The Michigan Tech Solar Car Team is a group of students dedicated to designing and manufacturing a vehicle powered solely by the sun. We are more than another student competition team; our desire to show the capabilities of solar power and renewable energy in vehicle design drives us to be the best we can be. While being a competitive and successful solar racing team is our goal, we know that it is our responsibility to be educators, teaching others about the possibilities that renewable energy can bring to the world.
The team is truly multidisciplinary, bringing together students from various majors all across campus. Without this collaboration of different technical knowledge and experience, the team would not be able to achieve its goal. Only through teamwork, cooperation, and hard work will we be an efficient, effective, and successful team.
Our team is part of the unique Enterprise Program at Michigan Tech. We are one of many projects within the Alternative Fuels Group Enterprise, which in turn is one of numerous Enterprise teams on campus. We are not just a student organization building a solar car, we are enhancing our education through hands-on engineering experience recognized by the University as critical to a comprehensive education. Enterprises are essentially student run "businesses" where success depends on the dedication of the students. It is our responsibility to ourselves, our Enterprise and our future employers to learn the technical, business and professional skills required to make our project a success as well as prepare ourselves to be the engineers of the future.
The Michigan Tech Solar Car Team's Mission is "To use innovation in solar transportation technology to educate people regarding the feasibility and sustainability of solar energy generation."
- Be competitive, effective and efficient
- Provide real-world, hands-on experience
- Be advocates of renewable energy technology
Since its inception in the 1980's, solar car racing has grown into one of the world's premier ways to showcase the possibilities of solar technology and vehicle design. Solar cars showcase the pinnacle of fuel efficiency as they are designed to be as aerodynamic and lightweight as possible while utilizing some of the most efficient solar cells and electric motors available. While they may look very different from commercial vehicles, solar cars are platforms for generating and testing systems that may one day be applicable to production electric vehicles.
The team plans to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas. The competition, hosted by the Shell Oil Company, seeks to highlight the possibilities in vehicle efficiency; not judging miles per hour, but miles per gallon. Teams can compete in different fuel categories, including gasoline, diesel, fuel cells and solar, all aiming to obtain the highest fuel economy. The Eco-marathon consists of two vehicle categories, prototype and urban concept. The Michigan Tech Solar Car Team plans to compete in the prototype category where futuristic looking vehicles are designed to be as fuel efficient as possible with few limitations to how they can be built. Urban Concept vehicles are designed to look more like current vehicles on the road. The race is run on an urban course to simulate real world driving conditions, and is currently held in downtown Houston, Texas around Discovery Green.