Help with Solar Car. (NO BATTERIES!)

Hi, I need to make a solar car for a school project. We are going to have to have a race with the cars everybody in my school makes. Normally this would have been easy. multiple panels, Li Po batteries, Arduino, etc. But When I read the rules I was stumped. I checked online. (google, youtube, and other websites)

I need a fast car that doesn’t use batteries and only uses the panel and motor in the instructions.
Any help would be appreciated

Plan the race so only you go down hill.


I dont plan it. The teachers do. Also it says in the rules i posted that it could be in any direction

Rule 9. "The vehicle must be of the student's own design and manufacture from current school year"

Good luck and don't forget to make room for the batteries described in rule #7.

Which way will the track be oriented with respect to the Sun's position in the sky? You'd have to align the solar panel to be as close to NORMAL to the Sun's direction in order to get the best electrical power output from the panel, consistent with wind drag. The elevation will be fairly constant for the day, but you might want to make it possible to point the panel in the horizontal plane.

(Perhaps a fixed horizontal position would be the easiest, if you want to complete it by Christmas!)

Then I'd imagine that using Maximum Power Power Point tracking will maximise the available power transfer to the motor. This would involve a pulsed DC drive to the motor, allowing you to make the internal resistance of the motor+drive to equal the internal resistance of the solar panel.

After that, it looks like you are in the lap of the gods where the motor efficiency is concerned, as it seems you can't choose the motor. Fair enough, but who says which motor out a box of 100 is the best?

Finally, make sure the tyres are good and hard!

Images from Original Post Reply #NN so we don’t have to download them. See this Image Guide




I agree with @jremington - Reply #3.

Also I cannot see any role for an Arduino in the project. The critical skills seems to be the reduction of friction and the choice of gear ratio between the motor and the wheels.