Friday, November 1, 2013

Blog Moved to Website

Thanks to everyone who has been supporting us and following our progress thus far. We have moved our blog posts to our website and will now be updating only that site. Check out our most recent post about Valkyrie's composite layup below!

MIT SEVT Website Blog

Saturday, July 6, 2013

One Step Closer

Hope everyone's summer is going well! Now that there's extra time (supposedly), MIT SEVT has been working hard to finish Valkyrie's design and fabrication. Here's a few updates for each of the engineering sections:

*Mechanical: Both the front and rear suspensions have been designed. Due to limited machining resources at our own shop, most of the front suspension has been sent to an outside company. In particular, the upright, hub, and spindle will be done. The mechanical team is currently machining the rear suspension and a-arms.

*Electrical: All the boards have been designed and will be fabricated soon. They are awaiting the Mitsuba hub motor which will be tested with our dynamometer.

*Aero: Valkyrie's shell design was finished recently (pictures below). Molds are the next step in the process and the aero team has been coordinating with another company to acquire them. The monocoque chassis is the next large project for the aero team.

Front side of Valkyrie. The purple line represents our previous solar car, Chopper del Sol.

Rear side of Valkyrie. The purple line represents our previous solar car, Chopper del Sol.

The purple line represents our previous solar car, Chopper del Sol.

Side view of Valkyrie.
Countdown to 2014 American Solar Challenge: 370 Days

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Presenting VALKYRIE

Hello everybody!

The team is making good progress on the next car and is finalizing suspension designs, aerodynamic body shapes, and designing electrical boards. To make the car even more bada** though, we finally decided on a name. Our next solar car has been deemed....VALKYRIE! According to Norse mythology, Valkyrie directly interprets to "chooser of the slain". She is one of several female figures who decides those that live in battle and those who die. No better use of the name than in solar car races.

With awesome mythology in our pocket, the aerodynamics team has also performed some simulations of the body shape using Ansys.

 Valkyrie is lookin better and better!

Sunday, January 27, 2013


What happens when you can't find core materials in the size, density, and material you want? Why, manufacture them yourself! A mold-in-process from yesterday's shop hours:

Monday, December 3, 2012

ANSYS, molds, and CFRP

You've heard the plans from Julia: we race next in the 2014 American Solar Challenge and shortly afterward the 2015 World Solar Challenge! We're taking this extra time for development that we have been wanting to do for a while but haven't had the manpower, time, or money. We'll be running in the 2014 ASC with a new motor, giving us a noticeable bonus in power - the equivalent of eight to twelve additional solar cells. Our array encapsulation and modularization is maturing aggressively, but I can't talk about that just yet . . .

Valkyrie, as we are referring to the ASC 2014 vehicle, will be the first of our solar cars with an all-composite chassis. This was a decision made with a great deal of consideration. Working with steel as a primary structural material has given us a great deal of flexibility in design and freedom in construction while meeting a high standard of crash protection. What we hope to achieve with a composite and largely CFRP (carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic) structure is even greater design freedom, even greater crash protection - CFRP can have an order of magnitude greater specific energy absorption than steel - at the expense of slightly less leeway and forgiveness in construction. Our toolmaking has improved to the standard we require for a composite/CFRP car and we are excited about improving those methods even further. 

Speaking of molds: we are looking for a new home for Chopper del Sol's molds! The molds reflect the 2012 ASC version, with straight front fairings. Taker will have to arrange shipping but otherwise they are likely free of cost. For more information, contact

I'd like to welcome our newest sponsor, ANSYS. ANSYS' FLUENT package will be the principal fluid simulation suite for the development of Valkyrie. Without well-packaged, flexible, and relatively computationally inexpensive modeling tools like FLUENT, the things we do would be significantly less tractable, more expensive, and more time consuming.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Starting Anew

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the lack of updates, our team has been busy designing our next solar cars! After much consideration, the MIT SEVT has decided to compete in the 2014 American Solar Challenge with a three wheel vehicle. In conjunction, we will also be designing and constructing a four wheel vehicle in preparation for the 2015 World Solar Challenge. There will be plenty of work, but we want to race competitively and still be prepared for future races. With the change in design from 3 wheels to 4, there has been a lot of discussion about the overall structure and design. Currently, the aerodynamics team is working on simulations and designing the car shape. Here are some cool pictures of what they've been up to:

Simulation performed by Alastair Gregory.

Simulation performed by Alastair Gregory.
On the electrical front, a motor change is in order. Currently, our team is looking into Mitsuba and CSIRO as viable options. However, we won't know for sure which motor to use until we perform some dyno testing.  On the mechanical front, the team is currently designing the suspension system to be improved from the last system. Overall, the team is excited to begin fresh and hunker down to build two vehicles in three years!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Thanks to Our Sponsors!!

Now that we're at the beginning of another design cycle, we would like to give all our sponsors a big thanks to show them our appreciation. We wouldn't be able to compete in solar car races if it wasn't for the time, material, and donations given to us by our sponsors. These companies are kind enough to help out with molds, composite materials, PCBs, electronic equipment, batteries, and software - to name only a few things. On top of that they are truly interested in our team, and offer advice and encouragement whenever they can. Our sponsors are all great companies that excel at what they do, and are generous enough to help student teams like us build something as interesting and exciting as a solar-powered car. Check them out below!