For the 2001 American and World Solar Challenges, the Queen’s University Solar Vehicle Team has designed a new vehicle to compete with the best teams in the world. Mirage has an aerodynamic, airfoil-shaped body and a high-efficiency solar array. To increase efficiency and stability, the team has elected to use a three rather than four-wheeled design. A carbon fiber monocoque chassis (similar to that used in Formula One race cars) is used because of its light weight and stiffness, and an original steering system is employed to allow all components to fit inside the thin body of the car. To store energy, the team is using a Lithium Ion battery pack manufactured by E One Moli Energy because of its light weight and high efficiency. The team has also designed an electronic network to control the vehicle’s telemetry and electrical systems.
- Over 3000 high-efficiency solar cells convert the suns energy into electricity to power the car.
- A Lithium Ion battery pack, manufactured by E One Moli Energy of Vancouver, is used because of its low mass and high electrical efficiency.
- A carbon fibre monocoque chassis, similar to that used in Formula One race cars, is used because of its light weight and stiffness.
- An electronic network inside the car controls the telemetry, communications, turn signals, driver interface and power systems.
- Three rather than four wheels are used to reduce rolling resistance, reduce weight and increase the stability of the solar car.
- To reduce aerodynamics drag, the team used computer software to design a wing shaped body and fairings around the wheels.