Geneva College students have participated in the Solar Splash Competition, an ASME and IEEE sponsored college competition, multiple times since 2000. During that time they have won awards such as the Best Looking Boat, the Sportsmanship Award, and 5th place overall. The primary goal of this year’s design team is the same as past years; to apply our skills and knowledge improve on past designs and deliver a boat which will be highly competitive. In light of this goal the team has focused on designing and implementing a new drive system, solar panels, and data acquisition system.
Drive Train Design and Implementation
During the 2009 competition the drive train failed, requiring a full redesign. The goal for this year is to design a drive system and a propeller for the sprint race. An outboard drive system configuration will be employed. In addition, the drive system needs to be able to be used for the slalom and endurance race. The propeller will be designed specifically for the boat in order to maximize performance. Due to time constraints, the focus for the drive system as a whole will be on the sprint configuration.
Data Acquisition Design and Implementation
In past years the extent of telemetry was a current shunt and voltmeter. The plan this year is to design and implement a system which can analyze multiple data points on the boat, combine them to a central location and provide the operator with access to the data which can then be used to improve the overall performance of the boat. This will be achieved through the use of a custom-printed circuit board, a controller area network and a mobile device.
Solar Panel Configuration
The 2009 – 2010 team purchased new solar cells. This year, the goal is to design and implement these cells into panels. To build new panels for the hull, the solar cells will need to be tested. This testing process will insure that all of the cells ordered last year are working properly and also finalize the configuration of cells that will give the team as much power output as allowed by Solar Splash regulations. Once the solar panels are designed and built, a case for the new solar panels will be constructed to protect them during travel and keep them safely stored during the off season.
Benjamin McCauley (Team lead) – Computer Engineering Major
Amber Jobes – Mechanical Engineering Major
Focus: Solar Panels
Russell Wheatley – Electrical Engineering Major
Focus: Test support and implementation
Rebekah Drehman – Mechanical Engineering
Focus: Drive System
Dr. David Shaw
Mr. Dave Clark