(Top Right Side view SM-S1 prototype)

What confounds us is that the wave of support did not stop even after our goal amount was met! There is a general mutual acceptance of the fact that ‘The environment is a shared resource’ and we must all strive to protect it. While one person may not make a big impact on the environment by himself, it is the collective simple efforts of many concerned people like these that can help conserve nature.

We thank all our supporters for their gracious contributions and active participation in the campaign. The amount raised in the campaign would help us a great deal in making a better & a more eco-friendly car. We assure you that the funds raised from the campaign will be used for the right purpose and its effects would be visible in our next car.

Thankyou for that one last push to help us get over the finish line.

#ItsAllGreen #SolarMobil #MIT #Ketto #ImagineeringTheFuture #MIT

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Project X : December Update

Greetings from team SolarMobil!

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work. Here at SolarMobil, every evening witnesses ideas, innovations and the zest to learn and explore more. Striving towards a revolutionary car, the team has entered the assembly phase of project 3.

Mechanical subsystem

Brackets have been successfully welded on the chassis and the vehicle dynamics components can be mounted on the chassis now. The dampers have been modified according to the need and mounted on the chassis as well. The mechanical subsystem is manufacturing hand brakes in-house to reach the desired expectation of the car.

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Shaft Assembly

Electrical subsystem

The electrical subsystem which plays  a major role in amassing the electrical aspects of the car is not far from its goal either. It has received all the components and initiated the assembling phase . It has completed the testing of the procured sensors. Also, instrument panel interfacing is completed. The motors and motor controllers have been tested and are all set to be assembled into the car. The electrical subsystem is manufacturing battery pack in-house to fulfill the expectations of the new car. Moreover, PCB soldering is on the verge of completion. Every day we explore new horizons and the zeal to reach the new horizons keeps us going.

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PCB Soldering

A project of this stature requires an extra kick to reach the finish line. The management subsystem endeavors to give that extra push by arranging for logistics, finance, sponsorship and sourcing all the required components for the team. The team is working incessantly towards gaining a larger reach, sourcing all the components and initiating more public relations. SolarMobil will be launching a crowdfunding campaign for the same.

We will get back with more updates on our team and projects, do stay connected.

Wishing everyone happy holiday from team SolarMobil!!

UNBOUND BARRIERS

Every evening, MAHE Automobile Workshop lights up to explore science, ideas & creativity. Around 250 people from different fields of engineering gather to learn, innovate and create. From badminton playing robots and hi-tech drones to super-fast race cars and energy efficient passenger vehicles all on display in this 200 square yard compound.

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In clockwise sense: SolarMobil, Team Manipal Racing, Formula Manipal and RoboManipal
Centre: Project Manas

Why come all the way to an automobile workshop every day, sit for hours, put in all the work and effort for a yearlong project? What makes us tick? What drives us?

“What drives us? I would say, the dream of building a race car, representing the country at Formula Student Germany, one of the most prestigious engineering design challenges in the automobile industry is what drives us.” says Ayush Garg, Team Leader Formula Manipal.

 Vivek Jaison, Design Head, Team Manipal Racing, is of the view that the thirst to finish what they started and see the car running with their own eyes is what brings him to workshop each day.

“It is simply a once in a lifetime opportunity, we are free to be creative and dream.” says Reuben M. John, Technical Head Project Manas.

 

The workshop environment is a hub of learning and creating.We see  Computer Science students working in Vehicle Dynamics or a Mechanical Engineering student working under an Electrical subsystem or an Aeronautical Engineer managing the whole team, branch has never been a limitation.

“It is very encouraging, it builds you up and at the same time very humbling as it exposes you to vast world of possibilities” says Vivek .

Sriram Polisetty, Team Head RoboManipal, believes that the presence of students from distinct backgrounds together in the workshop provides comprehensive work environment from everyone. “It is really a learning sphere” he adds.

“Very lively, exciting and friendly. We all learn something new each day. “  states Chanda ManuKoushik, Team Leader SolarMobil.

 

Being in the same compound has its perks .All the teams acknowledge the fact that the presence of other teams in the vicinity makes their work easier. Teams seek support from in each other in terms of mechanical tools, different contacts and technical guidance.


img_4768_cr2_embeddedMAHE Automobile Workshop, Eshwar Nagar

“We needed to use body panels in our car for a competition, for which we sought the help of SolarMobil, and they have been extremely helpful. “Says Reuben from Project Manas.

“Throughout the year, every team in the workshop has been helpful enough to give us whatever we need. At present, few of our tools are in transit from Germany and all the teams have been very supportive and have lent a helping hand. ” asserts Ayush from Formula Manipal.

ManuKoushik, believes that an obstacle within a team isn’t treated as just one team’s problem but all the teams join hands to overcome it. “A problem shared is problem halved” summarizes Koushik.

 

The feeling of mutual admiration and regard is something that can be seen across all teams.

“Formula’s passion and dedication is something we all really admire” admits Reuben.

Sriram from RoboManipal is of the view that Aero MIT’s work has been commendable, “as they have achieved a lot using few resources” he justifies.

I would say dedication shown by  RoboManipal” says Vivek from Team Manipal Racing.

“I really admire innovative and futuristic ideas such as Project Manas and SolarMobil.” states Ayush from Formula Manipal.

“All the teams are doing great work, even the youngest of teams like Mars Rover Manipal and Thrust MIT have made their mark in a very short period of time.” summarizes Koushik.

 

We, here at the workshop, are more than just acquaintances, we are unified by passion, determination and hard work.

“I think what really unites us is the fact that we all come here to learn something and make a difference in the society with the work we do” says Team Leader SolarMobil.

Vivek, from Team Manipal Racing believes that it is the drive and dedication in the work we do, that really brings us together.

I like to believe that we are all part of one big team, driving towards different goals but striving for excellence in whatever we do” sums up Ayush from Formula Manipal.

 

Like everyone else we too have our failures, we have our frustrations. These feelings and situations are inevitable, but still together we strive & survive. The support from college administration in making all of this possible, has been unparalleled.
It is not the big names or the laurels that make the MAHE Automobile Workshop what it is, but it is the passion, determination and the sense of responsibility towards the cause.

We may be divided in objective, but are truly united in purpose.

Vibrant Vacations!

Greetings from Team SolarMobil!

“Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.”

After a grueling and demanding period of about 5-6 weeks, we are proud to announce the completion of the chassis for Project 3.

Chassis is a very crucial part of the whole car. It is like a support system to the whole car. If the chassis design is not accurate, all the components of the car which are to be fitted into the frame will not mesh together and will result in poor performance of the vehicle.

Accuracy is the key

Mechanical head, Avaneesh Upadhyaya, speaking on the behalf of the manufacturing team says, “Accuracy is the most important factor in manufacturing. If the chassis is not accurate, all the components which are to be fitted will not mesh and will result in poor performance of the vehicle”. He further adds ”Overall, the entire chassis needs to be highly accurate, but special care is taken for the suspension box. This is done so because if the suspension points are misplaced, the entire stability of the car goes for a toss. The forces act in a haphazard manner and it results in weakening of the chassis.”

Hurdles are meant to be overcome

According to most of the team members, biggest problem encountered during the manufacturing process includes the lack of high precision jigs and fixtures for profiling of members and A-arms. The jigs and fixtures as per our designs are member specific making their procurement quite difficult.

The team managed by using makeshift jigs and multiple point referencing with respect to a local coordinate system and a global coordinate system. This course of action proved to be challenging and led to a delay in manufacturing process but in the end we were able to achieve a satisfactory level of accuracy in profiling of the members.

“I’m happy with the progress and the work being done by the technical team. Yes it is true that we have lost a few days, but any delay that we incurred was due to more external factors than internal” says Team Manager, Goheth Siddanth.

Exhilarating Experience

“Every Day in the workshop was like a theater play, we fought, we laughed, we played ,but we continued working no matter what. At the end of each day when the team left the workshop, they did with a stronger vision and a better understanding.” says Goheth. The relentless work and endless frustration incorporated a sense of responsibility, teamwork and team coordination among the team members.
“This wasn’t the first time that some of us (seniors) are working on a chassis of a car. But this was the first time we had the responsibility to ensure it was perfect and the feeling is nothing like it. It is a very thrilling experience.” asserts Pranav Gadamsetty, Transmission Head.

The team acknowledges the essential skill set they developed such as, on technical front, profiling and welding of tubes, drilling and grinding of metal and better understanding of various software.

DSC_0985.JPGTEAM SENIORS

The Road Ahead

The next step for structures subsystem is to fit the glass fiber bodywork onto the chassis with proper aesthetics and ensure minimum difference between the coefficient of drag obtained and the one which we estimated for analysis purpose. In vehicle dynamics subsystem, with the suspension box completed and the A-arms manufactured and painted they start with the placement procedure of the Arms onto the suspension box. The transmission components is to be mounted onto the chassis and tested.

We have already received motor controller, wiring components, vehicle dynamic and transmission parts, DAQ (Data Acquisition) components for the car and the work on them has begun.Procurement of other essentials such as motors, solar panels and battery and battery pack is in process and most of it will be obtained within the upcoming month.  

The team will resume work in the first week of August. The upcoming month will be dedicated towards the completion of bodywork and assembly of the car. The month after that will be dedicated to testing.

Once again we would like to thank our sponsors for all their support and belief in our cause.

Structures and Aerodynamics

Greetings from SolarMobil!

Designing a car is like solving a jigsaw puzzle, and the Structures subsystem can be associated as the centre piece of the entire puzzle.
This centre piece for the new project is in the making now. Here is an insight on how we work:

chassisPic: The ladder part of the chassis.

 

The first thought that comes into the mind when you hear the word structures is that of truss or a beam but in reality the Structures subsystem incorporates a lot more to that. From designing the chassis to fabricating and to making the car aesthetically pleasing with a custom-made bodywork.

The Chassis

The third project has a hybrid of a tubular space-frame and that of a ladder chassis. It is a rare combination which worked wonders for us.
We have designed the ladder in such a way that we get high torsional rigidity. The space-frame gives us freedom in designing, placement and allows for easy load pathways.
The chassis is the base onto which all the other components are mounted. It incorporates a majority of the safety features involved in the making of the car according to the set rules. Our chassis is designed to mitigate the forces arising from the worst of crashes and still keep the passengers safe. It can bear a load of three times the weight of the car.

The Bodywork

bodywork

The bodywork involves a lot of analysis as it needs to satisfy aerodynamic criteria and at the same time be manufacturable. This involves repetitive iterations and CFD analysis to make sure that the car remains in contact with the road at all times.
The body of the car is manufactured using glass fibre reinforced plastic. The body is given its shape by placing the fibre in moulds, applying a sealing resin and allowing it to set. The individual parts are then married to the chassis at a later stage.

The Ergonomics

Ergonomics forms the heart of every car and is a major factor in determining the ‘soul’ of the car.
Ergonomics is a vast area which specifies positioning of various components in the car cabin so that the driver is at least discomfort.

ergonomics

It also takes in issues such as visibility, comfort, safety and most importantly accessibility. Our car has been designed to allow for the driver and the passengers to exit the car within roughly about 7 seconds.

 

All in all, Structures and Aerodynamics Subsystem has put in a lot of determination to make the car easy to use. We aim to oust all our past ventures.

We thank our sponsors immensely for their encouragement and assistance in this massive undertaking and we are very grateful for their constant support.

And to all our readers, a very happy summer.

Team SolarMobil

Sensors, Data Acquisition and Telemetry

With the commencement of the 3rd project, the team aspires to bring about a new level of innovation to rise far above our previous endeavors. The members of the subsystem: Data Acquisition and Telemetry have researched and finally put up an enhanced and upgraded Data Acquisition System that can provide safety, efficiency and intelligence.1

But how does the Data Acquisition system actually provide a car with these features?

Consider the sensory nervous system of the human body.

It senses the changes in the outside environment with the help of our sensory receptors in our sense organs like sight, taste, feel etc. These changes are perceived by the brain and this helps us to interact and understand the environment around us. It also protects us from impending danger such as helping us detect a change in smell in case of a fire or a change in temperature if we touch a hot object. Thus, it keeps us safe by warning our brain about such changes, also helping us adapt and respond to these changes.

The sensory nervous system has a profound effect on our daily activities and makes us work much more efficiently and carefully.

This analogy can help us understand the Data Acquisition system.

The Data Acquisition (DAQ) system works as the sensory nervous system for the car.

It contains sensors that work similar to the sensory receptors of the human body to detect changes in the environment such as change in temperature, current etc.

It checks whether an electrical system is working properly or not. In case it isn’t, the DAQ system is supposed to provide a warning or a partial/complete shutdown of the system in case the values detected in a system cross a particular threshold. It uses sensors to collect data such as critical variables like temperature, speed and current to check if a particular system is working.

For example, a motor has a critical voltage/current value at which it can malfunction. So if the DAQ system senses those values, we can take various actions which include informing the driver about the malfunction and taking necessary action such as stopping electrical contact with the motor to reduce further damage.

Along with that, it makes the car smarter and more responsive. It collects all the said values and creates data visualizations for these values in terms of line graphs, bar graphs etc. to give an idea of how efficiently a system works for different cases: like a rainy day, rough road, sunny day, smooth road etc. Thus the predictions of the car’s performance can be made, for example maximum distance that can be travelled on a single charge, maximum speed in a particular condition, load on the motor/ battery, state of charge and so on.

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These visualizations prove crucial when we use them in the future car models which allow us to make the car smarter, efficient and practical due to the fact that the inputs taken are based on practical results as opposed to calculated theoretical values.

With the knowledge of the usage of a DAQ system, we come back to the question at hand, that is, essentially how does a Data Acquisition work?

The system is made up of sensors in the car which provide analog values (voltage/ current/ temperature) to a microcontroller.

This microcontroller converts these analog values into digital signals and sends them to a processing unit.

The processing unit processes the result and checks for warning values. It updates the driver about any problem in the car by displaying the result to the driver in a readable format.5

These changes prove extremely useful in increasing the convenience of the driver and the safety of the car.

The team aims to build a high performing DAQ system which shall oust the past ventures immensely.

We thank element14 and our other sponsors for their encouragement and assistance in this massive undertaking and we are very grateful for their constant support.

And to all our readers, a very happy summer.

 

 

 

 

Project X: Progress Update

Greeting from SolarMobil!

With SERVe being a massive success, Team SolarMobil is now working on its third project- X. We have already completed the project’s design phase and are currently working to complete the chassis.

DSC_9776

Building the ladder frame. The team intends to complete the chassis by April 15

The team has been aiming to engineer a car keeping in mind to improve SERVe’s design, making the car safer, swifter and smarter.  This time we are working to incorporate improved ergonomics, increased top speed and better implementation of emergency and parking brakes for better safety.

The design phase has yielded optimum results, and with that, we enter the manufacturing phase.

Here’s to moving towards new ventures and looking forward to a greener future.

Keep Calm and Go Solar.

 

For crispy solar car photos, head to our Instagram @solarmobil_manipal