Sundae’s design was influenced by one of the more extreme BWSC rule changes in recent years: the allowed array area for a silicon array was decreased to 4 square meters, from the 6 that were allowed Arctan and Luminos. This prompted a design iteration that, while keeping the catamaran hull shape, was smaller and more compact than Arctan or Luminos. Sundae placed ninth in some of the most challenging racing conditions in recent cycles.
Arctan built off of Luminos’ success, with a more sleek and aggressive design and an asymmetrical catamaran aerobody. As with the previous car, we tested very thoroughly prior to the race, completing about 10,000km of driving in the Central Valley of California and in South Australia in addition to the race. We placed sixth, but decreased the time behind the first-place finishing team from six hours in 2013 to three in 2015. Once again, we used proprietary motors and designed our own array encapsulation.
Our 2013 car, Luminos, was our most successful car to date, finishing fourth in the World Solar Challenge. The primary design philosophy was to develop a robust, stable car and to test it very thoroughly, goals that were fully met and allowed us to run a perfect race, without any stops outside of control stops. Luminos has four wheels and the driver is in the center, with proprietary motors and an array built in-house.
Xenith (ZEE-nith) was designed to be one of the SSCP’s most technically ambitious cars. The car featured a composite aero body with an incredibly small frontal area. The main body compartment was a mere four inches thick and all of the other components were optimized to fit. The front suspension featured a compact multilink geometry which reduced wheel scrub. The rear suspension included a linear actuator which could turn the rear wheel while driving. This allowed the car to make U-turns without having wide front fairings and it allowed the car to always have efficient air flow by pointing into cross winds. Xenith also featured solar panels that were encapsulated in ultra thin and strong Corning glass. The car’s electrical system was very robust, showing no significant problems during the 2011 World Solar Challenge.
Apogee is our ninth vehicle, designed for competition in the 2009 World Solar Challenge and the 2010 North American Solar Challenge. It represents a major step up in the level of refinement in every system on the car. It has a new body shape, mechanical system, solar array, electrical system.
Equinox was designed for the 2007 World Solar Challenge. It is one of the few Stanford cars with a multijunction array. While it shares the same body shape as Solstice, it’s entirely different “under the hood”. It represents a shift away from the space frame body type to the carbon fiber monocoque. It’s also the first Stanford car to include CAN bus communications around the electrical system.
Built for the 2005 North American Solar Challenge, Solstice is one of our most successful vehicles. It scored first place in the stock class, narrowly edging out Berkeley. Now that its race days are long over, Solstice is our favorite show pony for on-campus events. In that job its taken quite a few knocks on the chin – at one point a sophomore even crashed it into a former University President’s personal car. Oops.
Eventually we’ll get around to posting some of the photos and short descriptions of our older vehicles. If you’re an SSCP alum and have digital pictures you’d like to contribute to the effort, please don’t hesitate to hit that contact button!