Solar prototype for Shell-Eco Marathon race

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1260

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
Apollo, the solar prototype vehicle of Politecnico di Milano (Technical University of Milan) is presented. Apollo has been employed within Shell Eco Marathon (SEM) Europe. The paper describes the concept design, the detailed design, the construction, the in-door tests, the outdoor tests, the successful employment at SEM and the end-of-life of the prototype. Apollo is a three wheeler with one driving wheel at the rear. A wing with solar cells provides part of the electric energy required for running. The conceptual design started from the accomodation of the pilot inside the vehicle. A number of iterations focusing on CFD (computation fluid dynamics) and wind-tunnel tests allowed to refine the total drag to less than 2N at 35 km/h. The tyre characteristic was measured on a drum and allowed to set the camber of front wheels to 4deg which provided the least rolling resistance. The powertrain, with an extremely simple engagement of the reduction gear, was designed to fit into the rear wheel, properly designed. A Maxon electric motor is adopted. The CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) body has been designed by FEM (finite element model) and the dody weight is just 8.5 kg. Wheels have been optimized for weight saving. Apollo, in 2011 at Lausitz ring during SEM Europe, was able to run 1108 km with 1 kWh establishing the best performance ever attained for such kind of prototype vehicles at SEM. Such a performance is two orders of magnitude better of current electric vehicles and sets an unsurpassed limit for such kind of applications.
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