Our race in 2015
This past year we got fifth place in our division, the Advanced Division. Sadly, a day into the race, after being cut off by another team on the track, our electronic brake had a catastrophic failure on the speedway. It locked up our back wheel, tore it out of the swing arm, dethreaded the axle, wrapped the cable that goes from the motor controller to the motor around the axle, which deinsulated the cable, which shorted out the motor and the controller. We were, as you can see, out of the race. However, through that, we were able to obtain relationships with other teams that we could not have obtained in any other way. This is invaluable to us to this day. We are able now to partner with other teams, such as the Walnut Solar Car Team.
our race in 2012
"Willing to Fail."
Because of the unique design of our car, we came across many challenges as a team. Designing a frame to fit inside of a pre-existing car body proved to be a great challenge. There were many design flaws, as we discovered during our first race in 2012. Since then, we have been redesigning and rebuilding our frame.
During the 2012 race, we encountered many problems, as our car was not 100% done before we left for Texas. Some people on our team were upset with the way our race was going, and how unprepared we really were. At one point, we were discussing putting a different motor in our car. During this team discussion, we decided that we did not care how many laps we made at the race. We decided that our purpose for racing was to show that there is a future for all-composite cars both inside and outside of the racing world. Our team captain reminded us that in order to accomplish these goals, we had to be "willing to fail." We had to take a chance in order to show others how new technology could be used.
Another Team, the Houston Lady Racers, gave us their day trophy as a symbol of how far we had come as a team and with our car since the first arriving in Texas. By the end of the race, we had fixed many of the problems with our car. We were proud of what we were able to accomplish. Willing to fail, our Team was able to prove that there is a place for all-composite cars in the race. We were able to make a total of 16 laps around the Texas Motor Speedway.
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Our race in 2009
We built the first Heliocentric out of aluminum and bought the Sunraycer from a professor at Purdue University and scavenged a motor, seat and other materials from their car. Sunlight Solar loaned us four house panels to race with. We only had one driver and we performed dependably in the race. Heliocentric achieved over 160 miles in the allotted time. All the team members have gone on to successful careers in technology or management.
How we built Heliocentric II
Lancair helped us sand and prep the molds for our carbon fiber car body, which were supplied to us by OSU. We then designed a frame to fit inside of this car.
This was our new car body just after we finished building it with help from Lancair and OSU.
Two of our team members had to cut through part of our car body to make it possible for the driver to get out of the car quickly, in case of emergency. This was part of the rules and had to be completed before we were allowed to race.
The chain connecting our motor to our wheels kept popping off, so James Bennett, one of our team members, had to created a chain guard for it.
Our car was finally able to race. Many problems we encountered meant we got a late start to the track. In the end, we made 16 laps.
About The Car