The project’s creed is to design then fabricate a two-seat solar-powered car. Given that this concept uniquely derives it energy from the sun’s rays, it will have to be optimized in numerous technical aspects. The energy on which it will depend relies directly on the captivation surface of photovoltaic cells. On the other hand, its acceleration and speed will depend on its motors and its mass, the later, which is linked to its volume, depends directly on its surface. Consequently, a right balance between its mass and its surface must be found so that the concept can drive at a speed worthy of a car.
Therefore, the form of the SUNCEPT car must be optimized to best store solar energy. On the other hand, that called a car, is known as displacement and so, friction forces. SUNCEPT’s form must be the most aerodynamic as possible to reduce such friction forces and conserve adhesion while SUNCEPT picks up speed. To combine aerodynamics and solar energy captivation surface is a real technological challenge.
The model displayed on the site needs to be modified to avoid turbulences at the back and sides of the vehicle.
The cells will cover a majority of the body’s horizontal surfaces. The accumulate photovoltaic surface must exceed 6 square meters. The surface situated on the dashboard underneath the front windshield can also be covered with photovoltaic cells.
The wheels in the back of SUNCEPT will be motor-wheels for reasons of the transmission’s efficiency.
The cockpit of SUNCEPT will have a dock to accommodate a tactile tablet, which will be judiciously placed in the driver’s field of vision. This tablet will serve as an ignition key by means of a digital recognition imprint and will integrate SUNCEPT’s board computer (SUNCEPT application drive previously installed on the tablet). All of the vehicles vital information will be displayed on the tablet such as speed, current battery capacity, their charging rates, … The user will be able to interact with the tablet to control the vehicle, such as the driving mode, ventilation, radio, …
The frame will be in bamboo tubes. These tubes will be bound together by steel knots fabricated by a three-dimensional printer. A carbon fiber exterior will cover its frame.
The position lights will use bioluminescence, the other lights will be in LED.
The solar panels will be composed of photovoltaic cells by-pass flexible at a very high-yield (the by-pass technology prevents the yield of all the cells from falling from due to a single non-illuminated cell). The cells will be connected to a MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker) device that calculates in real time the best torque voltage intensity to apply to the cells and battery.
The wheels will have full rims so that air does not rush into the wheels in order to reduce turbulence. The tires will be Michelin 145 70 R17 tires, that of the Renault Eolab. During a sudden break, the rims will be able to open slightly, letting air rush into the tires and therefore creating an air brake.
SUNCEPT will also have two energy recovery systems: one will recover kinetic energy when the driver wishes to reduce the speed (soft breaks), the other will recover kinetic energy from the 4 wheel suspension.
The battery technology will be in lithium-Air because it presents a better specific energy than Lithium-Ion technology.
The batteries will be recharged by the MPPT (energy of photovoltaic cells) and two recovery energy systems.
The two motors will be directly bound to the batteries (and not connected to the panels to avoid the effect of a reduction of strength during a passage of a cloud for example).
SUNCEPT will have to be energy self-sufficient but also a energy generator: it will have a 230 V outlet to plug in a machine that strength equals that of 2 of SUNCEPT’s motor-wheels. The idea is to use the batteries energy when the vehicle is stationary.