One of the best parts of summer is the free time…to work on the car. The MSU Solar Car Racing Team has certainly been doing that as we approach the American Solar Challenge 2012 in early July. The guys on our team were all kind enough to stay in East Lansing this summer, so as to ensure that our vehicle is ready for the race.
We wanted to point out a couple of organizations that have been incredibly helpful to us in the past few weeks. We are able to keep making progress thanks in part to these groups that have helped us:
First, Lansing Electric Motors completed repairs on our motor! Even more, they were generous enough to cover all the costs of repairs for us! We will definitely be going back to them for any future motor repairs.
Next, the Composite Vehicle Research Center here at MSU has been kind enough to allow the body team to move all of our molds and materials to their spacious research labs. This frees up space in our shop to work on the car. Additionally, we have access to their state-of-the-art facilities for use in testing our composites and laying up the shell. Also, Dr. Mahmood Haq of the CVRC has offered his expertise to us, which will no doubt be invaluable over the next month.
Next, the Innovators Educational Foundation, the folks behind the American Solar Challenge 2012, very generously sponsored our team with a $1200 grant towards our race fees in the competition. For our team, this grant helped us immensely towards covering our costs leading up to the competition.
Finally, the University of Michigan Solar Car Team very generously allowed us to borrow one of their NGM solar car motors, as well as a companion motor controller, for our testing as well as for a backup motor in the ASC 2012. We are very confident with the combination of our repaired motor and motor controller and UMich’s motor and motor controller, we can trust that this element of the electrical system will take us the 1000-plus miles this summer!

This weekend, 8 or so guys on our team will be driving down to Ann Arbor to have a barbeque with the race crew of the UM Solar Car Team. We are very excited to spend some relaxing time with members of the team down the road as the pace picks up going into the race.

Thanks for reading!

James Miller
Project Manager, MSU Solar Car Racing Team